Ensuring the safety of employees is not just a responsibility of their employer, but also of the state within which they reside and provide their services. It is for this very reason that an administrative body that focuses on the enforcement of labor laws and protection of employee rights exists in the state of Arizona. It is known as the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and looks after matters regarding employee compensation, child labor, on-job injuries, and other employment-related issues.
However, to be fair to both parties, the ICA processes claims as well as complaints of both employees and employers.
The Governor appoints 5 Commissioners to a five-year staggered term, and these individuals are collectively responsible for determining the policy of ICA.
One of the most commonly received claims by the Industrial Commission of Arizona is that of the Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Under these benefits, an employee is entitled to the insurance cover in case s/he gets injured while performing duties relevant to their job.
All employers in the state of Arizona are liable to provide Compensation Insurance to their employees. Workers Compensation Benefits received under this plan make the affected employees’ lives easier by providing them with benefits such as reimbursement of medical costs, compensation for the wages missed during the time taken off for recovery, or ongoing wage compensation in cases where the employee is severely injured.
Under the head of ICA, there are 2 divisions:
- The Claims Division
- Administrative Law Judge Division (ALJ)
Ensuring that workers receive the benefits following Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law is the responsibility of the Claims Division. Thus, it monitors whether insurance companies are processing the claims filed by affected individuals on time or not.
Staff members from the Claims Department can answer queries regarding compensation policies or offer other general help, but in case you need legal aid, you’ll have to turn to the Administrative Law Judge Division. However, the process is routed through the Claims Division which first receives the request for legal aid, and then transfers the case to the Hearing Division of ALJ.
This division then resolves disputes between various parties such as the employer, claimant, and insurance companies. Examples of disputes that are handled by ALJ include a demand for supportive care, compensation for the loss of ability to earn, and the demand for reopening a particular claim.
Claims made to the Industrial Commission of Arizona regarding compensation benefits are handled by three members from this body, all of whom have different political viewpoints and affiliations. Thus, any decision made by the Commission is likely to be unbiased.
In case you are wondering how ICA funds its operations, be informed that the money it receives as premiums, is used to meet its operational expenses and for the settlement of claims. As of November 2019, it had paid more than $8,000,000 in response to various claims.
The ICA ensures the provision of justice by avoiding any shortcuts. This is reflected by the fact that not only employees but also employers are welcome to come forward with their employment-related problems and benefit from the facilities provided by this administrative body.
However, accurate and timely reporting of the accident by the employee to their employer and ICA is essential because it helps speed up the process: a clear-cut record reduces the chances of any misunderstandings.