System Office of Risk Services

UA VOLUNTEER SERVICES & WORKERS' COMPENSATION

General Coverage Information

The University of Alaska wishes to extend the protection of workers' compensation coverage to individuals requested by an authorized representative of the University to give time and efforts that provide an ultimate benefit to the University. Individuals who qualify to receive this protection through volunteer work are treated as employees for purposes related to on the job injuries. Treatment in this manner means that the exclusive remedy provision of the Alaska Workers' Compensation law also applies. Thus, individuals entitled to workers' compensation are not entitled to sue for damages for injuries, illness, or death. The System Office of Risk Services will determine eligibility for workers' compensation benefits based, in part, on the following guidelines:

  1. Volunteers MUST be working under the direct supervision of a PAID University of Alaska employee. Supervision by a University employee means that the Volunteer is given the means and the direction for the performance of the work.
  2. An individual is performing work where there is a legitimate need for services. The work for which the Volunteer is being recruited should be productive work for which payment would normally be made.
  3. Volunteers must be engaged in activities related to the business or operations of the University of Alaska. Such activities are defined as work that furthers the goals and missions of the university in education, research, or community service.
  4. Volunteers have the skills necessary to perform the work.
  5. The person authorizing the volunteer services is not a family member or co-habitant of the volunteer.
  6. For Volunteers under the age of 18, written permission must be received from campus risk management offices and from a parent or legal guardian. Contact your local risk management office to obtain this form. At least two weeks of lead time will be needed for the approval process through risk management.

In consideration of the benefits received by the University from the Volunteer's participation in University programs, the University agrees to provide the Volunteer all medical benefits and compensation afforded to its employees under the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act in the event the Volunteer suffers injury, illness, disease or death arising out of the performance of his/her services while acting in good faith within the course and scope of his/her volunteer duties in accordance with the directions of the Supervisor. The weekly compensation or medical benefits will be based on the minimum rate of compensation under AS 23.30.175. Compensation or medical benefits will not be provided when the Volunteer is eligible for workers' compensation coverage from any other employer or from any other medical or disability policy. Disputes regarding payment of compensation and medical benefits will be decided by the Alaska Workers' Compensation Board.

In consideration of the benefits received from participation in the work of the program and the protection offered by the University, the Volunteer 1) will provide immediate notice to the University of any injury or illness; 2) accepts the remedy provided by the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act as his/her sole legal remedy from the University if the Volunteer suffers a work-related injury, illness, disease or death while acting in good faith within the course and scope of his/her volunteer duties in accordance with the directions of the Supervisor; 3) transfers his/her right to recover from others who may be responsible for the injury, illness, disease or death to the University and/or its assigns; and 4) agrees to cooperate and to do everything necessary to enable the University and/or its assigns to enforce the right to recover from others.

The University does not insure loss or physical damage to its employees' personal vehicles, equipment, or other personal property nor will the University provide property insurance coverage for loss or physical damage to any Volunteers' personal vehicles, equipment, or other personal property.

Some examples of qualified Volunteers:Some activities where an individual is not qualified for Workers' Compensation Benefits:

Docents

Flower planting or gardening on campus grounds

Volunteer lecturers

Volunteer crafts/trades people who teach a skill in a UA class

Models in art classes

Employees from other universities or organizations doing joint research with the University of Alaska

Students in practicum, internship or work study programs

Students on class field trips

Spouses, friends, or family members traveling with a UA employee

Performers in theatre, music, dance, or other productions

Participants in club activities

If you have a question regarding qualification for Volunteer status, please call your local risk management office.

Injuries to Volunteers must be reported immediately to the System Office of Risk Management at Email ua-sors-dept@alaska.edu or Fairbanks Office orĀ  Anchorage Office.


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