workmenThe calculation of compensation rates for temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) or death benefits is different for seasonal employees than for year-round employees.  Year round employees are calculated based upon the best earnings they made in the preceding two calendar years.  But seasonal employees are calculated on the 12 months preceding their injuries. Further all income from all sources must be taken into consideration, so if the injured worker had more than one employer in that twelve months, that income must be considered as well.

If the injured worker's income was unstable in the preceding two years and circumstances changed just before he was injured (for instance, if he was going to school for a couple of years and then got a really good job), then he would be entitled to have his compensation rate determined based on how much other employees are making in the job in which he was injured.  But the insurance companies will pay only the minimum rate. The injured worker will need to file a claim to obtain the correct amount of money.

Keenan Powell has practiced  law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.

All consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on or call:  907 258 7663.



medical stuffMany times I've met with clients whose cases were damaged because they didn't take the right steps months before and their response is always, "I didn't know.  Nobody told me."

If that excuse makes you feel better, that's good but 9 times out of 10, it won't save your case.

So if you're injured at work, you need to meet with an experienced workers compensation attorney as soon as possible to find out what your rights are and what you need to be looking out for down the road.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.

All consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on or call:  907 258 7663.



Superior Court, District Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court judges get picked by the Governor and then the run for retention in the general elections.

When a bench opens up, interested attorneys send their name into the Alaska Judicial Council. The Council sends out a questionnaire to the members of the bar and the attorneys grade the applicants and make comments.  The highest graded applicants are then interviewed by the Judicial Council and the Council then sends a list of names to the Governor.  There is an opportunity for public comment before the names are sent up. The Governor can pick a name from the list or reject the entire list but s/he cannot appoint someone is not on the list.

(Magistrates and Masters, however, are state employees.  They apply for the job and go through the same process any other employee would.)

Periodically, the judges run for retention.  In my 30 years, I've never heard of a judge who lost the election after the Judicial Council recommended retention.  However, from time to time, judges do lose the election and that's because, usually, that judge has made a lot of people mad.  Mad enough to make sure everyone knows to vote against the judge.  In addition, there are people who may be following the Council's recommendation.  Attached is this year's recommendation:


xrayWhen you are referred for a PPI rating, the doctor will review your medical records, perhaps examine you, perhaps review a Physical Capacity Evaluation, and then refer to the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (6th edition) which lists nearly every kind of injury that can occur to a person and instructs the doctor how to evaluate the injury.  The Alaska Workers Compensation Board mandates the use of the AMA Guidelines, there is no getting around it.  However the doctor does have some discretion in classifying your injury based upon many factors, one of which is the amount of pain created by the injury.  Therefor it is important for the doctor to have all of your medical records, including your MRIs and x-rays, as well as a full knowledge of how the injury has impacted your life.

If you disagree with the insurance doctor's PPI rating, you can ask your own physician to review it and to refer you to someone who will do a PPI rating on your behalf.

If it has been some time since your injury and you are no longer being treated, or your treatment is only for pain and isn't going to improve your underlying condition, and you haven't been referred for a PPI rating yet, ask your doctor to do so.

The Law Office of Keenan Powell provides one FREE CONSULTATION regardless of whether or not you have been controverted.   To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.

For more information about Workers Compensation, see:‑wc.html.



Representative Stoltz (R-Chugiak) is introducing a resolution to elect the state's Attorney General and limit his (or her) terms.

The Attorney General is the highest office for the State's law department.  The person who occupies that office advises the Governor and supervises the law department making decisions on how to staff the law department. For instance when a former Lt. Governor refused to certify any voter petitions to change the law for election, the department of law created an elections section and staffed it.  It seems to have been absorbed since then.

Generally the Attorney General is appointed from a small list of the elected Governor's friends and supporters. The problem with this system is rather than have the Attorney General exercise independent legal judgment and advise the Governor regarding the constitutionality of what he (or she) wants to do, the Attorney General becomes part of the Governor's team and instead seeks ways to advance the Governor's platforms.

So electing an Attorney General would introduce the opportunity for independence between the Attorney General and the Governor.

On the other hand, the person who is elected will be another politician, someone who has the support and funds to campaign and someone who may have higher ambitions thereby introducing the opportunity for someone to use the Attorney General's office to advance his (or her) own career.

In the final analysis, if the Attorney General is elected we might get a good attorney in there.  The current system discourages that.  For more information:


First Friday: Jones/Haneline Photographs and book signing by Stan Jones, author of the Nathan Active mystery series, and mosiac art by Kay Haneline. Friday December 6 5 PM-8 PM. First Friday at Cosmic Café, 701 W 36th Ave, Anchorage, AK

First Friday: “Lyon and Lyons”. Painting by Linda Infante Lyons. Encausting paintings by Cheryl Gibbs Lyon. December 6 5PM-10PM. First Friday at Linda Lyon’s Studio, 3701 Mountain View Drive on the corner of Price Street, Studio #103, Anchorage, AK.

Christmas in Spenard, December 03, 2013 until December 26, 2013,6:45 p.m. Tap Root, Spenard Rd, Anchorage AK.

