The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Benefits Guaranty Fund (Fund) was established by the Alaska Legislature in 2005, and is applicable to injuries occurring on or after November 7, 2005. The Fund was created to assist injured workers who were injured while working for an uninsured employer, i.e., an employer who failed to have workers’ compensation insurance on the date of injury. The Fund’s revenue comes from civil penalties assessed against uninsured employers.
To qualify for benefits from the Fund, the following conditions must be met:
- The injured worker must have been an employee of an uninsured employer at the time of injury.
- The employee’s work for the employer must have been the substantial factor in the cause of the injury or illness.
- The injured worker must file a claim for benefits against the uninsured employer, and a separate claim for benefits against the Fund. Both claims must be filed within two years of the injury, or knowledge that an injury or illness was work related.
- The injured workers’ claim against the employer must result in an order by the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) to pay benefits to the injured worker.
- The employer must be found by the Board to be in default of the aforementioned order.
If the Fund pays workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker of an uninsured employer, the Fund has the legal right to recover those costs from the uninsured employer, including legal expenses. Therefore, it is in the uninsured employer’s best interest to pay benefits to the injured worker, or provide a defense against the injured workers’ claim for benefits.