Jan 292020
 

Hearing Today on Eliminating Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Alaska Senate

01/28/20 Liz Carey



Anchorage, AK (WorkersCompensation.com) – Hearings on whether or not to eliminate Alaska’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission will begin today, officials there say.

The Alaska Senate Labor and Commerce Committee will discuss SB 76, introduced last year by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage. The bill would repeal the commission and move all reviews or appeals of decisions by the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board to the Alaska Superior Court. The bill would only impact claims filed after June 1, 2019.

According to a statement from Wielechowski’s office when the bill was filed in March of 2019, the commission has seen its caseload decline recently, from 49 cases in 2007 to only 20 cases in 2016. The commission was created in 2005.

Moving the appeals to the Superior Court system could save the state an estimated $400,000 a year, Wielechowski said. Alaska faced a budget deficit of nearly $1.4 billion in 2018, but budget cuts by Gov. Michael Dunleavy have brought the deficit down to just $730 million.

They probably were as useless as the Alberta Appeals Board. It took nearly two years in a claim I was representing a worker, for the Alberta Appeals Commission to admit they made a mistake if in fact it was a mistake. This admitted mistake can be found on Canlii Decision 2020-0001

By eliminating the Alberta Appeals Commission, this would save employers millions of dollars and reduce their premiums. What is the point of having the Alberta Appeals Commission when in most cases they support the decision of the DRDRB.

Gerry Miller