Once your workplace injury or condition appears to have improved enough that you no longer need workers’ compensation, your claim essentially closes. You will not receive any further benefits like wage replacement and coverage of injury-related medical expenses when this happens.
Unfortunately, some workers that recovered in the weeks or months after the incident may relapse or aggravate their injury after the claim has ended. Many Tucson residents believe they will need to open a new claim if their condition worsens, but that is not necessarily the case.
You can petition to reopen a completed claim
Arizona residents may file a petition requesting that their workers’ compensation claim be reopened based on “new, additional or previously undiscovered” information about their condition or claim.
To reopen your claim, you must complete the proper form in its entirety and include documentation proving that you require additional benefits. Physician reports that include the following details can improve your odds of success.
- How your original workplace illness or injury has worsened
- The types of medical treatment your condition requires
- Evidence showing that your present condition arose due to the initial illness or injury
In the case of some injuries, it might make better sense to open a new workers’ compensation claim. If your condition involves gradual trauma (back injuries that only worsen, for example), you may get better results by starting a new claim.
In all situations, becoming more familiar with workers’ compensation rules and requirements can help you decide whether to reopen a claim or start a new one. Legal guidance can fill a vital role in helping you make these decisions.