Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Benefits: How to Apply

Important: We updated this article in February 2023 to ensure all information below is both current and correct. State law outlines who receives Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits and how the process works. If you were injured or got sick on the job, you should focus on feeling better ― not feeling anxious about the claims process.

We’ve gathered the information you need to get the benefits you deserve.

Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission requires all employers from Magnolia to Mountain Home with at least three employees to carry workers comp coverage.

Important: Federal, railroad and maritime employers are the only exceptions. They use a different claims process. Learn more about filing a federal claim here.

How to File Your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claim

Important: Seek treatment immediately if you require emergency or urgent care. Tell the doctor your injury or illness is work-related.

Every workers’ comp case is different, so your experience may vary. Most Arkansas workers’ compensation applications work like this:

  1. Ask your employer which doctor can treat you. After your first visit, you must file additional paperwork with the insurer if you want to change doctors.
  2. Get Form N, Employee Notice of Injury from your employer. Complete and then file the form. Important: You have two years from your accident date to apply for Arkansas workers’ compensation.
  3. Make sure your employer files a First Report of Injury Form with their insurer. The Commission may fine your employer $500 for missing this required deadline. Important: They must file the form within 10 days.
  4. Wait for a decision. If you’re approved, then you’ll get your first payment within 14 days. Important: You must miss 7 calendar days of work in order to qualify for lost wage payments.
  5. Take action if your claim’s denied. Contact either your employer or the insurer first and appeal your denial. If that doesn’t resolve the situation, then contact the Commission directly at 800-250-2511. They’ll arrange mediation between you and the insurer. If you want to appeal after mediation, file Form C to request an appeal review with the Commission. Important: We strongly recommend hiring an Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyer to help you appeal.

Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arkansans who missed work, transferred jobs or received restrictions spiked from 10,600 in 2019 to 18,800 in 2020 before declining to 11,200 in 2021. There were 24,600 Arkansas workers’ compensation cases in 2019 and climbed to 30,200 in 2020 before dropping to 26,000 in 2021. Service industry claims rose from 13,200 to 16,500 and fell to 13,500 during the same period.

Learn more about workers’ compensation benefits.

When you’re dealing with a work-related illness or injury, navigating the workers’ compensation system can be even more painful. And since your employer chooses the doctor who diagnoses your illness or injury, you may feel you weren’t compensated fairly.

Consider working with an experienced workers’ comp attorney for free, confidential claim assistance. These specialists typically work on a contingency basis, which means you aren’t charged a fee unless you win a cash settlement. You only pay a reasonable, one-time fee when your case is successful.

Want free expert claim help? Click the button below to sign up for a free phone call during regular weekday business hours:

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Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: