Launched in May 2019, the new “ICA Community” online portal is not working as promised — for injured workers, defendant insurance carriers, and even for the Industrial Commission’s own employees.
It begs the question: What will Industrial Commissioners Dale Schultz, Joseph Hennelly Jr., Scott LeMarr, and Steven Krenzel do about it? If anything?
So far, here’s what we’ve seen just from the applicants’ side: 1) Delayed loss of earning capacity awards for injured workers with permanent disabilities; 2) Online webforms with limited fields that cut off vital information; and 3) Delayed issuance of average monthly wage determinations, which are vital to determining lost-wage benefits.
We’ve also experienced delayed decisions from ALJs, who were forced to work with a cumbersome new software system. Even worse, overburdened ICA claims and awards division employees have to navigate a “jerry built” system, which ultimately trickles down detrimentally to injured workers. Bad faith and unfair claims processing complaints languish for months without investigation or determinations, giving insurance carriers a green light administer claims with impunity.
What should injured workers do? Here, at Brian Clymer Attorney at Law, we make it our business to hold the Commission and carriers accountable as we fight to protect the rights our clients.
However, if you’re an unrepresented applicant, and you are waiting on a decision or loss of earning capacity award, your best recourse is to be polite and be persistent, and to call the Commission at 602-542-4661.
If an ICA division cannot help you, try calling ICA Ombudsman Robert Galyen at 602-542-3397. If that fails, then go straight to the Commissioners. The phone number to reach the Commissioners and ICA Director James Ashley — a Gov. Ducey political appointee — is 602-542-4411.
Tell them who you are and ask them: “When are you going to fix the problems you’ve foisted on the dedicated rank-and-file employees of the ICA”? Ask them: “When are you going to address the needs of injured workers, as required by our state constitution and state laws”?
Under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 23-107 (A)(2) and (6), the Commissioners have the duty and the power:
- to “administer and enforce all laws for the protection of life, health, safety and welfare of employees”, and;
- to “act as the regulatory agency insuring that workers’ compensation carriers are processing claims in accordance” with Arizona’s workers’ compenation statutes.
It’s time for the Industrial Commission and its Commissioners to do their job for our state’s injured workers.