As a result of Arizona Senate Bill 1403, effective September 24, 2022, the Arizona worker’s compensation statute will be amended to add section A.R.S. § 23-1061(N). The new statutory provision applies when an insurance company and/or a self-insuring employer receives a written notification of an injury from an injured employee who intends to file a worker’s compensation claim. Upon receipt of such notice, the insurance company and/or a self-insuring employer must forward the written notification to the Industrial Commission of Arizona ( “ICA”) within seven business days and inform the employee of the employee’s requirement to file a claim under A.R.S. § 23-1061(A) with the Commission. The new form for the insurance company and/or a self-insuring employer to file such a written notification should be available on the ICA website. A failure to do so by the insurance company and/or the self-insuring employer may result in relieving the injured worker of his/her requirement to file the claim within one year under A.R.S. & 23-1061(A).
It is important to note that this new statute also applies to existing injuries where the injured worker has not yet filed a claim. Interestingly, the statute does not define the term “intends to file a claim for compensation”. If a worker suffers a work related injury and informs the employer that he/she needs to file for benefits or is seeking to received medical care or compensation for lost work time related to the injury, the employer may want to consider viewing such statements or actions as an intent, on the worker’s part, to file a claim.