If you’ve ever been out on workers compensation, then you know it’s nothing like being on vacation. Some people are jealous when they learn a friend or family member is out on workers compensation. While it’s true that you don’t have to go to work when you’re hurt, that doesn’t mean you’ll be living on easy street. Not only will you be in pain, but you’re also going to be receiving a lot less than you made while you were working full-time.
No matter where you live in Arkansas, if you get hurt at work, you’ll be entitled to certain workers comp benefits. As long as your claim is approved, you’ll receive the following:
- Medical treatment for your work-related injuries
- Weekly replacement wages
- Continuation of any health insurance provided by your employer
There are only a few select group of employees who aren’t covered by workers compensation in Bentonville, Arkansas. For example, if your company has fewer than three (3) employees, they aren’t required to carry workers comp insurance. Or, if you work for the federal government or a railroad, you aren’t allowed to file for workers compensation. For most other workers, however, workers comp benefits are an entitlement.
If your claim is denied or you aren’t sure what your benefits are, it’s a good idea to call an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Who Qualifies for Workers Compensation in Bentonville?
In order to qualify for workers comp, you need to meet certain criteria. These criteria are the same no matter where you live. If you don’t meet these requirements, your claim will likely be denied.
The criteria for workers compensation benefits in Arkansas include:
- You are an employee and not a consultant or independent contractor
- Your company has more than three (3) employees
- Your injury took place on the job
- You weren’t drunk or high at the time of your accident
- You reported your accident or injury as required by company policy
- You were treated by a company-approved doctor
- You complied with all treatment recommendations
- You didn’t work at another job during your recovery period
There are times when someone thinks their claim will be approved and find out it’s denied. Sometimes this is due to something you did during the accident. For example, if you were drinking on the job, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied. Or, if you were doing something outside the scope of your employment, the insurance company may not approve your claim. For the most part, however, if you were doing what you were supposed to be doing when you got hurt, your claim will be approved.
How Much Will You Receive in Replacement Wages in Bentonville?
The law in Arkansas is very straight-forward when it comes to replacement wages. You’ll receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages while on workers compensation. So, if you earned $500 per week on average, your weekly benefit rate will be about $330. The most you can get per week is $522. This means that if you were earning $1,000 per week working full-time, you’re going to earn a lot less than 2/3. This is why so many people can’t afford to be on workers comp for more than a few weeks or months.
The law also dictates how long you can stay on workers comp. The maximum amount of time you can collect benefits is 450 weeks. That is an awfully long time. It’s more than 8 years. Very few people ever reach this maximum benefits period. If your injuries are purely mental in nature, you can only collect benefits for 26 weeks. These cases are rare but they do exist.
How Are You Supposed to Make Up the Difference in Wages?
One thing our clients ask is how they’re supposed to make up for the difference in wages they’ll get while on workers comp. Sadly, there is no good answer. You can’t apply for unemployment or disability to make up the difference. The only possible option would be if you purchased some kind of supplemental insurance. Even then, there’s no guarantee this will cover the difference in wages.
Speak with an Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer in Bentonville As Soon as Possible
If you get hurt at work, it’s a good idea to meet with a skilled workers comp lawyer in Bentonville as soon as possible. There’s no guarantee your claim will be approved. It’s better to have an attorney by your side if it’s denied. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation with our office.