In the state of Alaska, it is important for you to know your workers compensation laws.
In Alaska, workers compensation laws have been created to protect the individual worker. The laws are compulsory, meaning that each employer must provide workers compensation if the situation warrants such action. There are waivers that an employee may sign at his or her discretion, but it is advised to seek an objective opinion before doing so, as this may not be a wise course of action. Naturally, this depends upon the environment you will be working in.
Full medical benefits are also to be provided to full time workers, especially when a special employment situation exists. It is important to have all injuries checked out and documented by a physician immediately after the injury or illness. Fill out your report carefully and leave no details out. Remember that your employer may also request you be checked out by a company-selected physician for his or her records.
If you are injured either temporarily or permanently on the job, you are entitled to disability pay. Disability pay is calculated based on your weekly salary, focusing on how much you would earn at base pay. This does not include bonuses like overtime, or holiday/travel bonuses.
If you are permanently disfigured, your payments will continue for the life of your disability. Your social security income will be affected by this, and in addition, it will make a determining factor on how much you will receive upon retiring. This will also be factored in by any other income you receive (i.e. your spouse).
If you die on the job, your surviving immediate family is entitled to death benefits. It is important to pay close attention to your agreement, and determine if you will receive burial benefits and how great the percentage of your pay your family will receive. Often these are subject to a time expiration cap, and this cap should be reviewed.
If at any time you are unsure of your contract or agreement terms, you should consult a lawyer. Remember that many insurance carriers insist you be thoroughly checked out before beginning with your company's insurance. It is advisable to know the terms closely in the event you development a fatal sickness or anything remotely similar. Be sure to explain this information to your spouse and/or children in order to prepare them. If you have a partner rather than a spouse, you will need to make special arrangements in order to qualify still.