The statute of limitations for filing a claim for workers’ compensation insurance varies state to state; each state is responsible for setting its own laws in regards to the workers’ compensation system.
In Phoenix, an injured employee should report his or her injury to his or her employer immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible. Upon being notified by an employee, the employer is required to file an Employer’s Report of Injury with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The employer is required to notify the Industrial Commission of Arizona via the Employer’s Report of Injury within 10 days’ time of being notified of the employee’s injury. However, keep in mind that an Employer’s Report of Injury is not a workers’ compensation claim.
It is the injured worker’s duty to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. This can be done by filling out and submitting a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury, or by filing a Worker’s Report of Injury. The injured employee is required to do this within one year from the date that the accident occurred or the date from which the employee’s injuries were discovered. You can download the Worker’s Report of Injury form here.
Upon the Industrial Commission of Arizona’s receival of the claim, the Commission has 21 days to deny or to accept the claim. In the event that the Industrial Commission of Arizona denies the worker’s workers’ compensation claim, the worker has the right to appeal the claim decision. To appeal, the worker must file a Request for Hearing. This request must be filed within 90 days of receiving the denial decision from the Industrial Commission of Arizona – if it is not filed within 90 days, the right to appeal is forfeited.
How to Appeal a Denied Claim
As stated above, the first step in appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim is to file a Request for Hearing with the Arizona Industrial Commission. The Request for Hearing form is found online.
After you have filed your Request for Hearing, you should receive a letter from the Arizona Industrial Commision that will tell you when your hearing will be and who will preside over your hearing. The person who will preside over your workers’ compensation hearing is known as an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. Usually, the waiting time before a hearing is approximately three months, although this can vary by case.
During your hearing, you will have an opportunity to present your case and demonstrate why you are deserving of workers’ compensation benefits. You can also have witnesses, such as doctors, testify on your behalf. You are also allowed to present any new evidence related to your workers’ compensation case that may improve your claim’s outcome.
After the hearing is completed, the next step is simply waiting for a decision to be made by the Administrative Law Judge. The amount of time that it takes an ALJ to make a decision varies, but on average, you can expect to wait approximately two months.
In the event that the Administrative Law Judge again denies your workers’ compensation claim, all hope is not yet lost; you still have the right to appeal once again. Again, there is a time limit for appealing – your appeal must be filed within 30 days’ time of receiving the decision from the Administrative Law Judge. To appeal, a petition for special action must be filed with the court. At this point, if you have not already hired a workers’ compensation attorney, it highly recommended that you do so.
In summary, know that while you can appeal a denied claim, you cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits, nor appeal a denied claim, if you do not file your claim within the time frame that is required under the law. If you are hurt at work, inform your employer of your injury and file your Employee’s Report of Injury from with the Arizona Industrial Commission promptly.