Although workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona are designed so as to get injured employees back on their feet as quickly as possible, Phoenix employees need to remember that they also have certain obligations that they must meet in order to continue to receive compensation for their medical bills and their lost income.
If an employee fails to meet these obligations, in many circumstances, an insurance company, or an employer that funds its own workers’ compensation system, can – without the permission of Arizona’s Industrial Commission – suspend the payment of all benefits.
For example, if an injured employee permanently leaves Arizona without permission, then benefits can be suspended. The Industrial Commission must give permission in writing for an injured employee to move out of state.
Also, an employee who is getting paid benefits for loss of income earning potential must file an annual report with the insurance company detailing the employee’s income from the previous year. Not doing so can mean that the insurance company suspends benefits.
Employers and their insurers also have the right to evaluate an employee’s illness or injury in order to determine whether they must pay compensation and how much compensation they must pay. If an employee does not cooperate, then the insurance company may refuse to pay benefits. An insurance company may also refuse to pay should an injured employee wind up in jail, but in that circumstance, the company must continue to pay outstanding medical bills and any child support garnishments.
Sometimes employers and insurers wrongfully suspend benefits. When this happens an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can fight to have the benefits reinstated.