Arkansas workers comp is a no-fault compensation system designed to provide guaranteed help to injured workers and financial protection for employers. It is administered by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission with offices in Little Rock, Fort Smith and Springdale. This program is a benefit for both employees and employers. Prior to workers comp, injured workers had to sue their employer to get payments for medical expenses and lost income. The process took many months and was painful for both sides. The current system is much more efficient and fair for both sides.
Although the law covers the majority of employees in Arkansas, there are a few exceptions. Federal employees are covered under Federal laws. Businesses with 2 or less employees may not be covered. Agricultural farm labor, domestic help, or employment by non-profit, religious,charitable or relief organizations is not subject to the law.
Compensation coverage is a right of employees from their first day on the job. There is no waiting period and there is no requirement to be at any specific level of income. If you have been injured at work, you should report the details to your supervisor immediately and arrange for medical treatment. Your employer or their insurance carrier will give you a copy of your rights for medical care. It is your employer’s right to choose the health care provider for treatment. If you decide to see a physician of your own, you may be responsible for all medical costs. Of course, if you need emergency treatment, your employer or their insurance company will likely cover that.
There is a waiting period of 7 days prior to payment of any disability benefits. If the disability last longer than 14 days, payment is issued for the first 7 days. Benefits are not paid for the first 7 days if the disability does not last 14 days.
Arkansas law provides three types of benefits: medical care, rehabilitation services and cash payments. Medical care covers doctors bills, hospital costs, medication and other medical items such as crutches and braces. There is no deductible. Your employer’s insurance company pays for all reasonable and required expenses. Rehabilitation includes care such as physical therapy to strengthen and recondition muscles as well as vocational rehab if needed. Cash payments are typically provided as “temporary total disability” payments. Payments are sent during the period while you are recovering and unable to work. The amount of these payments is based on 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage prior to the incident. There is a maximum amount set in the state law. These payments are not taxed.
Generally, compensation benefits are processed efficiently and workers receive benefits in a timely manner. But, if you feel there is an issue or a mistake with your claim, contact your employer or your employer’s insurance company. If you have ongoing issues, contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission office. workers compensation doctors near me Conferences can be arranged between employers, insurance companies and workers when required to resolve issues.
While workers in Arkansas have the right to represent themselves in the claim process, workers comp laws can be difficult to follow. It may be advisable to speak with an attorney that specializes in workmans comp to make sure you understand all the details and follow all the required steps.
Learn about the factors involved in considering workers comp settlements. What are the risks if you are the injured employee? Will you lose your wage benefits and medical benefits? Will you possibly have ongoing health issues that need treatment? Sometimes it makes sense to consider a workmans compensation settlement, other times it may be in your interest to avoid settling.
There are numerous Workers Comp Forms and they vary in each U.S. State. From First Report of Injury (FROI) forms to Claimant’s Confidential Information forms to Agreement for Settlement forms. Arkansas also has many forms for the workers comp process. They have a good list of these forms on the state website.
Do your homework and understand your rights and responsibilities under Arkansas workmans compensation law. This is a good system for assisting injured workers and minimizing financial risk to employers. However, it consists of many rules and requirements and there are many steps to follow and documents to submit. Make sure you know how to properly submit a claim and how to resolve disputes if you have complications along the way.