Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Arizona
When Arizona employees are hurt or sick on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be a vital lifeline to prevent them from running into financial problems. Workers’ comp provides coverage for qualifying employees’ medical treatment and a portion of their lost wages while they recover. If you were injured during the course of your regular work-related duties, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, securing workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona is not always easy. A skilled workers’ comp attorney at Matt Fendon Law Group can make all the difference as you pursue the benefits you’re owed. We are The Rock for injured workers.
Whether you are just beginning the application process or need to appeal a denial, our workers’ compensation attorneys can represent you every step of the way. Call or contact us for a free consultation.
About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Most employers in Arizona are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to assist their employees if they are injured or diagnosed with an occupational illness. Most workers who are injured on the job are eligible for workers’ comp benefits, even if they are responsible for their own injuries.
If you are hurt at work, you must report the injury to your employer, who will then submit a report to their insurance provider and the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). You will also need to file a claim with the ICA within one year of your injury. If you receive treatment at a doctor’s office before you have the chance to submit a claim to the ICA, your doctor’s office can submit a claim for you.
Keep in mind that for your initial medical visit, your employer has the right to choose the doctor who treats you. Afterward, you have the option to choose your own medical provider unless your employer is self-insured, in which case they can choose your doctor indefinitely.
Eligibility for Benefits
Your employer must have workers’ comp insurance if they employ one or more full-or part-time employees. Employers are not required to provide coverage for independent contractors, casual employees, or privately employed domestic workers.
The following types of workers are classified as employees and eligible for workers’ comp benefits under Arizona law:
- Regular employees, including minors and non-citizens
- Corporate officers, unless they elect to be excluded
- LLC employees
- Regular members of volunteer fire departments
- Regular members of volunteer sheriff’s reserves
- Volunteers at licensed healthcare institutions
If you are unsure of whether you are entitled to benefits, a workers’ compensation lawyer can determine that for you. Sometimes, employees are misclassified, which can cause them to be denied workers’ comp benefits that they rightfully deserve.
What Am I Entitled To?
You could be entitled to a range of workers’ comp benefits. The type and value of the benefits you could recover will vary based on the nature and extent of your injuries, your average monthly earnings, and the length of time you are unable to work.
Typical workers’ compensation benefits include:
Any reasonable and necessary medical expenses are generally covered by workers’ comp benefits. This includes emergency room and hospital bills, doctors’ visits, prescription medications, and any other medical treatments related to your workplace injury. It’s also possible to claim expenses related to your travel to and from medical appointments.
If you were forced to miss time at work as a result of your job-related injury, you could receive benefits that cover some of your lost wages. How much you receive is based on your average monthly wage, which can include tips, overtime, meal allowances, and lodging expenses.
Workers’ comp benefits typically provide two-thirds of your average wages, subject to a monthly cap that is set by the state of Arizona every year.
It’s important to know that you are not eligible to recover benefits for lost wages for your first seven days of missed work unless you miss a total of 14 days or more.
For example, if you are out of work for nine days, you could only recover lost wages for Days 8 and 9. If you miss work for 14 days or more, you can receive wage-loss benefits from the date of your injury for the entire time you are out of work.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If you are forced to miss work for an extended period while you recover from your injuries, you could be eligible for temporary disability benefits. There are two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary partial disability (TPD) and temporary total disability (TTD).
TPD covers two-thirds of your lost wages if you can return to work in some capacity while you are still recovering from your injury. TPD benefits are for workers who suffer reduced earnings because they are unable to carry out their old jobs or work their usual hours due to their injuries.
TTD benefits are for workers who are temporarily unable to return to work in any capacity. TTD benefits provide two-thirds of your average monthly wages, plus an additional $25 per month if you have dependents.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to return to your previous job, you may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
PPD benefits are intended for injured workers who can still work in some capacity. The amount of benefits you could receive for permanent partial disability depends on whether your injury is considered a scheduled or unscheduled injury.
Scheduled injuries include amputations and losses of function in certain body parts. The amount of scheduled benefits you could receive is based on predetermined percentages set by the state.
By contrast, unscheduled injuries include general impairments and other types of injuries. The amount of unscheduled benefits you could receive is limited to 55 percent of the difference between your pre-and post-injury earning capacity.
PTD benefits provide compensation for workers who were injured so severely that they will never be able to return to work. Workers who qualify for PTD benefits can receive two-thirds of their average pre-injury monthly wages for the duration of their lives. Certain disabilities, such as permanent vision loss or complete paralysis of both arms and legs, are considered total and permanent by default unless proven otherwise.
Other Types of Benefits in Arizona
If a loved one dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, death benefits may be available for surviving dependents. Death benefits are based on the average monthly wage of the deceased and include funeral benefits of up to $5,000.