WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS Workers compensation is a benefit system designed to help workers who have become injured at work.
However over the years, we the people of Arkansas, have allowed Big Business to much persuasion over our legislatures and as a result the effort of keeping cost and premiums down- far out weighs the needs of the lone injured worker.
TRUTH- 100% of the time the worker did not mean to get injured, however, 100% of the time the employer and the carrier mean to keep their cost down.
RETURN TO WORK ISSUES
A lot of employers and insurance carriers are very resistant to settling with an injured worker who is still working for the same employer.
Before maximum medical improvement (MMI)
There is no duty to return an injured worker to work. However, this will entitle them to workers compensation benefits. Therefore light duty is routinely offered. Any injured worker who refuses light duty will be denied indemnity benefits during the period of their refusal. ACA 11-9-526
However, the Court has not disallowed the argument on the terminated worker- Tyson Poultry v. Narviz 388 S.W.3d 16, 2012 Ark. 118 (2012) This case stands for the proposition that employers that fire injured workers, regardless of cause will pay them temporary total disability.
Duty to rehire- Meadows v. Tyson Foods 2013 Ark. App 182 (2013) This case, distinguishes Narvia, and finds that the Commission does not have to award wage loss for an injured worker fired for cause, it based this on the stated purpose of ACA 11-9-522.
Arkansas is an "at will State" some one can quit there job at will and they can get fired at will. If an injured worker has a scheduled injury (ie neck, back hips, shoulder) and is assigned a rating and not returned to work he has a claim for wage loss. ACA 11-9-522
A worker with an unscheduled injury cannot have wage loss above the anatomical Rating Regardless of the limitations with the exception of permanent and total disability. See ACA 11-9-521
Duty to retrain- See Arkansas Code Ann. Section 11-9-505. Please note any injured worker that refuses this can not have additional wage loss as a matter of law. Please also consider Arkansas Vocational Rehabilitation services.
Arkansas Code Annotated 11-9-505 benefits- This benefit does allow for the difference in wages for one year if not returned to work. Before a claimant is entitled to benefits under section 11-9-505(a), several requirements must be met. The employee must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (1) that he sustained a compensable injury; (2) that suitable employment which is within his physical and mental limitations is available with the employer; (3) that the employer has refused to return him to work; and (4) that the employer’s refusal to return him to work is without reasonable cause. Torrey v. City of Fort Smith, 55 Ark. App. 226, 230, 934 S.W.2d 237, 239 (1996).
SOCIAL SECURITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CLAIMS
Did you know that Social Security disability and SSI disability are NOT the same thing? The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is based on prior work under Social Security; and
Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Under SSI, payments are made on the basis of financial need.
The SSI program makes payments to people with low income who are age 65 or older, are blind, or have a disability. The Social Security Administration manages the SSI program. Even though Social Security manages the program, SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes. SSI is paid for by U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust funds. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible. You do not have to be permanently disabled to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. To qualify you must have a disabling condition that has lasted, or will last, for longer than 12 months or cause death within a year. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
AND DID YOU ALSO KNOW THAT:
There is a five-month waiting period before you can receive SSDI benefits.
There is no time limit on SSDI benefits. You can receive benefits as long as you are disabled.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), 66 percent of SSDI applications were ultimately denied in 2005.According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), 66 percent of SSDI applications were ultimately denied in 2005.
The system is complicated, so much so, that to win a Social Security claim of any kind, you should consider getting a lawyer to handle the claim for you.
At the McNeely Law Firm, all we do are Workers' Compensation and Social Security cases. We've been to trial hundreds of times! Let us put our experience and knowledge of these programs to work for you. Contact us now.
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