Workers' Compensation: Emergency Responder
An emergency responder injured or killed while engaging in emergency management duties ordered by the State or a political subdivision is entitled to workers' compensation from either the State or the political subdivision in control of the emergency management.
Emergency responders - workers' compensation benefits
(a) (1) A person appointed and regularly enrolled in an accredited emergency management organization and covered by this chapter is limited to the Workers' Compensation Law, § 11-9-101 et seq., for benefits payable for an injury to or death of the person, if: (A) The person is regularly employed by a local government or the state; and (B) The injury or death occurs while the person is: (i) Actually engaged in emergency management duties either during training or during a period of emergency; and (ii) Subject to the order or control of or pursuant to a request of and under the supervision and instruction of the: (a) Governor; (b) Arkansas Department of Emergency Management; or (c) Chief executive or the designated director of a department, county, or an accredited local government unit making use of emergency management volunteer workers. (2) If a person described in subdivision (a)(1) of this section is a qualified emergency responder of the state or a local office of emergency management, then recovery is limited as provided in this section. (b) The remedy provided in this section shall be the exclusive remedy as against the state and political subdivisions thereof. (c) (1) For the purpose of workers' compensation coverage in cases of injury to or death of an individual, all duly qualified emergency responders shall be deemed local government or state employees and shall receive compensation, and their survivors shall receive death benefits in like manner as regular local government or state employees for injury or death arising out of and in the course of their activities as emergency responders. (2) If an emergency responder is injured or killed while subject to the order or control of a local government, compensation and benefits shall be charged against the applicable local government's experience rate and paid from the appropriate state workers' compensation fund. (3) If the emergency responder was under the order or control of a state agency when injured or killed, compensation and benefits shall be charged against the experience rate of the state agency who exercised order or control at the time of injury or death and paid from the appropriate state workers' compensation fund. (d) (1) For the purpose of subsection (c) of this section, the weekly compensation benefits for such emergency responders who receive no monetary compensation for services rendered as such workers shall be calculated based upon the wages received from their regular or usual employments, the same as a regular local or state employee, with respect to injury, disability, or death. (2) The reimbursement per day for approved out-of-pocket expenses incurred in response to an emergency situation, such as gasoline, oil, uniforms, required equipment, and other items is not considered monetary compensation for the volunteer emergency responder. (e) (1) In the event that any person who is entitled to receive benefits through the application of subsection (c) of this section receives, in connection with the injury, disability, or death giving rise to such entitlement, benefits under an act of the United States Congress or federal program providing benefits for emergency responders or their survivors, then the benefits payable under this section shall be reduced to the extent of the benefits received under such other act or program. (2) Any person who performs the duties of a member or trainee as an adjunct to his or her regular employment and who otherwise would be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits for his or her injury, disability, or death, if injured in the performance of such duties, shall be deemed to have been injured, disabled, or killed in the course of his or her regular employment. (f) An emergency responder shall be deemed duly registered and qualified when he or she is a member of and has on file in either a local office of emergency management or in the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management the following information: (1) Name and address; (2) Date enrolled; and (3) Class of service assigned. (g) Payments and death and disability benefits as provided in this section shall be made from the Workers' Compensation Revolving Fund for state employees.