Companies and businesses use Workers’ Compensation policies to compensate employees for the associated costs of injuries suffered while working. Workers’ compensation policies are required by Arkansas law for most companies and businesses, but they may still wonder: how much does a workers’ comp insurance policy in Arkansas cost? Continue reading as Fayetteville, AR Workers’ Compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law explains how much workers’ comp policies in Arkansas cost and gives other important information about how policies work.
How Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Priced in Arkansas?
Workers’ comp policies cost depends on the type of work that the employee performs. Employees whose work carries a high level of risk of injury will have more costly Workers’ Compensation policies than policies for workers in a field with a low level of risk of injury. For example, the odds of a construction work injury occuring is more likely than somebody that works in an office due to the type of physical work that is being done. Workers’ comp policies are priced per $100 of an employee’s salary. They are paid by employers, not employees, and are paid monthly.
Workers’ comp policies are valuable to both employees and employers in that they ensure that employees get compensated for the injuries they sustain while working, and they prevent employers from being sued. The following is information that can help both employers and employees understand workers’ comp policies.
Who Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Arkansas?
For-profit businesses that have three or more employees must get Workers’ Compensation policies. Exceptions are made for domestic help workers, agricultural farm laborers, and employees who work for charities, relief organizations, nonprofits, and religious institutions. Also, the State of Arkansas does not require Workers’ Compensation policies for railroad workers and maritime workers because federal workers’ comp programs protect them.
In Arkansas, the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission, also known as the AWCC, administers Workers’ Compensation policies. If a company or employer fails to comply with workers’ comp policy requirements, the State will consider this a form of fraud. The State will then ask the employer to verify their coverage, send a questionnaire to the employer, or conduct an on-site investigation of the employer’s place of business.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance
Workers’ compensation policies only cover injuries that arise during employment. The employee must have suffered an injury that caused internal or external harm to the body, which was caused by a specific incident that was identifiable by a particular time and place to be eligible for coverage. However, repetitive motion injuries and gradual on-set injuries (including hearing loss) also make an employee eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Mental injuries can be covered, but they must stem from a physical injury.
What Is Covered in a Workers’ Comp Insurance Policy in Arkansas?
Workers’ comp policies provide benefits to workers that were either injured while working or developed an illness or degenerative condition while working. While workers’ comp provides workers with benefits, it also prevents them from suing their employers. Exceptions can be made in extreme circumstances. The benefits in a workers’ comp policy cover medical bills and a partial recovery of lost wages while the worker recovers from their injury. Workers’ comp policies cover a wide array of medical expenses, including hospital care, prescriptions, physical therapy, ambulance rides, surgeries, medical devices and equipment, diagnostic tests, and more. Workers’ comp policies also provide workers with 66.6% of their weekly wage, tax-free.
In Arkansas, workers’ comp benefits can either be issued in a lump sum or as part of an ongoing plan. The amount of the lump sum will be determined based on the worker’s weekly salary and the length of time that they are expected to miss work. Be aware that some employers or Workers’ Compensation insurance companies may require employees to get medical treatment from a particular doctor.
Note that benefits may be slightly different for workers that are dealing with both Workers’ Compensation and child support in Arkansas. Additionally, the process of receiving benefits may also be different for Workers’ Compensation for union workers in Arkansas.
Types of Disability Determinations in Arkansas Workers’ Comp. Insurance
There are five types of disability determinations. The first is temporary total disability (TTD), which is an injury that causes a complete disability that is not expected to last permanently. Employees can receive benefits for TTD injuries for up to 450 weeks. Compensation is 66.66% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage, capped at $617 per week. Another type of disability determination is temporary partial disability (TPD). Benefits for temporary partial disabilities are the same as benefits for temporary total disabilities.
Employees may also receive benefits for permanent partial disabilities. This type of injury occurs when the injury or condition results in a partial disability that is not likely to improve. They can happen in any part of the body, except for the back, neck, and shoulders. Employees can receive benefits for permanent partial disabilities for up to 450 weeks and can receive up to $463 per week. Permanent total disability is a similar type of disability determination. It offers similar benefits to those for permanent partial disabilities -families of employees who die while working can receive up to $6,000 for funeral expenses.
Arkansas Attorney Available for Workers’ Comp Claims
If you would like to learn more about how Workers’ Compensation claims work in Arkansas and would like help accepting a claim or appealing the denial of a claim, our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorney for truck drivers, agricultural workers, and more can help. To schedule an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your policy, get in touch with us by calling (479) 316-0438.