As you may already know, workers’ compensation premiums in Alaska are the highest in the nation. Fortunately, there is an easy way for a school district or municipality to potentially reduce its workers’ compensation losses and its premiums, by having each employee fill out a Post Hire Questionnaire For Secondary Injury Fund Qualification. A copy of the questionnaire can be obtained by clicking here or by contacting APEI directly. The purpose of the questionnaire is to help the workers’ compensation insurer, APEI, get reimbursement from the state Second Injury Fund (SIF) for compensation payments made to eligible injured employees.
When Second Injury Fund reimbursement occurs, the total amount paid on the particular claim by the insurer is reduced, thereby creating a better claims record for the employer/insured, which helps reduce insurance premiums accordingly. The SIF was established as an incentive for employers to hire and keep employees with pre-existing conditions. If an employee is subsequently injured on the job and this “second injury” combines with the pre-existing condition to cause a condition substantially worse than the “second injury” alone, the employer may be eligible for reimbursement from the SIF for compensation benefits paid after the first 104 weeks.
Accessing the SIF can reduce losses and premiums. The Post Hire Questionnaire is the key to limiting the employer’s liability by getting the written information required for SIF coverage. There is no downside to having the questionnaire completed. It is recommended that every school district and municipality should make this questionnaire a part of the employment documents required of all new hires, along with the other employment forms such as W-4’s and group health enrollment forms.