In 2019, 6,000 workers’ compensation claims were denied out of 90,000 claims filed in Arizona, according to a report on Arizona Central. So how do people stay financially stable when they have been injured on the job, but their workers’ compensation claim has been denied?
Find out why your claim was denied, then determine if you have further evidence that could change the decision. If what you discover about the denial does not line up with what you know about your accident, then you must file for a hearing in front of the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) judge. File immediately for a hearing once you receive your denial notice. Then prepare for the long haul before you get the next decision which could be in your favor.
If you are off work because of your job-related injury, you need to have the income to pay your living expenses for you and your family. You also need money for medical bills.
When you first were hired by your employer, you may have been asked if you want money taken from each paycheck for short-term/long-term disability insurance coverage. Whenever you are offered this by any Arizona employer, always buy it because you never know when you might become very ill or injured in a non-workplace situation and need benefits coming in while you are laid off.
Medical bills are paid by your personal medical coverage once you pay your deductible. The keywords here are non-workplace illness or injury and whether you can collect this when your medical issues fall under the venue of job-related injuries, illnesses, and workers’ compensation.
Check with your workers’ compensation attorney first because you need to know if going on long-term (or short-term) disability insurance will affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation injury claim. Does the employer’s insurance company look at whether you are now on long-term disability and decide it does not need to pay your bills when it should be doing so? Does accepting long-term disability payments “imply” to the employer’s insurance company that the illness/injury is not work-related, thus invalidating your ICA claim?
Ask your attorney about is what happens if the claim is approved four or five months later after the hearing? Does workers’ compensation insurance then reimburse short-term/long-term disability payments as well as any medical payments made through your personal medical insurance group? Do they also pay you directly for any deductibles you paid out?
If your employer fires you while you are recuperating from your illness or injury, but before you get a new decision on your claim, will your short-term/long-term disability payments continue? Continued payments may simply mean that you are now personally responsible for paying the insurance company those monthly amounts that formerly came out of your salary each month.
Each case is uniquely different from other cases, even when there is a similarity of more than one variable. A denial of your worker’s compensation claim has a specific issue that is different from a similar claim that does get approved.
Arizona worker’s compensation laws can be complex, especially when there are unusual circumstances connected to a case. Do not be afraid to ask for help if your claim is initially rejected. Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 602-346-9009.
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