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Arkansas Worker's Compensation Benefits

Important Notice: The following overview of Arkansas's worker's compensation (workmans comp) benefits is presented on an as-is basis. This information is believed accurate as of the date of authorship, but is not intended to provide a complete analysis of available benefits and may not reflect subsequent changes in the law. For a full review of Arkansas's worker's compensation law, or for a determination of how the law applies to a specific worker, please consult a worker's compensation attorney licensed to practice in the state of Arkansas.

Contents

Introduction

The Arkansas system of worker's compensation (workman's comp) is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. Worker's compensation insurance may be provided through a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers may be permitted.

Special Employment Situations

With some exceptions, employers with fewer than three employees are exempt from the state's worker's compensation act. Agricultural employers may secure worker's compensation coverage voluntarily, but are not statutorily compelled to do so. Employers may provide voluntary worker's compensation coverage for domestic servants.

Employer liability ceases six months after injury where no time is lost from work, or six months after a claimant returns to work, or a maximum of $10,000.00 has been paid, unless the employer waives rights or the Worker's Compensation Commission extends time and dollar limits.

Choice of Physician

The employer selects the initial physician who will provide care, with the choice being subject to change by the state agency.

Disability Benefits Provided

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly maximum and minimum payment amounts. Payments may continue for up to 450 weeks.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PPD continue for up to 450 weeks.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Physical rehabilitation benefits are covered under medical services.

Within certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death Benefits Provided

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's earnings. A burial allowance is available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for claimants are limited to 25% of indemnity benefits by statute. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.