Workers' Compensation Appeals: Help With Filing
Workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline when on-the-job accidents and injuries occur. These benefits help you access the medical care and treatment you need while reimbursing you for lost wages you suffer. Unfortunately, obtaining the benefits you are entitled to be not always easy, and there are many injured workers who end up having their claim denied. When an occupational illness or work-related accident occurs, one of your first steps should be to contact an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney for help. If you have already filed a claim and had it denied, our attorneys can guide you through the workers’ compensation appeals process.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that over 15,000 workers’ compensation claims are filed in South Carolina each year. Of these claims, roughly half end up being denied. Your claim for benefits could be denied for any of the following reasons:
- Failure to report the accident immediately to your employer
- Failure on your employer’s part to file a claim
- Not following appropriate timelines in filing
- Providing insufficient information
- Failing to see a doctor for your injuries or not following their instructions
- Suffering an injury that is deemed as not work-related
In addition to the above, workers’ compensation can deny your claim if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time the injury occurred, or if you were engaging in horseplay or other dangerous behavior that contributed to your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Appeals
Once your injury has been reported, you will be notified by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) within 14 days of whether or not your claim was approved and the number of benefits you are entitled to receive. If your claim was denied, you will be informed of the reasons for the denial as well as your rights to file an appeal. Steps included in this process are:
- Informal conference. You may request an informal conference with your employer and a Deputy Commissioner with the WCC to review the circumstances surrounding your claim and any benefits you may be entitled to.
- Mediation. If you continue to be denied benefits and wish to appeal the decision, the next step is to schedule a mediation conference between you, your employer, and an impartial third party. It is important to have legal representation at this conference to present evidence on your behalf.
- Hearing. If you disagree with the outcome of the mediation hearing, you may request a formal hearing in the matter. This hearing will be held by one of a panel of seven commissioners, and further evidence will be presented in your case.
If your workers’ compensation claim continues to be denied, you may request a hearing before a panel of commissioners. Ultimately, you can appeal the WCC decision through the South Carolina Court of Appeals, up to the state Supreme Court.
Get Help From a South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Attorney
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness or have been denied benefits, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys act as strong legal advocates on your behalf, assisting you in getting the benefits you are entitled to.