How Much Will I Get Paid on Workers’ Comp in Arizona?
Workers’ compensation can provide a vital lifeline for Arizona employees who are injured or become ill on the job. In addition to covering medical expenses, workers’ compensation also provides wage replacement and disability benefits to eligible employees.
When making financial plans after a job-related injury, it’s important to understand that workers’ compensation benefits will not fully reimburse you for your lost wages. A variety of factors will determine how much you will be paid. An experienced Arizona workers’ compensation lawyer at Matt Fendon Law Group can explain what you need to know in a free consultation.
For over a decade, our attorneys have successfully represented clients in workers’ compensation matters throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, Prescott Valley, and the neighboring communities. Let us help you, too.
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Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits
A variety of workers’ compensation benefits are available to qualifying Arizona employees. These include:
If you require medical attention after a work injury, workers’ compensation will cover any necessary and reasonable medical expenses that you incur. This can include surgeries, ER visits, prescription medications, and more. It will also cover travel expenses if you need to drive more than 25 miles to receive treatment.
Temporary partial disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are allotted to employees who are able to return to work after an accident, but experience limited earning capacity for a short period due to their injuries.
Temporary total disability (TTD)
If your injury keeps you from working at all for a period of time, you may receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Since you cannot earn money during this period, you will receive payment to partially cover the wages you miss.
Permanent partial disability (PPD)
In some cases, you may suffer an injury that permanently limits your working capacity, even if you can still do some work. These injuries may qualify a worker to receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
Depending on which part of the body you’ve hurt, your injury may be classified as “scheduled” or “unscheduled.” Scheduled injuries — including injuries to arms, legs, hearing, and eyesight — call for a designated amount and duration of PPD under Arizona law. Unscheduled injuries —such as injuries to shoulders, hips, or digestive organs — do not appear on the state’s schedule and must have a demonstrated impact on a person’s permanent working ability in order to be paid.
Permanent total disability (PTD)
If your workplace injury causes permanent disability that makes you wholly unable to work, you may receive permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. These benefits can last for the remainder of your life and come in the same monthly amount as temporary total disability benefits.
There are certain injuries that automatically qualify for permanent total disability benefits. These impairments include blindness, extensive paralysis, severe traumatic brain injuries, and the loss of both hands or both feet. Other forms of impairment may also qualify for these benefits, pending medical evidence that indicates a person’s complete and permanent inability to return to work.
Death and burial benefits
If someone dies due to a work-related injury or occupational disease, the deceased’s dependents may receive death and burial benefits through Arizona workers’ compensation. The amount and duration of death benefits is calculated on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, workers’ comp will cover up to $5,000 in burial expenses.
How Are My Benefits Estimated?
The amount and duration of your workers’ compensation benefits will depend on the type and extent of your injuries. Medical benefits should cover all of your reasonable medical expenses, but disability benefits will cover only a certain amount for a period of time, depending on your situation.
Here’s how your benefits will be estimated:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD): If you are approved to receive TPD, the amount you receive will be two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury monthly wages.
- Temporary total disability (TTD): These benefits equal two-thirds of your average monthly wage before the incident, up to a certain maximum amount. The maximum changes each year based on a maximum monthly wage designated by the state.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD): The amount and duration of PPD you receive will depend on whether and how your injury is scheduled. If you have a scheduled injury, you will receive between 50 and 75 percent of your pre-injury wages for a certain number of months. The percentage you receive is based on the extent of the injury, while the state schedule designates the duration of benefits. If you have an unscheduled injury that results in demonstrable wage loss, your benefits will equal 55 percent of the difference between your pre-and post-injury wages.
- Permanent total disability (PTD): The rate of these benefits will equal the rate of TTD benefits, or two-thirds of your past monthly wage. You may receive them for the rest of your life.
How Long Do Payments Last After a Work Injury?
The duration of your workers’ compensation payments will depend on the particular injury you have sustained. Temporary disability benefits will last until you have recovered, whereas permanent total disability benefits can last for a lifetime.
The duration of PPD benefits can vary widely. The state schedule designates certain timeframes for different bodily injuries. For instance, total hearing loss in one ear will result in payments for 20 months, while the loss of the dominant hand will result in 50 months of payments. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to provide further information about the duration of benefits based on your specific injury.
What If I Am Unhappy With the Benefits I Receive?
Nearly all employers in Arizona are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. That means you are legally entitled to certain benefits as long as your injury is job-related.
If you are unhappy with the workers’ compensation benefits you receive, it’s possible that your case has been handled unfairly. Ask a workers’ compensation lawyer to review your case to ensure that your injury has been properly evaluated and classified.
Can an Attorney Get Me Better Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
While the amount workers’ compensation benefits you receive are largely dictated by state law, there are many instances where qualifying workers may be underpaid. This could happen if a work injury is improperly classified, leading an employee to receive fewer benefits than he or she actually deserves. In other cases, an employer’s or its insurance provider may dispute a worker’s claim for benefits.
In either of these situations, a skilled workers’ comp attorney can collect evidence and negotiate with the insurance company in an effort to resolve problems with the claim so that employees receive the amount of benefits to which they are legally entitled. A lawyer can also represent workers in appeals before the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
When to Contact an Arizona Workers’ Comp Lawyer
You don’t have to wait until your claim is disputed to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona. The best time to speak with a lawyer is before you file a workers’ compensation claim.
An experienced attorney can help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits, which reduces the likelihood of small errors that could hold up your claim. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney can handle any issues that may arise during the workers’ compensation process and represent you during appeals if necessary.
Get Help From an AZ Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
At Matt Fendon Law Group, our workers’ compensation lawyers treat you like family. If you’ve been hurt, we’re ready to stand up for you just as we would for any one of our loved ones.
Don’t settle for less than what you deserve in workers’ compensation benefits. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.