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When Does Workers’ Comp Start Paying?

Published June 18, 2024 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Workers' Compensation

One of the hardest parts about being hurt on the job is losing your ability to earn income while your monthly bills keep coming right on schedule. Worse, the medical bills and other costs connected with getting you back to work—assuming you can go back—can be crushing even if you have health insurance coverage.

The Arizona workers’ compensation system exists to help you cover the shortfall in your income when you cannot work or are reduced to light-duty work because of a workplace accident or employment-related medical condition. 

These benefits help you cover necessary medical treatment expenses. One question many of our clients at the Matt Fendon Law Group ask about these benefits is, “When do my workers’ comp payments start?”

This question is important for many workers because possibly up to two-thirds of them are living paycheck to paycheck. More than half of Americans cannot pay an unexpected $1,000 expense like a medical bill without going into debt.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Can Receive

Under Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker can receive two kinds of workers’ compensation benefits:

Compensation for Costs of a Work Injury Claim

These funds pay for the medical care you need to recover from the injury, illness, or medical condition you suffer from. There is no limit to your ability to receive medical benefits, including for future treatment, as long as your expenses are reasonably medically necessary and are connected to what happened to you at work.

List of medical benefits that come with workers' compensation.

Loss of Income Disability Benefits

These are monthly disability payments paid to you to help offset your lost or reduced income. Loss of income benefits can be temporary or permanent, partial or total.

How Long Will I Have to Wait for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Payments for Medical Expenses

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should pay your costs for treatment of your injury, illness, or condition as soon as it receives them. Once a claim is filed the Industrial Commission notifies the insurance carrier, they have 21 days to accept or deny the claim.

Payments for medical expenses after a job-related accident can include:

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy costs.

You can still be reimbursed for these expenses if you paid out of pocket for medical treatment before filing a claim. Inform your healthcare provider that you are making a workers’ compensation claim, and they will bill the workers’ comp insurer.

Payments for Lost Wages

Arizona workers’ compensation does not pay benefits for income replacement benefits until you have been out of work for you’ve been out of work for seven days or had light duty work restrictions for 7 days Your wage loss benefits will not include these seven days unless you are out of work for at least 14 straight days.

After you have satisfied the seven-day waiting period, your workers’ comp payment schedule is based on what kind of disability benefits you receive.

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits pays every 14 days
  • Temporary Partial Disability Benefits are paid every 30 days.
  • Permanent Partial Disability Benefits are paid on a monthly basis.
  • Death benefits are paid on a monthly basis.

Based on these schedules, how soon you receive wage loss benefits depends on:

  1. When you filed your workers’ compensation benefits claim. (The sooner you do this, the sooner the calculation of the seven consecutive days of inability to work can begin.)
  2. The types of benefits you are trying to claim.

Therefore, the shortest possible waiting period for non-compensatory benefits payments should be no longer than three weeks after you leave work (the seven-day waiting period plus the 14 days before your first temporary total disability check arrives).

The longest you might have to wait for benefits could be up to about five weeks (the seven-day waiting period followed by the first temporary partial disability check 30 days later).

What if My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Delayed?

The time frames above for when you should start receiving workers’ compensation payments are based on nothing going wrong with the processing of your claim. This is usually a safe assumption because the vast majority of Arizona workers’ compensation claims are approved.

However, circumstances can cause payment of your benefits to be delayed or even denied. For example, the insurance company may want to receive more information about your claim before approving it, or there could be a problem with the claim filing itself.

How to Encourage Prompt Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments

Whether you file by yourself or with the help of an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney, be systematic and methodical. This will reduce the risk that an error in the claim will slow down claim approval or result in denial.

Additionally, a workers’ compensation injury attorney can also help you to file an appeal if your workers’ compensation claim is denied by the insurance company.

Talk to a Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

At the Matt Fendon Law Group, our highly skilled and compassionate workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to help you with all aspects of your workers’ compensation case and help you receive benefits as quickly as possible. 

In particular, we can help you:

  • Understand what is happening with your claim. Obtaining workers’ compensation law can be stressful, complicated, and time-consuming. An experienced Arizona workers’ comp lawyer can help you file a claim and ensure workers’ comp pay is complete and error-free when you submit it.
  • Deal with your employer. Employers often try to intimidate or take advantage of injured workers. The attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group will stand up for your rights.
  • Negotiate with the workers’ comp insurance carrier. During the workers’ comp settlement process, insurance carriers are less likely to give you the run-around when you have a skilled and aggressive attorney in your corner. They are also more likely to put aside more reserves if an attorney is on file.
  • Receive the compensation you deserve. While you recover from your workplace injuries, workers’ compensation benefits pay a portion of your lost wages and medical bills. Our attorneys will fight to get you the benefits you need and deserve.
  • Handle your appeal. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you put together the most potent argument on your behalf within the tight 90-day appeal deadline.
  • Represent you at a workers’ comp claim appeal hearing. A hearing before an administrative law judge could be required if your workplace injury claim is denied. If necessary, our attorneys will represent you, present evidence, and argue on your behalf.
  • File a civil lawsuit. Litigation may be necessary if your employer fails to maintain a workers’ compensation policy.
How Fendon Law supports clients.

Call us today at (800) 229-3880 to schedule a confidential, free initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Phoenix. Alternatively, you can contact us online to ask a question or to schedule a free consultation.We help clients with workers’ compensation cases in Phoenix, Prescott, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, and Tucson. Let us show you how we can help you with your Phoenix workers’ comp case. We will provide straightforward advice and help you understand your legal options.

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