Workers’ compensation insurance covers their medical costs and missed wages when an employee is hurt at work. Most businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance. As detailed in the following paragraphs, injured workers in Arizona have rights and obligations under the state’s workers’ compensation statutes.
The role of workers’ compensation insurance
Laws governing workers’ compensation ensure that people who suffer work-related injuries obtain benefits without suing their employers. According to the Matt Fendon Law Group experts, workers’ compensation laws also aim to give employers some measure of security. They limit the amount of compensation that employees can receive and, in most situations, forbid injured workers from suing their employers or coworkers.
Who regulates the Arizona workers’ compensation laws?
The Workers’ Compensation Practice and Procedure Administrative Rules, found in Chapter 5 of Title 20 of the Arizona Administrative Code, and the Arizona Workers’ Compensation Act, found in Chapter 6 of Title 23 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, govern workers’ compensation in Arizona.
Additionally, the Industrial Commission of Arizona regulates workers’ compensation in Arizona (ICA). Under the aforementioned statutes and regulations, the ICA has several obligations, including notifying insurance companies of reports of workplace injuries, holding hearings to settle disagreements between injured workers and insurance companies, and keeping an eye on the claim-processing system.
Eligibility for workers’ compensation
In Arizona, most firms are obliged to carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of how many hours a worker works. This general norm has the following minor exceptions:
- Workers’ compensation insurance is not necessary for independent contractors.
- People whose employment is informal and outside the scope of the employer’s regular operations are not required to get workers’ compensation insurance.
- A sole entrepreneur doesn’t need to carry their own workers’ compensation insurance if they have staff.
Injuries covered by the insurance
As long as the damage happens while working, most injuries are covered. It’s a prevalent misconception that workers can’t be compensated for pre-existing ailments. You qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if a work-related accident temporarily or permanently aggravates your existing injury.
Mental illness and heart issues are typically not covered. However, if a worker’s job-related extreme stress is what brought on their mental illness, then it might be covered.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
You have one year from the occurrence of your work-related injuries to submit a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) as an injured employee. You can do this by producing a Worker’s Report of Injury. An alternative is to submit a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury with your physician.
Important Arizona Workers’ Compensation Deadlines
- Submitting a claim: within a year following the injury (or within one year of becoming aware of the injury)
- Employer reporting a claim: Within ten days of learning of the injury
- The insurance company can deny or accept the claim within 21 days of claim notification
- Appealing: 90 days after a denial
- Asking for a review of an appeal: 30 days after the appeal hearing
A key takeaway
You may be required to undergo a single evaluation with a doctor of your employer’s choosing. After that, you can report to the doctor of your choice.