Just in the last six months, we’ve reviewed the claims files of several injured workers and discovered that the workers’ compensation carrier has not issued notices of claim status while each of these workers moved through the stages of workers compensation.
Carriers are supposed to issue notices of claim status that explain to the injured worker what decisions are being made regarding the claim, such as: 1) Whether the claim was accepted; 2) Amount of average monthly wage; 3) Changes in “status”, i.e., from off work to light duty; and 4) Whether the claim is being closed.
Notices of claim status inform the injured worker of what action is being taken on their claim, which gives the employee notice and the opportunity to respond (such as protest closure of the claim). Due process requires that the notices are clearly understood so that the person who receives them has enough information to take action based upon the information contained on the notice.
Letters from the workers’ compensation carrier or third-party administrator about a claims status aren’t enough because they typically don’t inform the injured worker of his or her rights under Arizona workers’ compensation law, or tell the injured worker how to protest a determination.
If you have questions about how your claim for workers’ compensation is being administered, call our office or consult with an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney of your choice for a review of your claims file.