Arizonans who get injured while on the job are, generally speaking, entitled to two benefits under the state's workers' compensation laws. First, they are entitled to have their medical bills compensated in full. Second, they are entitled to receive compensation for lost income if they wind up missing work for more than seven days because of an on-the-job injury.
However, the replacement income benefit has an important catch. Under Arizona law, no matter how much one actually makes, he or she can only bring home workers' compensation equal to two-thirds of his or her overall wages. Moreover, the law presumes that a person makes no more than $4,337.88. Again, this is without regard to how much an individual actually makes.
Sometimes, a worker and the insurance company may have a dispute over how to figure the worker's wage. While figuring one's wage may be relatively straightforward for an hourly or a salaried employee, it may be more difficult to accurately determine in the case of a seasonal employee or an employee who works on commission or gets paid according to the work performed. Generally, one's monthly wage is figured based on one's actual earnings within the 30 days preceding the injury.
Even though it obviously does not cover everything, replacement income offered through Arizona's workers' compensation system is an important component for any family's recovery from a serious work injury. Sometimes, disputes about how much replacement income is owed a worker may arise, and in these cases, it may be advisable for the injured worker to entrust his or her case to an experienced Arizona workers' compensation attorney.