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Workers Compensation in Alaska

Jason Metz

Alaska requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance can pay medical bills and some lost income for an employee who gets hurt or sick while doing work-related tasks. Work injuries that might be covered range from carpal tunnel to burns to muscle injuries.

Alabama workers compensation law details who must be covered, exemptions from coverage and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Alabama. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Alaska workers compensation laws

Can any employees opt out of Alaska workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers can. Sole proprietors are excluded but can elect to be covered.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Alabama?

Yes, for individual employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Alabama typically include the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? N/A

Agricultural employers? No. Agricultural and farm workers are generally covered, subject to the exception that "harvest help" and similar part-time transient help are not covered.

Domestic employers? No. Domestic workers are generally not covered. An employer is defined under the statute as a person employing someone in connection with the business or industry. Part-time babysitters and cleaning persons are excluded from coverage.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? Yes, contract sports officials working amateur sports events, professional hockey team players/coaches covered by team-supplied health insurance covering both work-related and non-related injuries.

Alaska workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Alaska workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?

Yes, for chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy and palliative care.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee, however, if the employee is unable or doesn't want to choose, the employer may choose. The employer may establish a list of preferred physicians, but must inform the employee that they are not required to choose one of them.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Alaska

Workers compensation typically pays a worker part of their salary if they can't work due to an injury while performing work-related tasks. The amounts and length of both permanent and temporary disability payments are defined by state law.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

80% of the worker's spendable, after-tax, or net weekly wages.

Weekly minimum: $266

Weekly maximum: $1,211

Maximum length of TDD benefits: Continue until employee is medically stable or released to work.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

80% of the worker's spendable, after-tax, or net weekly wages.

Weekly minimum: $266

Weekly maximum: $1,211

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? No.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: If found to be no longer be permanently and totally disabled.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?


Paid in a lump sum amount unless the claimant is in a reemployment training program, in which case the benefits are paid at a weekly rate at $266 minimum and $1,211 maximum.

Fatality benefits under Alaska workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $6,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: $75 to spouse, $25 to one child, $50 to children

Dependency benefits, weekly maximum: $1,211maximum

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 19; however, there is no age limit for a child who is wholly dependent on the deceased employee and incapable of self-support by reason of mental or physical disability.

Other injuries covered by Alaska workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes, mental stress is covered if work stress was extraordinary and unusual compared to the experiences of others in a comparable work environment; work stress was the predominant cause of the mental injury; and the work stress was not the result of a "disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, termination, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer."

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? No.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report