BASIC (09-08)

DI 52120.025 Arkansas Workers’ Compensation (WC)

A. Types of WC payments

  1. Temporary Total (TT)

    Maximum period is 450 weeks.

  2. Temporary Partial (TP)

    Maximum period is 450 weeks.

  3. Permanent Total (PT)

    Limited to a maximum period of 260 weeks or age 65 before December 19, 2015. Effective December 19, 2015 or later, WC offset termination extends from age 65 to full retirement age (FRA). See 2015 Amendment in DI 52101.005.

    However, if the injury occurs after age 60, PT benefits are payable for a period of 260 weeks (even if after age 65).

  4. Permanent Partial (PP)

    Maximum period is 450 weeks.

  5. Disfigurement awards

    Compensation for serious and permanent facial or head disfigurement not to exceed $3,500.00. Awards for disfigurement are not payable until 12 months after the injury. Disfigurement awards are offsettable.

    NOTE: TT and PP are not paid concurrently. A worker cannot be totally disabled and partially disabled at the same time. If payments for both TT and PP are received, the PP begins after the TT ends.

B. Rounding down to the dollar

Beginning January 1, 1994, the weekly WC rates are rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.

C. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)

Beginning January 1, 1989, annual increases are provided effective January 1 for TT & PP.

D. Attorney fees

Attorney fees of 25 percent allowed.

If a worker prevails on appeal, in addition to the 25 percent, the maximum fee on appeals to the full commission from a decision of the administration law judge is $500.00. The maximum fee on appeals to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court from a decision of the commission is $1,000.00.

E. Retirement insurance benefit (RIB) considerations

Arkansas does not offset WC for SSA retirement benefits.

F. Lump sum settlements

  1. A compensation order or award of an administrative law judge or a single commissioner becomes final unless a party to the dispute, within thirty (30) days from the receipt by the worker of the order or award, petitions in writing for a review by the full commission of the order or award.

  2. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC), through its three Commissioners and a staff of Administrative Law Judges, adjudicate disputed workers' compensation cases with binding decisions that can be appealed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court.

  3. In computing offset, exclude payments made directly to a wife. This is similar to Massachusetts' payments to a spouse for release of inchoate rights to death benefits.

G. Verifying WC

The Support Services Division in the Arkansas WC Commission (AWCC) can assist in providing and interpreting WC documents. Form SSA-1709 (Request for WC Information) should be used to request information by fax from the AWCC and does not require prior consent from the numberholder . We must specifically ask for Forms AR-2, AR-4 and JP (joint petition - if settlement involved) which will provide WC periodic payment information. Copies of Form AR-2 and AR-4 can be found at http://www.awcc.state.ar.us/revforms.html. Fax your requests on Form SSA-1709 to FAX # 501-682-2494. Be sure to include a return address on Form SSA-1709 and the reply will be sent by mail within a few days. The AWCC also has a toll free number 1-800-622-4472.  Their "Contact Us " page also has email addresses for individual employees in the Support Services Branch. Any e-mail correspondence should only ask general questions about how to interpret entries and not identify the specific case.

CAUTION: SSA policy prohibits sending SSNs or other personally identifiable information via e-mail outside of SSA’s Network. For more information, see procedure for sending SSNs via email in GN 03325.020C.

NOTE: The AWCC is not an insurance company. AWCC enforces the WC laws to ensure that all covered employers secure insurance coverage from commercial carriers or through self-insurance programs. In addition, the AWCC regulates workers' compensation awards to insure that benefit providers make correct and timely payments to eligible workers.

H. References

  • DI 52101.005 Social Security Amendments with Workers’ Compensation/Public Disability Benefits (WC/PDB) Offset Provisions