Volunteers of political subdivisions—public entities such as cities or school districts—are not automatically covered by the workers' comp policy.

SAIF does not provide workers' comp coverage for volunteers of for profit businesses. For Assigned Risk Plan policies, please contact your agent or SAIF representative for additional information.


A volunteer is someone who provides service for no remuneration and is not a regular full-time or part-time paid employee.

Volunteer coverage is considered optional and at the discretion of both the political subdivision and SAIF, except when the volunteer is a qualified county search and rescue volunteer who is automatically covered under the county's workers' comp insurance policy (effective January 1, 2010).

How to provide coverage for volunteers

A political subdivision using volunteer personnel may elect to cover them under its workers' comp policy by submitting a written request to SAIF. Coverage begins only after SAIF accepts the request and issues the policy endorsement.

A political subdivision electing volunteer coverage must obtain a formal resolution of the governing body declaring its intent to cover volunteers. A copy of the resolution must be kept on file and provided to SAIF upon request.

A written request to SAIF must include the following:

  • A description of the work to be performed
  • The estimated total number of volunteer personnel for each separate job category

Benefits for injured volunteers

If a policy is endorsed to include volunteers, they are entitled to the same benefits as the entity's paid workers. Benefits are paid in accordance with the law (Chapter 656 of Oregon Revised Statutes).

Assumed wages and record-keeping requirements

For public safety volunteer personnel (includes volunteer firefighters, police officers, ambulance drivers, rescue boat operators, and deputy sheriffs):

  • The assumed wage for each volunteer is $800 monthly for premium calculations and benefit payments. Higher monthly assumed wages are optional and available in $100 increments.
  • An official roster of volunteer names by category must be kept and maintained, and furnished to SAIF upon request.
  • Payroll is reported in classification 8411 based on the number of volunteers on the roster, multiplied by the assumed wage for the reporting period.

All other volunteer personnel (For example: at schools, libraries, parks, or camps)

  • Report the hourly assumed wage (established by the National Council on Compensation Insurance) in the job classification that best describes the type of work the volunteer performs.
  • Maintain a written record of volunteer names, dates worked, and number of hours worked.
  • Track each instance of volunteer work, including the date, time in, time out, and category of work.

Changes in volunteer personnel

SAIF must be notified when changes occur to your volunteer personnel. In some instances, there may be other record-keeping requirements to assure accuracy of assumed wage payroll and to assist with claim clearance. If so, SAIF will advise you as to what will be needed.


© SAIF Corporation  | | Legal and Privacy Information | ODVA Veterans