In the United States, the first version of a Worker’s Compensation law was first enacted as a state-based constitutional law in Wisconsin in 1911. By the end of that decade, 36 other states had followed suit, with Arizona in 1925.
All 50 states now have a version of Worker’s Compensation laws available to employees of any business found in their state. Each state has a slightly different method of operation, but most are like each other in their foundation. You can find a state-by-state comparison here at NFIB.
Arizona, according to NFIB, has made it mandatory for any business that hires at least one employees (including full-time, part-time, minors, family members) to support Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Sole proprietors can choose to opt out if not hiring anyone but can also carry coverage if desired.
Those who are exempt are working partners, independent contractors, casual workers, and domestic workers who work in your home.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) is the state government body that oversees all issues concerning Worker’s Compensation within the state and its businesses. Businesses can apply to ICA to be approved as a self-insured employer and when approved and verified, are put on a public online list for anyone to see. There is also a list of self-insured employers who direct medical care below that. There are verification links for people to search for employers and verify if that employer had coverage on a certain date as well.
WCI is very important for you as part of your employee package. If you get injured on the job and are laid off, you will still have financial compensation coming in to help you pay bills.
Otherwise, you are in a very stressful position of not being able to take care of yourself, see a doctor, work another job, or pay your bills. The thought of losing one’s home just because of a job-related injury is terrifying to think about.
If you are injured on the job, tell your employer at once about the circumstances and file the needed paperwork as soon as possible. Make sure you keep copies of all your paperwork, including any medical reports you need to have.
Write up a detailed outline of the even when you got injured, including date and time of day, list of witnesses, and list any other events that occurred at that time. While you may have given this information to the employer, it is wise to have a more detailed summary for yourself.
Find a worker’s compensation lawyer and have a consultation about your situation and bring all your paperwork with you, including medical reports. Your lawyer can help you with navigating the complicated world of worker’s compensation laws and what you can expect when going to a claims hearing. It is your right to have fair representation.
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