Alaska Statutes Title 23. Labor and Workers' Compensation § 23.30.205. Injury combined with preexisting impairment

(a) If an employee who has a permanent physical impairment from any cause or origin incurs a subsequent disability by injury arising out of and in the course of the employment resulting in compensation liability for disability that is substantially greater by reason of the combined effects of the preexisting impairment and subsequent injury or by reason of the aggravation of the preexisting impairment than that which would have resulted from the subsequent injury alone, the employer or the insurance carrier shall in the first instance pay all awards of compensation provided by this chapter, but the employer or the insurance carrier shall be reimbursed from the second injury fund for all compensation payments subsequent to those payable for the first 104 weeks of disability.

(b) If the subsequent injury of the employee results in the death of the employee and it is determined that the death would not have occurred except for the preexisting permanent physical impairment, the employer or the insurance carrier shall in the first instance pay the compensation prescribed by this chapter, but the employer or the insurance carrier shall be reimbursed from the second injury fund for all compensation payable in excess of 104 weeks.

(c) To qualify under this section for reimbursement from the second injury fund, the employer must establish by written records that the employer had knowledge of the permanent physical impairment before the subsequent injury and that the employee was retained in employment after the employer acquired that knowledge.

(d) The second injury fund may not be bound as to any question of law or fact by reason of an award or an adjudication to which it was not a party or in relation to which the director was not notified at least three weeks before the award or adjudication that the fund might be subject to liability for the injury or death.

(e) An employer or the employer's carrier shall notify the commissioner of labor and workforce development of any possible claim against the second injury fund as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 100 weeks after the employer or the employer's carrier has knowledge of the injury or death or after the deadline for submitting a claim for reimbursement under (g) of this section.

(f) An employer or the employer's insurance carrier shall satisfy all requirements for reimbursement under this section, including notice of any possible claim and payment of compensation in excess of 104 weeks, before submitting a claim for reimbursement to the second injury fund.  Notwithstanding (a) and (b) of this section, a claim for reimbursement may not be submitted for an injury or death that occurs after August 31, 2018, and must be submitted before October 1, 2020.  An employer that qualifies for reimbursement under this section shall continue to receive reimbursement payments on claims accepted by the fund, or ordered by the board, until the fund's liabilities for the claim are extinguished.

(g) In this section, “permanent physical impairment” means any permanent condition, whether congenital or due to injury or disease, of such seriousness as to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to obtaining employment or to obtaining reemployment if the employee should become unemployed.  A condition may not be considered a “permanent physical impairment” unless

(1) it is one of the following conditions:

(A) epilepsy,

(B) diabetes,

(C) cardiac disease,

(D) arthritis,

(E) amputated foot, leg, arm, or hand,

(F) loss of sight of one or both eyes or a partial loss of uncorrected vision of more than 75 percent bilaterally,

(G) residual disability from poliomyelitis,

(H) cerebral palsy,

(I) multiple sclerosis,

(J) Parkinson's disease,

(K) cerebral vascular accident,

(L) tuberculosis,

(M) silicosis,

(N) hemophilia,

(O) chronic osteomyelitis,

(P) osteoporosis,

(Q) ankylosis of joints,

(R) hyperinsulinism,

(S) muscular dystrophies,

(T) arteriosclerosis,

(U) thrombophlebitis,

(V) varicose veins,

(W) heavy metal poisoning,

(X) ionizing radiation injury,

(Y) compressed air sequelae,

(Z) ruptured intervertebral disk,

(AA) spondylolisthesis;  or

(2) it would support a rating of disability of 200 weeks or more if evaluated according to standards applied in compensation claims.

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