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Among other changes, the law also will:

  • Allow insurers and employers to challenge a legal presumption of total and permanent disability when a worker suffers the loss of at least 50% of use of his or her back.

  • Reverse a court decision that prevented claims adjusters from speaking to claimants' doctors.

  • Require workers to prove with a preponderance of evidence that mental injury and stress is caused by their jobs when physical trauma is absent.

  • Shift appeals of Workers' Compensation Commission decisions from trial courts to South Carolina's Court of Appeals.

  • Set a time limit for filing repetitive trauma claims and require medical proof of a relationship to work duties.