Workers’ Comp for CTS

Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance that covers the work-related injuries and occupational illnesses of most South Carolina employees. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often an occupational illness that results from repetitive motion on the job, but just getting a diagnosis of CTS does not automatically entitle you to workers’ comp benefits. In order to have your medical bills paid and two-thirds of your lost wages reimbursed by workers comp, you must prove that your CTS arose naturally as a result of the activities specifically required by your job.

Because CTS can develop outside the workplace, you’ll need documentation of the repetitive-motion activities required by your job, as well as a diagnosis of CTS and a statement from a doctor regarding the likelihood that your condition resulted from carrying out your daily occupational duties. Your employer’s insurance company is more likely to dispute an occupational illness case than it is an injury case in which the evidence is often clear and immediate. The insurer might claim that your CTS was caused or aggravated by non-work-related factors:

  • A pre-existing wrist injury
  • Fluid retention as a result of menopause or pregnancy
  • A thyroid condition
  • Pre-existing diabetes or arthritis
  • A tumor or cyst in the carpal tunnel area
  • Non-work-related repetitive motion (like playing a sport or a musical instrument)

An experienced lawyer can help you gather, organize, and convincingly present evidence of your work-related CTS to your employer’s insurer, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC), or the appeals court if your case goes that far.

Reporting and Filing

Although you have 90 days to report your occupational disease to your employer and two years to file your workers’ comp claim for benefits, you should not wait to do either. As soon as you receive a diagnosis or become aware in any other way that you’ve developed CTS on the job, you should report your condition, in writing, to your boss. You should then immediately file your claim by using Form 50 from the website of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). Any delay in reporting or filing enables your employer’s insurer to dispute your claim by alleging you would have acted sooner had your condition been as bad as you said it was.

The insurance company will have a list of certified doctors. You should seek treatment immediately from a physician on that list, not from your own doctor. Follow the recommended doctor’s orders, treatment guidelines, and referrals conscientiously. Take all medications as prescribed and keep receipts and other documentation of anything related to treatment. If you feel you’re not getting proper medical attention or if the insurer disputes your claim, consult a workers' compensation attorney right away. 

Have You Been Injured On The Job?

If you've been hurt at your job you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Florence, ConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
Connect with me
South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.