Readers of this blog know that we focus on maritime law. Indeed, as the premier maritime injury law firm in Alaska, Washington and Oregon, it would shock our readers if we focused our blog on anything else. And, in a prior blog post, we briefly discussed Alaska’s Fisherman’s Fund, which we will focus on today.
The Fishermen’s Fund
The Fishermen’s Fund started in 1951 for the benefit of licensed Alaskan commercial fisherman when they are injured during fishing (both onshore and offshore). FF is funded by the fees that fishermen pay for commercial fishermen’s licenses and permits. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development was given the responsibility to oversee the FF, along with the FF Advisory and Appeals Council.
If a licensed Anchorage, Alaska, fisherman is injured (or contracts an illness related to their job), they qualify for benefits. These illnesses and injuries must be directly connected to permitted commercial fishing operations, they must be currently licensed for such work when the injury occurred, or the illness was contracted, in Alaska or in Alaskan waters.
You must begin treatment within 120 days of the injury or illness, and your benefits application must be submitted within 12 months of the initial treatment. And, you must document each treatment with medical notes.
You must file
It is your responsibility to file for benefits within these timelines. Even if your Anchorage, Alaska, employer or medical provider has offered to handle it, responsibility rests with you. And, if they make mistakes, those mistakes are imputed to you.
The two reports to be completed are the Fisherman’s Report of Injury or Illness (Form # 07-6125) and Physician’s Report of Injury or Illness (Form # 07-6126). Be sure to answer everything, including the physician’s comments.