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Basic Facts

Basic Facts

What Employers Should Know

  • Most employers in Arkansas with three or more employees are required by law to have Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for their employees.
  • There are exceptions to the three-or-more requirement, so employers with fewer than three should check with authorities before assuming they do not fall under the Workers’ Compensation laws. Employers in doubt may contact their agent or the Commission’s Information Officer, its Operations/Compliance Division, or the Legal Advisor Division.
  • The insurance is purchased by the employer; no part of it should be paid for by employees or deducted from their pay.
  • The coverage is provided through a Workers’ Compensation insurance policy or by the employer receiving state approval to be self-insured for such purposes. Any other arrangement by the employer’s representative may constitute fraud.
  • Employers failing to comply with these laws may be subject to penalties by the state and, in addition, may lose protections afforded them by Workers’ Compensation insurance and the laws of the state.

Employers whose Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage cannot be verified by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission will be contacted in one of three ways:

  • A letter requesting the employer contact the insurance representative and ask that proof of coverage be filed at the AWCC;
  • A questionnaire from the Operations/Compliance Division if there is no record of insurance renewal on file at the AWCC;
  • An on-site visit to the employer’s place of business if written communication is unproductive.

All employers with current coverage must have a poster of instructions (Form P) on display in the workplace. Again, employers may lose some of the protection provided them if they fail to post these directions.

Employers or their insurance representatives have the right to choose doctor(s) to treat injured workers, but notice of these choices must be given to employees. If the employer’s representative has a managed care organization (MCO) for work-related injuries, a health notice (Form H) must be posted at the business. MCO regulations are found in Rule 099.33.

Providers who bill employees for treatment of Workers’ Compensation injuries should be reported by the worker to the employer, who then should inform its insurance representative.

Employers who receive bills from the medical providers should send them immediately to their insurance representative for prompt handling. Delays in forwarding these bills may interfere with the treatment and prescriptions that are due the injured worker.

If Form P is posted, employers have the right to expect injured workers to give written notice (Form N) of the accident according to instructions on the poster. Form N is sent by the employers to their insurance representative.

Once employers have notice of an accident:

  • They are required by law on Form P to give notice (Form N) to workers reporting injuries; the notice informs employees of their rights and responsibilities;
  • They must send the state’s version of the First Report of Injury (Form 1) to their insurance representative right away who, in turn, reports to the state for the employers.

Because benefits to workers can be delayed or halted by employers failing to file reports, employers are required to notify insurance representatives in a timely manner with:

  • Wage statements (Form W), if requested by the insurance representative, and
  • Supplemental reports (Form S) of any status change in employee’s condition.

Generally, the employer is responsible for Workers’ Compensation benefits to the injured employee for two years from the date of injury or, if it is a longer period of time, one year from the date of last payment for new benefits.

For help with their insurance policy, employers should first contact their insurance agent or insurance company representative.

For help in understanding any of the AWCC forms listed above or for general information on the AWCC rules, advisories, or procedures, employers may contact the Communications Liaison.

Information about their insurance coverage, if not available from the insurance company, may be available from the AWCC’s Operations/Compliance Division, along with questions about the certification of non-coverage program.

Information about being self-insured is found in AWCC Rule 099.05 or by calling or emailing the Self-Insurance Division at

Questions about medical bills, choice of physician, change-of-physician, or managed care may be directed to the Medical Cost Containment Division.

Employers in the Rule 099.32 program or those interested in the Voluntary Drug-Free Testing Program may contact the Health and Safety Division for assistance in improving workplace safety conditions.

For assistance in understanding the state laws on Workers’ Compensation issues, employers may call the AWCC Legal Advisor Division at 501-682-2707 or 800-250-2511.

What Employees Should Know

  • Workers’ compensation coverage is paid by your employer at no cost to you.
  • It is your responsibility to report a work-related accident as soon as it happens.
  • This coverage will pay for reasonably necessary medical care you need if you get hurt or get sick because of an injury on your job.
  • Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier has the right to choose the doctor who will treat you.
  • Workers’ compensation coverage will also replace part of your lost wages if your doctor says you must be off work for a certain length of time because of a work-related injury or illness.

For you to begin getting benefits, your employer must report the injury to its workers’ compensation insurance carrier by completing a First Report of Injury or Illness.

Go to the doctor chosen by your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Be sure to do everything possible to cooperate with your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier. If you do not, your benefits may be stopped or delayed. Be sure you:

  • Complete all workers’ compensation forms in a timely manner.
  • Keep all appointments.
  • Report any earnings you get after your injury to the workers’ compensation carrier.
  • Get approval from the carrier before receiving treatment. If you are not satisfied with the doctor first assigned, ask your claims handler or carrier to approve another doctor. You may also write to the Commission to request a Change of Physician.
  • Return to work as soon as the doctor says you can.
  • Keep all records in a safe place for future reference.
  • Be aware that your right to receive benefits and medical care may end if there has not been payment made or necessary medical care provided for a one year period.

Medical Benefits

Workers’ Compensation insurance pays for all reasonably necessary medical care related to your on-the-job injury or illness including:

  • visits to an approved health care provider
  • surgery
  • hospital care
  • physical therapy
  • prescription drugs
  • braces and crutches
  • other medical supplies when ordered by your approved physician

Before being treated, be sure you have the approval of your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. You are not responsible for the doctor bills as long as the carrier approves the doctor you are seeing. If you see a doctor without the carrier’s approval, you may be responsible for the bill. When you receive approved treatment, the doctor will bill the insurance carrier directly. If you are billed, send the bill to your employer or the carrier.

Payment for Lost Wages

If you have to miss work because of a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive some cash benefits (indemnity benefits). The waiting period for these benefits is seven (7) calendar days and must be at the direction of your approved doctor.

These payments can help you through the period of time you are disabled from your workplace injury or illness. Your coverage begins on the eighth day of partial or total disability. You will be paid for the first seven (7) days only if you are disabled for more than fourteen (14) days. These days do not have to be continuous calendar days.

If you have further questions, please call the Legal Advisor Division of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission at the numbers listed below. We can send you our Question and Answer brochure or you can speak directly to a Legal Advisor, unless you are represented by an attorney.

Legal Advisor Direct 1-800-250-2511
Legal Advisor FAX 1-501-682-6761
Telephone 1-501-682-3930 / 1-800-622-4472
Arkansas Relay System TDD 1-800-285-1131