State law determines how you’ll apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury or illness. (Federal, railroad and maritime workers are the only exceptions that use a different claims process.) If you’re ready to apply for workers’ comp benefits in Arkansas, just follow the steps we’ve listed below. In addition, our interactive chart shows how the Arkansas workers’ compensation program changed between 2013 and 2017.
How to File Your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claim
According to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission, all employers with three or more employees must carry workers’ comp insurance. (Exceptions from this required coverage include any non-profit, charity or relief organization employees and agricultural farm laborers.) Follow these steps to apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation:
- Report your accident to your supervisor as soon as possible. Seek emergency medical treatment first, if needed. Be sure to tell the doctor you have a work-related injury or illness!
- Ask your employer which doctor can treat you. After your first visit, you must file additional paperwork with the insurer to change doctors.
- Your employer should give you Form N, Employee Notice of Injury, to fill out. You have two years from your accident date to apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation.
- Then, your employer has 10 days to file a First Report of Injury Form notifying their insurer. The Commission may fine your company $500 for missing this required deadline.
- If approved, you should receive your first payment about 14 days later. However, you must miss 7 calendar days of work to qualify for lost wage payments.
- If denied, you must first contact your employer or the insurer to try and resolve your dispute. Still not satisfied? Contact the Commission directly: 1-800-250-2511. They’ll arrange mediation between you and the insurer (i.e., Preliminary Conference).
- To appeal after mediation, file Form C to request an appeal review with the Commission. At this point, we strongly recommend getting an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help you.
Every Arkansas workers’ compensation claim is unique, so your own claim process may vary. Still have questions? Download this helpful questions and answers guide from the Commission’s website.
Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2013-2017
Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a report on workers’ compensation programs for most U.S. states. This report lists total claims, how many people missed work or changed jobs, and data for specific employment sectors. Our chart below shows how the Arkansas workers’ compensation program changed from 2013 to 2017:
The Arkansas workers’ compensation program shows big changes in total and service-industry claims filed from 2013 to 2014. Both categories fell about 16% year-over-year. In most years, service-industry workers file just over half of all Arkansas workers’ compensation claims. 2017 was the lone exception, when claims from service-industry employees jumped to 57%. However, a little less than half of all injured employees in Arkansas actually qualified for workers’ comp from 2013-2017. Only injured workers that miss work, change jobs or receive restrictions qualify to receive lost wage repayment benefits. That category fell 14% from 2013 to 2016, peaking at 46% of all claims filed in 2014.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
State law says your employer’s insurer must pay half your legal costs if a lawyer wins you benefits on appeal. Because your employer chooses the doctor that diagnoses your injury, you may feel your claim was wrongly denied benefits. In fact, it’s especially hard for people with preexisting conditions to qualify for workers’ comp.
Your best option is to talk with a workers’ comp attorney when filing your claim the first time. A lawyer will happily call you and give you free, no-obligation claim help over the phone if you qualify for legal assistance. No attorneys will accept your case unless they think your employer owes you benefits. That means you’ll never pay a penny for legal assistance unless your case wins. And if you do win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.