If you have been injured on the job in Arkansas and your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Appealing a denied claim can be complicated, but taking the necessary steps to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law is essential.
Here’s how to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim in Arkansas.
File a Notice of Appeal
The first step in appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim in Arkansas is to file a Notice of Appeal with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC). This document must be filed within 30 days of the date of the denial. You can file the Notice of Appeal online, by mail, or in person at the AWCC’s office in Little Rock.
Attend a Mediation Conference
After you file your Notice of Appeal, the AWCC will schedule a mediation conference. This conference is an opportunity for you and your employer’s insurance company to try to reach a settlement agreement without going to a hearing. The mediator is a neutral third party who will help facilitate the discussion and try to find a resolution that both parties can agree on.
Request a Hearing
If you cannot reach a settlement agreement at the mediation conference, the next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). You must request a hearing within 60 days of the date of the mediation conference. The hearing should be scheduled within 90 days of your request.
Attend the Hearing
At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case to the ALJ. You will need to provide evidence that supports your claim and refute any evidence presented by your employer’s insurance company. Witnesses, including medical experts, coworkers, and supervisors, may be called to testify. The ALJ will decide based on the evidence presented at the hearing.
Appeal the Decision
If you are not satisfied with the ALJ’s decision, you may appeal to the Arkansas Court of Appeal within 30 days of the decision. The Court of Appeal will review the case and issue a written decision.
Knowing your legal options will help you take the proper steps if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.