Alaska Youth Orchestra Fall Concert, December 03, 2013, 7 p.m., Discovery Theatre, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Anchorage AK. The finale of the concert is a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 Finale. The concert will also include a guest appearance by the Alaska Dance Theatre.

UAA Percussion Ensemble-Hot World Grooves Concert, December 5th, 2013, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
UAA Fine Arts Building Recital Hall, 3640 Alumni Drive , Anchorage, AK 99508
Local: 907-332-3234, Website:

Anchorage International Film Festival, December 6th, 2013 - December 15th, 2013, Various venues. Website:

Native Peoples' Bazaar, December 7th, 2013, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Alaska Native Medical Center Authentic traditional Alaska Native art and handicrafts. There will be a vintage table and collectors table as well as masks, baskets, dance fans, ivory, whalebone carvings, slippers, jewelry, dolls, Christmas ornaments and gift certificates available. Cash and checks only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted. Entertainment includes singing, drumming and dancing. Admission is free.

Most injured workers, having not been involved in a workers compensation claim before, do not know that they do not have to pay for their own medical treatment.  But the hospitals and clinics surely know it, having been told time and again by Employee's and Employer's attorneys.

Nor can a provider send an injured worker's bill to collections.  In the recent case of Agcaoili v Providence, AWCB Decision No 13-0127,the Alaska Workers Compensation Board specifically ordered Providence to desist from efforts to collect fees from an injured workers. Agcaoili v Providence

Both charging an injured worker and sending his or her bill to collections is a violation of Alaska law.  Specifically, AS 23.30.097(f) provides that an employee may not be required to pay a fee or charge for medical treatment or service.  Recently the Alaska Workers Compensation Board stated that this provision applies to prescriptions as well.  It is the insurance companies' responsibility to ensure that prescriptions are filled and to make the necessary arrangements with pharmacies to ensure that there are.

If the insurance company handling your claim is refusing to pay for your medical bills or prescriptions, and as a result you are not obtaining medical treatment or medicine, then you may have a Workers Compensation claim and you should consult with an attorney.

The Law Office of Keenan Powell provides free consultations regardless of whether or not you have been controverted. To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.

For more information about Workers Compensation, see:


We’ve already had snow and it will be back. It’s a good time to evaluate whether you are prepared for winter.

Does your car after studded snow tires? It’s legal now to change them over. For safety’s sake, you should make sure that your brakes, head lights, brake lights and turning signals are functioning as well.

Have you cleared your sidewalk of fallen leaves? Leaves which left to decompose become slick and can cause someone to slip and fall.

If you don’t have salt or sand left over from last winter for treating your walkway, this is a good time buy some. You don’t want to be driving to the store on slick roads on a Sunday morning with everyone else when the snows hits. You should also make sure that you have an ice scrapper to clear your car for the inevitable dump.

You should also have adequate foot wear for walking across ice. If you slip and fall on someone’s premises and ask them to be responsible for your injuries, the first question they will ask is, what kind of shoes were you wearing?

If you are a home owner, check to make sure that you have adequate insurance to protect you in the event that someone is injured on your premises.

If you own apartments, you have a duty to make sure that the premises are safe and clear of snow and ice. It’s your job to make sure the driveways and walkways are clear. Leaving a bucket of salt by the front door for the tenants to use isn’t good enough. If you have the resources to finance an apartment complex and write it off your taxes, you can spring for a snow and ice removal.

Yoga for Chronic Pain. Tuesdays 12:15 PM-1:15 PM. October 8 - October 29, 2013. $50. Inner Dance Studio, Anchorage.  Taught by Jill Brekken, a physical therapist assistant.

Earth, Fire, Fibre XXIX, the popular mixed media art show often featuring Alaskan artists. October 6, 2013 - January 5, 2014. Anchorage Museum:

Oktoberfest 2013. October 4-5, 2013, doors open at 7 PM. Egan Convention Center, Anchorage. Sponsored by the German Club of Anchorage. Adults $15, Children under 12, $5 (presumably the kids drink less beer.)

3-D Fright Haunted House begins the cherished Halloween season. October 4-5, October 11-12, October 17-31. 6-11 PM. Northway Mall, Anchorage.

Make it Alaskan Festival, the popular crafts fair. October 5-7, 2013. Sullivan arena, Anchorage

It’s time again for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk. October 5, 2013 10AM-2PM. Park Strip, Anchorage.

Martin Short performs! October 6, 2013 7:30 PM. Performing Arts Center, Anchorage.

5th Annual Zombie Half Marathon and Kids’ Zombie 2K. October 12, 2013. Kincaid Park. Running in costume, not just a “Castle” episode.

The ever-popular Bead Arts Gala is back. October 14, 2013 10 AM-6 PM, Anchorage Museum.

Say it isn’t snow. But it will be soon. Learn snowshoeing basics. October 24, 2013 6-7:30 PM. REI, Anchorage.

Fiddle player Eileen Ivers performs with the Anchorage Symphony October 26, 2013 at 8 PM.

Spooktacular Ha-ha-halloween Show at the Snow Goose. Wear your costume! October 26 2013 at 8 PM.