The relationship between an employee and an employer logically place some semblance of responsibility on both parties. An employee should perform all job duties as expected, appear for work as scheduled and ensure they are fit to work when scheduled. In exchange, an employee should expect an employer to provide a safe environment in which to perform job duties.
Should an accident occur at a workplace, many historically believed they would be protected and able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if a work-related injury prevented them from working. Some today question that process.
Problems plague workers’ compensation program
A recent article published by AZCentral.com indicates that many employees across the state experience significant problems when attempting to file or receive workers’ compensation benefits. At a minimum, the state’s program seems to process claims at an extremely slow pace, forcing injured employees who cannot work to endure even greater challenges as they must live without paychecks or workers’ compensation assistance for extended periods of time. Even after claims approvals, workers often wait long periods before receiving checks.
Workers forced to find other options
Some employees who require ongoing medical treatment for their work-related injury or illness at times must turn to Medicaid or their personal health insurance company for assistance. This shifts the burden away from the workers’ compensation program but that may not always be the appropriate response to a troubled system.
Claim denials and litigated cases
Last year alone, an estimated 6,000 claims for workers’ compensation benefits were sent for review by an administrative law judge. This means those initial claims were denied, forcing injured employees to endure even more work to get the help they need.