Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Benefits: How to Apply

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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.) If you’re hurt or get sick while doing your job, follow these steps to apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits:

  1. Report your on-the-job injury or illness to your supervisor as soon as possible. You can seek emergency medical treatment first, if needed. Be sure to tell every doctor you visit that your injury or illness is work-related!
  2. Ask your employer which doctor is approved to treat your workplace injury or illness. You’ll need to file additional paperwork with the insurer if you want to change healthcare providers after that first visit.
  3. Your employer should give you Form N, Employee Notice of Injury, to fill out. You have two years from the date your injury occurs to apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits.
  4. Then, your employer has 10 days to file a First Report of Injury Form notifying the insurance provider. If your employer fails to file this form by the required deadline, the Commission may fine the company $500.
  5. If approved, you should receive your first payment about 14 days after submitting Form N to your employer. However, you must miss 7 calendar days of work to qualify for lost wage payments.
  6. For denied claims, you must first contact your employer or the insurance provider to try and resolve your dispute. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, you can contact the Commission directly by calling 1-800-250-2511. They will set up a mediation appointment between you and the insurer that’s called a Preliminary Conference.
  7. If you’re disputing the denied claim 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 more Arkansas workers’ compensation program 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 With Your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claim

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. And it’s especially hard for people with preexisting conditions to get their workers’ comp claims approved.

Your best option is to talk with a workers’ comp attorney when filing your claim the first time. A lawyer will offer you a free consultation when you’re getting started to answer all your workers’ comp questions. No attorneys will accept your case unless they think you qualify to receive workers’ comp 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 half your total litigation costs in a small, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits evaluation online now!

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