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Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission

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AWCC

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Adjudication - David Greenbaum, Chief Administrative Law Judge
It is the function and responsibility of the Adjudication Division to see that the primary purpose of the workers' compensation laws are accomplished. Specifically, that timely temporary and permanent disability benefits are paid to all legitimately injured workers who suffer an injury or disease arising out of and in the course of their employment, together with reasonable and necessary medical expenses, before returning them to the work force.

The Division is currently staffed by eleven Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), together with support staff for the judges. Eight ALJs have offices in Little Rock and three are located in Springdale.

Based upon the number of claims filed within each county, Arkansas has been divided into six geographic districts. ALJs travel throughout the state within an assigned district, conduct hearings when disputes arise between claimants and their employers and/or insurance carriers. They also hold joint petition hearings. Cases are assigned according to the county in which the incident occurred. Pulaski County cases are assigned to all ALJs who have offices in Little Rock as a means of balancing the overall caseload.

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Administrative Services - Leah Campbell, Administrator
AWCC operations are funded by a premium tax, limited by law to three percent, on workers’ compensation premiums paid by insurance companies writing workers’ compensation, on companies qualifying as self-insurers, and on public employers. The funds are collected and disbursed by Administrative Services’ fiscal staff. All purchasing, accounting, investments, budget analyses, and payroll transactions are the responsibility of this division. In addition, Administrative Services handles job announcements, interviewing, and selecting of applicants.

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Clerk Of The Commission - Carolyn Washington, Clerk
The Clerk's office was established to serve as a conduit for filing, processing and internal routing of pleadings, legal documents and other notices received by the Workers' Compensation Commission. This office is responsible for the assignment of all cases to the Administrative Law Judges and Legal Advisors. In addition, the Clerk maintains the required dockets for cases appealed to the Full Commission, prepares the record/transcripts for lodging with the Court of Appeals, reviews the record on appealed cases, certifies record composition, and certifies copies of documents from the commission files requested in writing from interested parties.

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Data Processing - Tom Leath, Data Processing Manager
This Data Processing Division is responsible for the automation of the Commission. The backbone of the system is an in-house developed application that captures data from the inception of a claim and maintains and updates this data throughout the life of the claim. The division currently maintains databases consisting of over 250,000 reported claims, 78,000 employers, 480 insurance carriers and adjusters, and various other supporting databases.

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Health And Safety - Patricia Hart, Administrator
Act 796 of 1993, created the Health and Safety Division which serves as a resource center on safety issues pertinent to employers and employees in Arkansas. Within the Division are the following sections: Accident Prevention Section, Rule 32 Program, Job Safety Information Section, and Education and Training Section.

To see the division's latest quarterly report, click here.

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Legal Advisor - Johnny Gregory, Administrator
The Legal Advisor Division is a dispute resolution system created to provide legal information and assistance to interested parties who have questions concerning the Arkansas Workers' Compensation law. The Legal Advisors are attorneys who know both the law and the procedures through which the parties must navigate during the claim's process. The division gives presentations at various conferences and meetings, and will make on-site visits to businesses. The Legal Advisors serve as a link between unrepresented claimants and insurance adjusters and often help resolve problems before they escalate into issues which must be litigated.

Legal Advisors also conduct legal advisor conferences.

The head of this division serves as General Counsel to the Chief Executive Officer; organizes and maintains the law library for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission; and collects and analyzes case opinions.

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Medical Cost Containment - Pat Capps Hannah, Administrator
The major function of this division is to oversee the Medical Fee Schedule which limits the reimbursement to providers for treatment rendered to injured workers and the administration of the Comprehensive Managed Care Program which was established by Act 796 of 1993. This division also issues Change of Physician orders.

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Operations And Compliance - Carl Bayne, Administrator
The operations unit of this division is concerned primarily with the processing of compensation claims filed directly with the Commission by parties other than the employer; receiving and establishing files for all First Reports of Injury; and monitoring insurance carriers via report cards under Rule 099.29 for the timeliness of forms filing and first benefit payments. The compliance unit is the investigative arm of the Commission, making certain all employers under the law have secured payment of compensation. Certificates of Non-Coverage are processed by the compliance unit.

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Self-Insurance - Mike Baker, Administrator
The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission Self-Insurance Division is responsible for the administration and regulation of the Self-Insurance Program in Arkansas. Commission Rule 099.5 governs the operation of the program. The division processes the applications for individual self-insurance, group self-insurance, group members, and applications for third-party administrators. The division prepares an annual renewal evaluation on both individual self-insurers and group self-insurers, subject to Commission approval, to renew the Certificate of Authority for Self-Insurance. The division prepares annual renewal evaluations on third-party administrators, subject to Commission approval, for renewal of their Certificate of Authority to act as a third-party administrator. The division also collects the workers’ compensation premium tax from the self-insurers and group self-insurers.

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Special Funds - Robin Mickel, Administrator
The Special Funds Division is comprised of two individual funds: the Second Injury Trust Fund and the Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund. The Second Injury Trust Fund was statutorily created to encourage employment of disabled workers by limiting, in the event of subsequent injury, the employer's liability for permanent disability benefits. Act 1415 of 2007 amended Arkansas Code § 11-9-525, by stating that no new claims shall be filed with the Second Injury Fund on or after January 1, 2008.

The Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund pays weekly benefits to permanent and totally disabled workers or dependents of deceased workers after the workers' compensation insurer has paid indemnity liability of $50,000 or $75,000, whichever is applicable by law. In an attempt to assure the solvency of the Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund, the AR General Assembly amended § 11-9-502, by increasing the compensation providers limit of liability to three hundred twenty-five (325) times the maximum total disability rate, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2008. (Act 1599 of 2007)

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Support Services - Candi Russell, Administrator
The prime focus of this division is to provide information to the public concerning workers’ compensation in Arkansas and to provide support to the Full Commission, Administration and all divisions of the agency. Support Services prepares and distributes information regarding laws, rules, advisories, forms, press releases, and surveys. Support Services is responsible for providing correct information for AWCC web page. This division coordinates the annual educational conference along with assisting in form seminars, health and safety seminars, employee orientation, special projects, and programs for the Commission. Support Services compiles and prepares the agency biennial report. This division is responsible for maintaining and operating all mail room activities for the Commission and supporting the district offices. Support Services oversees the Commission’s security and maintenance of its building.

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State of Arkansas
Workers' Compensation Commission
324 South Spring Street
P.O. Box 950
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0950
Telephone 1-501-682-3930 / 1-800-622-4472
Legal Advisor Direct 1-800-250-2511
Arkansas Relay System TDD 1-800-285-1131

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contact the AWCC Communications Liaison