Arizona Workers' Compensation
Arizona workers' compensation is administered by the Industrial Commission of Arizona. This governmental agency is responsible for enforcing state workers' compensation laws and ensuring employees throughout the state are safe and healthy as they work.
Arizona workers' compensation is provided to employees who are injured performing work-related activities or who suffer from an occupational illness. Occupational illnesses must be caused from a direct threat on the job, including but not limited to, exposure of a toxic chemical. Benefits are provided to employees without proof of negligence on the part of the employee.
Common Workers' Compensation Injuries in Arizona
Workers' compensation typically only covers work injuries that "arise out of and in the course of normal employment". Workers who are required to lift heavy equipment or work with dangerous chemicals may frequently suffer work-related injuries. Common workers' compensation injuries can include:
- Bone fractures
- Torn Meniscus
- Asbestosis exposure
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- General Anxiety Disorder
Denying Workers' compensation benefits
Workers' compensation benefits can legitimately be denied for a variety of reasons including:
- Intentional injury –Arizona workers who intentionally cause injury to themselves may be denied workers' compensation coverage.
- Injuries received while committing a serious crime
- Not engaged in work-related activities – workers who were not operating on behalf of their company or engaged in work-related activities at the time of their injury will not be covered by Arizona workers' compensation.
- Violating company policy – a worker was injured as a result of not following company policy.
- Injuries which resulted from intoxication
- The worker would not submit to a medical evaluation from the insurance company.
- The worker refuses to obtain the recommended and proper medical treatment.
- The worker fails to report their work injury to their employer within 90 days from the date of the work accident.
If your employer is refusing to cover the cost of your work injuries and you believe you have been illegally denied workers' compensation benefits, contact an Arizona workers' compensation lawyer. Workers' compensation attorneys in Arizona may be willing to review your workers' compensation case for free or for a low fee to determine if you have a workers' compensation claim.
Arizona Worker's Compensation Benefits
Workers who are injured on the job may qualify for medical only claims, time loss claims or both.
- Medical Compensation - Medical compensation may be paid for work-related injuries but may exclude lost wage compensation if the injured worker did not miss more than 7 days of work. Employers are required to pay all necessary and reasonable medical care including expenses for the following: prescription medication, doctor's expenses, hospital expenses, emergency room charges, and medical equipment and supplies. All medical receipts should be sent to the insurance company for repayment. Medical costs may be paid until the treating doctor decides the Arizona employee has reached their maximum medical recovery.
- Medical Compensation + Lost Wages Benefits - Medical compensation and lost wage benefits may be paid to employees who are injured on the job or who have suffered an occupational illness if the employee can not work after 7 days due to their injuries. Employees who are unable to work for 14 days may be paid for the first 7 days of missed work. Days not worked do not have to be consecutive. Lost wage compensation is generally paid at 66-2/3% of the injured workers' average monthly wage. Arizona state law has established maximums which can not be exceeded. This maximum as of 2011 is $3,920.75 per month.
- Temporary Work Injury Compensation - Workers who are temporarily injured and expected to return to work can receive temporary workers' compensation benefits. Arizona temporary workers' compensation benefits are paid every 2 week while the worker's treating physician has them on a no-work status. This type of benefit is paid until the doctor releases the employee to return to work. Workers who are released to perform lighter duty work may receive wage compensation if their income is reduced. Under this condition the insurance company will pay 66-2/3% of the difference between the wages the worker is now receiving and their previous average monthly wage. This compensation is paid once a month instead of every two weeks.
- Permanent Work Injury Compensation - Arizona workers who have been injured or suffered an occupation illness may have a permanent health condition which is not expected to improve. If a worker suffers permanent functional body loss or a disfigurement they may be discharged from the doctor's care but receive some type of compensation for their injury. This compensation is paid one time per month and the amount or percentage paid is determined by the doctor according to the standards outlined by the American Medical Association in Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
Workers should report their work injuries to their employer as soon as possible. Reports should be made in writing and should include the date, time and place of the work injury. All Arizona workers' compensation claims must be filed against the employer within one year. There may be exceptions for workers' compensation claims which are considered progressive in nature. Failure to report the claim in a timely manner may result in forfeiture of an employee's rights to pursue workers' compensation under Arizona workers' compensation law.