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Change of Condition. Change of Condition. Statute § 42-17-90 - Review of award on change of condition

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change of condition1
Change of Condition

Statute

§ 42-17-90- Review of award on change of condition

(A) On its own motion or on the application of a party in interest on the ground of a change in condition, the commission may review an award and on that review may make an award ending, diminishing, or increasing the compensation previously awarded, on proof by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been a change of condition caused by the original injury, after the last payment of compensation. An award is subject to the maximum or minimum provided in this title, and the commission immediately shall send to the parties a copy of the order changing the award. The review does not affect the award as regards any monies paid and the review must not be made after twelve months from the date of the last payment of compensation pursuant to an award provided by this title.

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(B) A motion or application for change in condition involving a repetitive trauma injury must be made within one year from the date of the last compensation payment for the repetitive trauma injury. Any filing not made within this one-year period shall be considered untimely and shall not be reviewed.

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(C) A motion or application for change in condition involving an occupational disease must be made within one year from the date of the last compensation payment for the occupational disease. Any filing not made within this one-year period shall be considered untimely and shall not be reviewed.

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Classes of Cases:

  • Worsening of compensable body part subsequent to award

a) Awarded back condition worsening following award

Clark v. Aiken County Government 366 S.C. 102

(S.C. 2005).

b) New, previously undiagnosed condition occurring subsequent to award

i.e. new psyche condition occurring after date of original award

Getsinger v. Owens–Corning Fiberglass Corp. 335 S.C. 77 (Ct. App. 1999).

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Timing

  • …within 12 months from the date of last payment of compensation pursuant to an award…

a) What if you file for a change in condition prior to the one year expiration but the hearing is not scheduled until after the one year time frame has expired, is the change of condition issue timely preserved?

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Yes.

“In the instant case the last and only payment of compensation was made on November 7, 1957. The application for review was filed on September 29, 1958, or within one year from the date of the last payment of compensation. There was no hearing until November 19, 1958, or about twelve days after the expiration of the one year period.”

Allen v. Benson Outdoor Advertising Company 236 S.C. 22,29 (1960).

“The application for review here having been filed within one year after the last payment of compensation, we think the Industrial Commission had jurisdiction to hear it.”

Allen v. Benson Outdoor Advertising Company 236 S.C. 22,31 (1960).

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b) What if a body part injury issue could have been raised at the permanency hearing, concerning a known body part injury, but was not raised, can that same body part injury issue be initially raised at a subsequent change of condition hearing?

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No.

“The issue before the Commission is sharply restricted to the question of extent of improvement or worsening of the injury on which the original award was based. If claimant sustained injuries at the time of the original action which he knew about at the time of his claim but for some reason failed to include in the claim, he cannot for the first time assert disability from these injuries in a petition based on Change of condition.”

Krell v. South Carolina State Highway Dept., 237 S.C.584, 588-589 (1961).

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What if Defendants send to Claimant the settlement check along with the Form 16 for Claimant to execute and the settlement check clears the bank prior to the Form 16 being approved by the SCWCC assigned Commissioner, when does the 1 year time limit for a change of condition begin to run?

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Section 42-17-90 statute for injury by accident states “last payment of compensation pursuant to an award.” Therefore, award must likely be made prior to one year change of condition time frame beginning. SCWCC is reviewing the award. Claimant cannot file for a change of condition until an award is received.

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Regulation 67-802 A.(2) (b) and (c)

b) A Commissioner reviews the form and may approve the form.

c) If the Commissioner signs the Form approving it, the Claims Department records the settlement and returns an approved copy of the Form to the employer’s representative.

SCWCC must review and approve Form 16’s.