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South Carolina Alert - Workers' Compensation Update: Governor Signs Executive Order Requiring Commission Use of Objective Standards.

In response to concerns regarding the lack of predictability or objective standards in workers' compensation awards for permanent impairment, on September 20, 2007, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed Executive Order 2007-16, directing the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission and its individual commissioners to "strictly apply either AMA Guides or any other accepted medical treatise or authority in making their injury compensation determinations" in contested cases. Executive Order 2007-16 also requires that on a quarterly basis beginning on January 1, 2008, the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission and its individual commissioners are to provide written confirmation, to the Office of the Governor, that they have used such objective standards in rendering compensation awards in the preceding quarter. Executive Order 2007-16 is effective immediately.

South Carolina Workers' Compensation Reform Signed Into Law (pdf).

On July 25, 2007, Governor Sanford signed a bill that makes a number of changes to South Carolina workers' compensation system. Most of the changes apply to claims for injuries occuring on or after July 1, 2007.

Governor Signs Workers' Compensation Reform Bill to Take Effect July 1, 2007.

On June 25, 2007, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed into law a measure reforming workers’ compensation law in South Carolina. Senate Bill 332 (R163), which takes effect on July 1, 2007, applies to accidents and injuries occurring on or after that date (unless otherwise provided). The bill was reportedly passed in response to workers’ compensation premiums increasing at an alarming rate and concerns expressed by employers over recent court decisions.