Workers' compensation laws are regulated by each state. In the past, injured Arizona employees had to stop working for seven full consecutive days before becoming eligible to receive workers' compensation. This meant they would miss out on much-needed benefits if they missed non-consecutive days or worked part-time while recovering from their injuries. Thanks to a recent court ruling, this is no longer the rule for those hurt at work.
The Arizona Supreme Court recently clarified workers' compensation eligibility rules in the court case Bell v. Arizona Industrial Commission. The ruling states that injured employees can continue working after a workplace accident and still qualify for benefits without having to miss seven days of work first. It is believed that this law will benefit both employees and employers, as it keeps employees active while recovering from mild to moderate injuries. The work gets done and employers don't have to worry about hiring temp employees or training others.
This ruling makes Arizona more comparable to other states when it comes to workers' compensation eligibility. There are some states that require injured workers to be off for only three full consecutive days in order to start receiving benefits.
Workers' compensation is available to those who are injured on the job. However, qualification for benefits is not automatic. There are waiting periods and guidelines that must be met, which vary from state to state. It is important for those injured on the job to understand their rights and get help when necessary. Sometimes claims are wrongfully denied and require appeals from qualified workers' compensation lawyers who understand the nuances involved.
Source: Phoenix Business Journal, "Injured employees can keep working and still qualify for workers' comp under new ruling," Mike Sunnucks, Feb. 10, 2015