New supplemental income program available for volunteer firefighters

who enroll beginning in January 2020 — Te Association of Arkansas Counties Volunteer Fire Fighters Supplemental Income Program. Under current workers’ compensation laws, when a volun-


teer firefighter is injured while carrying out their volunteer firefighter duties, they receive a maximum payment of $20 per week for lost wages, for time in which they are unable to work due to the injury. Tis means that even though they may be losing wages from paid employment (full-time or part-time), those wages are not taken into consideration for their workers’ compensation benefits as a volunteer firefighter. Tis program was created to help fill a need in this area. For firefighters whose departments sign up for the supplemental income program, they will now be able to receive lost wages based on income from their current paid employment. Tis means that instead of receiving a maximum of only $20 a week in lost wages, they can now receive a total weekly lost wage (indemnity) benefit up to the maximum amount allowed by law based on income from their current paid employment, for up to 52 weeks. Tere is also an additional death benefit provided under this

program. Tere will be a single, one-time payment of $10,000, which will be paid to an eligible dependent under the workers’ compensation laws, if death occurs as a result of a compensa- ble workers’ compensation claim. Tis one-time payment is in addition to the funeral expenses already provided for volunteer firefighters under Arkansas law. To be eligible for this program, the fire department must al-

ready be covered by a participating member of the AACWCT. Ten the fire department may sign up for the program by en- rolling all volunteer firefighters in the department. If you are not sure if your fire department is a member of the AACWCT, call Kim Mitchell at (501) 375-8805 to confirm. If the fire department already purchases one or more lines

he Association of Arkansas Counties Workers’ Compensation Trust (AACWCT) is excited to announce a new supplemental income program that will be available to volunteer firefighters

of coverage by the Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Man- agement Fund (AACRMF), then the premium is only $20 per fire- fighter. Te minimum annual premium amount is $240, which will apply to fire departments that don’t have at least 12 firefighters to enroll. For fire departments that do not participate in any of the lines of coverage offered by the AACRMF, the premium is still only $30 per firefighter, with a minimum annual premium amount of $360, which will apply to all fire departments who don’t have at least 12 firefighters to enroll. Te lines of coverage offered by the AACRMF that qualify for the program discount are auto and property. If you do not already participate in one of these programs and are in- terested in the discount, give us a call so we may provide you with a quote for your vehicles and/or property. Te annual premium for the supplemental income program will be based on the roster received at the time of enrollment. Volunteer firefighters that are added during the policy term will be automatically covered with no additional payment until the next enrollment term. Coverage will cease for each covered volunteer when they leave the fire department. If a fire department signs up to enroll in the program after Jan. 1, 2020, coverage will be effective upon receipt of the completed roster and payment of premium. If you are already covered by the AACWCT, and you would

Brandy McAllister RMF Legal Counsel

like to increase the lost wage benefit available to your volunteer firefighters, give us a call to get started in this supplemental income program. Tere is no better way to show your appre- ciation for those who risk so much than to provide them maxi- mum coverage in the event of an injury while volunteering. For more information about the supplemental income pro- gram, contact AAC Risk Management Management Fund Di- rector Debbie Norman at (501) 375-8247.

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