Alaska Workers’ Comp Benefits

Generally, employees start asking about workers’ compensation benefits when they or someone they work with has suffered an injury or an illness caused by their job. This article will discuss the workers’ compensation benefits that are available in Alaska.

According to Investopedia [Workers’ Compensation Definition (investopedia.com)] “workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that pays workers who are injured or become disabled as a result of their job”. Alaska workers’ compensation in Anchorage pays out four separate types of benefits for injured workers, these include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Cash benefits
  • Supplemental benefits
  • Death benefits

Medical benefits – medical benefits are payments that are made in respect of medical treatment for a work-related injury or illness. There exists no maximum threshold with regards to medical benefits. However, insurance companies will not pay for any other injuries or illnesses that are treated that are not related to the job injury. This is regardless of whether the treatment was administered or provided at the same time as that of the work-related injury. As a result, health care providers must not bill the insurance carrier for any medical treatment not related to the work injury or illness. Such bills should be directed to the patient. It must be noted that all employees have the right to get all the necessary medical treatment immediately after the work-related injury or illness. It is important to note that some businesses may choose to contract a certified workers’ compensation health care network; if this is the case with your company then injured workers may need to get medical treatment by way of this network.

Disability benefits – disability benefits are also known as supplemental, cash and income benefits. There are basically four types of such benefits, these are:

  1. Temporary income benefits
  2. Supplemental income benefits
  3. Impairment income benefits and
  4. Lifetime income benefits

It must be noted that income benefits should not exceed the weekly maximum amount that is set by the state law. Further, temporary, impairment and lifetime income benefits minimum amounts are subject to state laws. The maximum and minimum benefit amounts depend on the state’s average weekly wages, however, maximum medical benefits are dependent on the annual adjustment.

Generally, injured workers will receive slightly over 66% of the average weekly wage in the form of temporary income or lost wages. However, as noted above this amount is capped by the state average weekly wage. If an employee is receiving any other income, besides the income benefits, they must report this to the Division of Workers’ Compensation and the insurance carrier in order for them to adjust their income benefit payments appropriately. If not, employees may be fined or charged with fraud. It must be noted that income benefits will not be paid after the death of an injured employee who was receiving income benefits. However, the injured employee’s beneficiaries may be able to apply and get death benefits if the injured employee’s death was as a result of a work-related injury or illness. The duration of payment for most disability benefits is between 2 to 4 years if it is temporary disability. Permanent total disability and permanent partial disability may be paid out as a lump sum settlement up to 65 years or for life.

Resource Box: For workers’ compensation Anchorage lawyers in Alaska AK, the author recommends the Crowson Law Group.

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