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, state law also lets any employee waive coverage. If you didn’t waive your rights, follow these steps to apply for Arizona workers’ comp:
- 1. Report your accident to your employer immediately. You must see an employer-authorized doctor the first time you receive treatment. Then, you may see your own doctor unless your employer’s self-insured.
- The first time you see a doctor, say your injury’s job-related. That’s because that doctor should give you a Worker’s Report of Injury form to fill out. Otherwise, download and print your own form here.
- Once you sign that form, your doctor has 10 days to file it with the ICA. You must file this form within a year from your accident date or lose your right to workers’ compensation.
- The ICA should notify you within 21 days if your claim’s approved or denied. Expect a letter in the mail explaining whether the insurer approved you and why. You must miss work for 7 days in a row before you qualify for lost-wage benefits. Luckily, that 7-day waiting period includes weekends!
- 5. If 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 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
If you have a pre-existing condition or prior similar injury, your employer could deny your claim. 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 alone to recover all the money you lost while off work.
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. If the company doesn’t pay you a cash settlement, you owe the lawyer $0 for legal assistance. And if your case does win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation online now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.