The Arkansas workers’ compensation laws serve many purposes. These include:
- paying temporary and permanent disability benefits to all legitimately injured workers who incur an injury or disease arising out of and in the course of their employment
- paying reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from such injuries or diseases
- encouraging the injured worker to return to the workforce
- improving healthcare delivery through the use of managed care
- minimizing medical costs
deteringand punishing fraud related to the procurement, provision, or denial of workers’ compensation benefits
- improving workplace safety
What is the AWCC?
Although the AWCC is not an insurance company, it does enforce the Arkansas workers’ compensation laws to ensure that all covered employers secure insurance coverage from commercial carriers or through self-insurance programs so they can meet obligations if an employee is injured in the workplace. The AWCC also regulates workers’ comp claim awards to insure that benefit providers make correct and timely payments to eligible claimants.
The extent of disability and the fairness of total compensation can sometimes be an item of dispute among the parties involved. Through its commissioners and staff of administrative law judges, the AWCC adjudicates disputed workers’ comp claims with binding decisions that can be appealed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court.
How the commission works
Appointed by the governor for six-year terms, a three-person commission administers the workers’ compensation laws in Arkansas. One commissioner represents the interests of labor, one commissioner represents management, and the chairman acts as a neutral party, representing the interests of the public.
The AWCC’s administrative and regulatory functions include:
- monitoring workers’ comp claims and benefit payments to injured workers
- processing settlements, lump sum payments, and requests for changes in physicians
- ensuring that employers maintain the required insurance coverage
- approving applications of employers to act as self-insurers
- participating in programs to explain the functions of the Commission to the general public.
The divisions that help carry out these functions include Adjudication, Administrative Services, Clerk of the Commission, Data Processing, Health and Safety, Legal Advisor, Medical Cost Containment, Operations and Compliance, Self-Insurer, Special Funds, and Support Services. All divisions operate under the direction of a Chief Executive Officer.
Workers’ comp-related links
- Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission
- AWCC Rule 30 (Medical Cost Containment)
- AWCC Rule 33 (Managed Care)
- AWCC Rules Index (You will need to scroll down when you reach the page.)
- Arkansas Workers’ Comp Statutes
- Arkansas Self-Insured Association (ASIA)
- National Counsel on Compensation Insurance
Get started with your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Experts today. Contact us at (501) 227-5553.