Were you hurt on the job in Arizona? You are not alone. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that approximately 60,000 workers are required to seek professional medical care for a job-related injury in the state each year.
This raises an important question: What is the waiting period for workers’ comp in Arizona? The short answer is that there is a seven (7) calendar day waiting period for wage loss benefits. Medical coverage takes effect right away. Here, our Lake Havasu City workers’ comp attorney provides a guide to the most important things you need to know about waiting periods in Arizona.
No Waiting Period for Medical Benefits
As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that there is no statutory waiting period for injured workers to claim medical coverage through workers’ compensation. In Arizona, a worker who was hurt while on the job has an immediate ability to access medical care. Workers’ comp medical benefits in Arizona cover all the necessary medical care and services, including hospital bills, prescription medications, and rehabilitation therapy.
A Seven-Day Waiting Period for Time Loss Benefits
For time loss benefits—that being financial compensation for lost wages due to the inability to work—a seven-day waiting period is required in Arizona. What are the implications? An injured worker will not receive compensation for the first seven consecutive calendar days that they are unable to work.
Retroactive Workers’ Comp Benefits Will Be Paid If You Miss At Least 14 Days
In Arizona, if a worker is unable to work for at least 14 consecutive days due to a job-related injury, they will be eligible for retroactive workers’ compensation benefits. This provision ensures that workers are compensated for the entire duration of their inability to work, including the initial seven-day waiting period. This policy aims to offer additional financial support to workers facing extended periods of disability due to work-related injuries.
No Waiting Period for PPD Benefits, But Must Reach Maximum Medical Improvement
Unfortunately, some job-related injuries and occupational diseases are so severe that they may leave a worker with permanent impairments. In Arizona, an injured worker may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) if they cannot make a full recovery from the injury/illness. In Arizona, there is no statutory waiting period for PPD benefits. That being said, injured workers must reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before they can start receiving these benefits.
Broadly defined, MMI is the point at which a worker’s medical condition has stabilized and no further improvement is reasonably expected. After reaching MMI, if a worker is found to have a permanent partial disability, they will only then be eligible to receive PPD benefits. The absence of a waiting period for PPD benefits ensures that workers can receive the financial assistance they need as soon as their medical condition is stabilized.
Get Help From a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Arizona Today
At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys are compassionate, experienced advocates for people hurt on the job. If you have questions about workers’ comp waiting periods or the timeline more broadly, we can help. Call us at (877) 370-5788 or contact us online to set up your free consultation. With law offices in Tucson, Phoenix, and elsewhere in Arizona, we are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state.