How to Apply for Arizona Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Arizona workers' compensation

If you’re hurt or sick on the job in Arizona, state law dictates how you’ll apply for workers’ comp benefits. (The only people who don’t that still may qualify for benefits are federal workers, who have a different process.) To apply for Arizona workers’ compensation, just follow the steps we’ve listed below. In addition, our interactive chart explains how the Arizona workers’ compensation program changed from 2013 to 2017.

How to File Your Arizona Workers’ Compensation Claim

According to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), all employers with one or more employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. (This includes part-time or full-time employees.) However, the Arizona Workers Compensation Act also allows any employee to waive coverage by filling out a form. If you didn’t fill that form out before getting sick or hurt, then you may apply for Arizona workers’ compensation. Here are the steps you must follow in order to do that:

  1. 1. Report your on-the-job injury or illness immediately to your employer. You must see a doctor who’s authorized by your employer’s insurance provider the first time you get medical treatment. After that, you may receive ongoing treatment from your own doctor unless your employer’s self-insured.
  2. The first time you see a doctor, be sure to tell them your injury or illness is job-related. This is important, because that doctor should give you a Worker’s Report of Injury form to fill out. If you don’t get a copy, you can download and print your own form here.
  3. Once that form’s signed, your doctor has 10 days to file it with the ICA. This officially starts your Arizona workers’ compensation claim. You must file this form within a year after your accident date or lose your right to workers’ comp payments.
  4. The ICA should notify you within 21 days whether your claim’s approved or denied. Expect a letter in the mail explaining whether or not the insurance company approved your application. You must miss work for 7 days in a row before you’re eligible to get repaid for lost wages. Luckily, that 7-day waiting period DOES include weekends!
  5. 5. If your claim’s denied, you have 90 days to request an appeal hearing in writing. Contact the ICA and get the form you’ll need to do this, then mail it back to them. The ICA will mail you a letter with your hearing information and the judge’s name once it’s scheduled.

Every Arizona workers’ compensation claim is different, so your own experience may vary. Still have more Arizona workers’ comp questions? Download this helpful information pamphlet for injured workers on the ICA’s website.

Arizona Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2013-2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles an annual report featuring workers’ compensation program data for most states. This report includes total claims filed, how many people missed work or changed positions, and data for specific job sectors. See how the Arizona workers’ compensation program changed between 2013 and 2017 below.

The Arizona workers’ compensation program saw the biggest change among injured employees missing work or receiving restrictions from 2013 to 2016. During those four years, that specific category fell about 19%. Only injured workers in that specific group will qualify to get their lost wages repaid through Arizona workers’ compensation insurance. Every year, this group makes up about half the employees who report on-the-job injuries and illnesses. However, they were 55% of the total injuries reported to the Arizona workers’ compensation program in 2013. Service-industry workers filed 13% fewer claims in 2014 than the previous year, and total claims fell 9% from 2013-2016.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance With Your Arizona Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you have a pre-existing condition or prior similar injury, you might get turned down for Arizona workers’ compensation. And since your employer chooses the doctor that diagnoses your injury, you may feel you aren’t compensated fairly. But you don’t have to fight on your own to get paid back all the money you lost while recovering.

Your best bet is to talk with a workers’ comp attorney about your claim before you proceed. A lawyer won’t charge you anything for a first-time consultation and can give specific advice that applies to your situation. No attorneys will accept your case unless they think you’re rightfully owed benefits. And if your case does win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. It’s the best way to get the most benefits you’re owed or win your case on appeal!

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation online now!

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