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How Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas?

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Workers’ Compensation is a crucial form of financial assistance for people who have been hurt on the job.  This is especially true for individuals employed in certain industries, such as logging and construction, where the risk of injury is far higher than the average rate.  But regardless of what sort of environment you work in, an injury sustained in the workplace can lead to enormous medical bills and terrible physical damage.  When the worst does happen, how do you qualify for Workers’ Compensation? Fayetteville AR workers’ comp lawyer Ken Kieklak explains.

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover in Arkansas?

Before delving deeper into this topic, it’s important to understand what workers compensation is intended to cover in the first place.

Workers’ Compensation, often referred to simply as “workers comp,” is regulated in Arkansas by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission.  According to the Commission, covered health issues include “accidental injuries which arise out of, and in the course of employment.”

 These injuries must:

  1. “Cause internal or external harm to the body.”
  2. Be “caused by a specific incident.”
  3. Be “identifiable by time and place of occurrence.”

There are three exceptions to these rules:

  1. “Rapid repetitive motion injuries” (e.g. carpal tunnel).
  2. “Gradual onset back injuries.”
  3. Hearing loss.

Are All Workers Covered?

In Arkansas, the vast majority of employed persons benefit from coverage.  However, there are several types of positions and businesses whose employees may not be able to receive Workers’ Compensation.  Uncovered job and business types include:

  • Businesses with one to two employees
  • Agricultural workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Domestic workers
  • Maritime workers
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Religious organizations

How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last?

Provided your injury is included within the Arkansas rules and regulations (which can be viewed in full here), the amount of time workers’ comp will last for depends on your physician’s recommendations as a medical professional.  However, to quote the Commission:

The Workers’ Compensation Law provides for temporary total disability benefits while you are in your healing period and unable to earn wages.  If permanently and totally disabled, then you are entitled to benefits for life.

How Do Payments Work?

In Arkansas, you receive cash compensation on a biweekly basis.  The amount is set at just over 66% (66% and two thirds, to be exact) of your average weekly wage, and payments are generally non-taxable.

Depending on how long it takes for you to report your injury — which you should do immediately, by the way — you can expect to start seeing payments within about two weeks of your accident date on average.

Claims are handled through automatic processing, so if you think you may have been reimbursed incorrectly, don’t assume the figures must be correct.  You should promptly get in touch with your employer and/or insurance company to confirm that the data is all correct.

If you or someone you love was hurt at work and you’re interested in applying for compensation, an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can help facilitate the process and strengthen your claim for coverage.  To schedule your private consultation, call the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.  The state of Arkansas imposes strict limits on how long you have to file a claim, so don’t wait until it’s too late: get in touch today to start exploring your legal options.

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