June 2015 Archives | Arizona Workers' Compensation Blog
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June 2015 Archives

Changing Doctors With A Self-insured Employer Who Directs Medical Care

Arizona, thankfully, is not a "directed care" state. A "directed care" state allows ALL workers' compensation insurance carriers to choose injured workers' doctors. This leaves many injured workers in the hands of doctors who do not care about their wellbeing, but instead want to push them back to work as quickly as they can before they have even healed. In Arizona only self-insured employers who meet certain requirements have the right to direct the medical care of their injured workers. For example, Southwest Gas Corporation is self-insured and has the right to direct the medical care of their injured workers. In order for these injured workers to change doctors they must demonstrate that their "health, life, or recovery" is "endangered" or "impaired" by the treatment being furnished by their employer. Often times this is a difficult standard to meet for an injured worker on their own. Thus, it is in their best interest to seek help with this issue!

The Employer's Conveyance Exception

Normally, an employee who is injured while going to or from work is not entitled to workers' compensation.[1] The rationale behind this rule is that employees do not actually begin work until they arrive on the employer's premises. Any risk an employee is subjected to while driving to work is the same risk(s) faced by the general public and are not incident to their employment.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME?

Social Security Disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits are two separate programs. If you are suffering from a disability that is severe enough that you cannot perform your usual work, and you cannot perform alternative work, then you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security Administration Hearings

In Arizona, there are typically only three circumstances where the Social Security Administration will expedite a hearing: the claimant's illness is terminal, the claimant is without food medicine or shelter, or the claimant is suicidal or homicidal. There have been some changes where the administration will expedite hearings for "wounded warriors" who are typically soldiers who suffer injuries while in military service.

HEARING LOCATIONS

For Arizona workers' compensation cases, injured workers can have their hearings set in the following place: Pheonix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City/Kingman, and Yuma.

DEPOSITION TIPS

When an injured worker appeals an inaccurate notice issued by an insurance carrier, they will be scheduled for a deposition to be taken by the insurance carrier's attorney. The thought of being deposed by the insurance carrier's attorney is usually a very scary thought for an injured worker. While it is normal to be nervous, it is usually very helpful to be told a few tips as far as how to handle a deposition. 

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