Workers Comp Basics Explained By Our Certified Specialists
The workers compensation system was designed to cover an employee’s costs for medical treatment and other expenses for an injury sustained on the job and to provide compensation to replace a portion of the employee’s lost wages. An important point to realize, as explained by our Phoenix workers comp attorneys Alan Schiffman and Javier Puig, is that workers compensation is a no-fault system in which the employee does not file a lawsuit against his or her employer for damages. Rather, a claim is presented to the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
Disability Benefits under Workers Comp
One feature of workers compensation is that all expenses are reimbursable, without regard to monetary limits or time. As attorneys Alan Schiffman and Javier Puig, both State Bar of Arizona certified specialist in workers compensation explain, a severe injury may render the injured employee unable to work for an extended period of time which can result in entitlement to either temporary total (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) may also be payable. Compensation while on temporary disability status or permanent total disability is at the rate of 66-2/3% of the injured worker’s loss of earning capacity. Permanent partial disability for an unscheduled injury (neck, back, shoulder, hip, mental and others - see our blogs about this issue) is compensated at the rate of 55% of the worker’s loss of earning capacity.
Workers’ Comp vs. Social Security Disability
Workers’ compensation is exclusively for job related injuries, but if the injury results in permanent disability, the injured employee may file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits too (SSDIB). It is a complex matter, but as our Phoenix workers comp attorneys and Social Security disability attorneys in Phoenix explain, an individual may be eligible for both workers’ comp benefits (either TTD, TPD, PTD or PPD) and SSDIB benefits, subject to the workers’ compensation offset provisions in the Social Security Act.
A workers’ compensation claim begins simply and immediately when the injured worker completes and signs the necessary paperwork at the doctor’s office or hospital which is then filed at the Industrial Commission of Arizona OR if the worker files the necessary paperwork at the Industrial Commission. The injured worker must also give prompt notification of the injury to the employer. The SSD application also requires the filing of a signed application. As noted by our lawyers Alan Schiffman, Javier Puig and Anna Schiffman, our Phoenix workers compensation attorneys and Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers, to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income Benefits it must appear that the claimant will be prevented from working and engaging in substantial gainful activity (as that term is defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA)) for at least 12 months or that the medical impairment is expected to result in death.
Why Legal Representation is Essential
Although workers’ compensation is non-adversarial, the insurance carrier often denies claims based on an employer’s objection or will seek to limit benefits based upon the opinion of a doctor it often hires because his/her opinion is often favorable to the carrier. As our State Bar of Arizona workers’ compensation lawyers in Phoenix see far too often, these efforts to limit benefits happen much too often. You have the right to retain legal counsel in your workers’ compensation claim to protect your rights. Hiring Alan Schiffman or Javier Puig, our State Bar of Arizona certified specialists in Arizona workers’ compensation law, costs you no more than hiring another attorney and may make the difference between obtaining benefits for your lifetime or not.
Contact Our Phoenix Workers Comp Attorneys
Most people who are injured have one priority: get better and get back to work. Sadly, for many, this is not possible. Understand your rights, and, if necessary, fight for your rights. Call us at Schiffman Puig, P.C. where one of our State Bar of Arizona certified workers’ compensation specialists can assist you. Call us at 602-266-2667 or 1-800-545-7372.