In Arizona, you can. You have to show a "new, additional, or previously undiscovered condition" since the closure of your case.
This is not the easiest thing to do.
You're treating physician will have to analyze your condition at the closure of your case and compare it with your condition at the time of reopening, and show that there is a change, effectively, in your condition that warrants the reopening.
Most unrepresented Arizona injured workers do not realize the criteria to file reopening. The other problem with Arizona injured workers is without legal representation, many times they will file a petition to reopen at the Industrial Commission without attaching a medical report.
If the injured worker does not attach an updated medical report to the petition to reopen, the Industrial Commission of Arizona, which is where it is filed, will kick it back to the injured worker and give them 15 days to supplement the petition to reopen with an updated medical report. If the injured worker does not supplement provide an updated medical report, the industrial commission will take no further action on the reopening.
Even if the Phoenix injured worker, for example, files the petition to reopen with a medical report, there's a good chance the insurance carrier will deny it. If the injured worker does not appeal the denial within 90 days, they're stuck with the decision which further complicates things in reopening the case in the future.
Also, please keep in mind that if an injured worker has treatment without first filing a petition to reopen at the Industrial Commission, that treatment may not be covered by the industrial claim.
Arizona has a good workers' compensation system and this is one of the reasons why-the ability to file reopenings. In other states, injured workers don't have that luxury. Once the case is final they can't reopen it.
Please feel free to contact any of the attorneys at Fendon Law Firm for a free consultation on this issue or any other workers' compensation or Social Security disability issues. We treat clients like family because we are family.
Matt C. Fendon, Esq.
Arizona State Bar Certified Specialist, Worker's Compensation Offices Statewide in Arizona 602-256-2000, Ext. 306