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Arizona Workers' Compensation Laws

You work hard in the Grand Canyon State; though as a resident, you have actually never visited the Grand Canyon. Instead, you spend your days taking care of retired folks, serving Suns fans, or maybe even building airplanes. If you were seriously injured on the job in Arizona, you will be thankful to learn that you may be entitled to receive benefits for the rest of your life under Arizona workers' compensation laws.

The table and explanations below contain summaries of important Arizona workers' compensation laws.

Time Limits for Filing Claims

  • Claims must be filed within 1 year of the date of injury (§23-1061)
  • 30 days to request a review of the Administrative Law Judge's Decision based on a hearing (§23-942)

Time Limits on Benefits

  • Benefits begin on the 8th day after an injury (§23-1062)
  • If disability lasts more than 14 days, the first 7 days of disability will be back-paid (§23-1062)

Benefit Amount Caps

  • Temporary total disability (TTD), permanent total disability (PTD), and permanent partial disability (PPD) = 66 2/3% of the avg. monthly wage (§23-1045)

Other Limits

  • Most heart-related and mental injuries are not compensable (§23-1043.01)
  • Claims can be denied if injury caused by disobedience (§23-901.04)
  • Compensation may be denied if you unreasonably refuse or neglect to submit to treatment (§23-901.04)

Benefit Types

Arizona pays medical expenses, compensation for lost wages, and death benefits. With regards to compensation for lost wages, it comes in the form of temporary total disability (TTD), permanent total disability (PTD), and permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. All three provide compensation equal to 66 2/3% of the worker's average monthly wage, and all three may continue for the lifetime of the worker.

Limits on Benefits

If you are injured at work, you are entitled to receive wage replacement benefits beginning the 8th day after you are injured. If your disability lasts for more than 14 days after you are injured, you will receive compensation for your first seven days away from work. For injuries sustained between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2017, the wage maximum is $4,521.92. Most heart-related and mental injuries are not compensable.

Care Provider Options

Employers in Arizona have the right to require you to be seen by a doctor of your employer's choice one time. After that single visit, in most cases you may report to the doctor of your choice. However, you will likely need to formally request to change doctors and you may need to submit a written request to the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Next Steps After Insurance Denial

If your employer reports that your injury was caused by disobeying reasonable rules and regulations, or if your injury has a mental health component, your claim may be denied. If your claim is denied, you must file a request for a hearing with the Industrial Commission of Arizona using the Request for Hearing Form. Your request will then be passed onto the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The first hearing is usually scheduled about 90 days after the ALJ receives your request. Hearings are legal proceedings where the ALJ listens to testimony, rules on motions, and considers any other evidence you submit. You may want an attorney to ensure that you present your best possible case.

What to Do If the ALJ Denies Your Claim

If you already requested a hearing and received an unfavorable decision from the judge, you should seriously consider speaking with an attorney. You may file a Request for Review within 30 days after the ALJ's decision is mailed to you. If you fail to meet the deadline, the ALJ's decision based on the hearing becomes final.

Have Specific Questions About Arizona Workers' Compensation Laws? Ask a Lawyer

Sometimes it's easy to file a workers' compensation claim and receive your benefits. Other times, however, it may not be so easy. If your workers' compensation insurance is refusing to pay for the first few days of your disability, your claim is partially based on a mental injury, or your insurance adjuster miscalculated your average monthly wage, you may need legal help. Contact a local personal injury attorney to help you get the workers' compensation you're entitled to receive under Arizona laws.

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