The Benefits of the Alaskan Long-Term Disability Program

Sep 23

Facing a serious injury can be very intimidating. If the injury is so serious that you’re unable to work, you lose a way to support yourself and your family. It’s important not to lose hope in situations like these, and instead, take advantage of programs that can help keep you afloat while you work to rehabilitate yourself and get your life back on track.

In the state of Alaska, Social Security offers a long-term disability program that replaces the income of those that are unable to work due to injury. This program is an excellent option for Alaskans and should be the first place you look if you suffer a disabling injury.

The long-term disability program goes into effect 180 days after your final day of work. This six-month waiting period exists to demonstrate that you are disabled and unable to work for a period of six months, demonstrating that you really do need disability. After a period of two years, you must demonstrate your disability again. Throughout your time on disability, you must remain under a physician’s care and maintain a disabled certification.

These benefits continue for as long as you remain disabled, up to a certain age. This is age 65 if you are disabled before age 60, but only four and a half years if you are disabled after age 60. There are two disability payout rates, one at 50% of your salary, and another at 70% of your monthly base pay. Since these percentages are determined from your pre-tax income, your disability payout will be subject to federal income tax. This number excludes bonuses, commissions, or other situational income sources. The monthly payout can go as high as $8,000 or as low as $100. The government will deduct other sources of income from your disability payout, but cannot reduce it past the $100 minimum.

There are limitations to Alaska’s disability program, as well. You will not be considered for the program if your disability is a result of a self-inflicted injury, war or a riot, an action that caused the loss of a professional license, a crime, or an injury sustained while you were in prison. There’s also a limit of 24 months of benefits for disabilities resulting from drug abuse, mental conditions or illness, or muscular disorders.

If you have recently become disabled and need a source of income to support yourself or your family, Alaska’s long-term disability program is an ideal solution to your problems. If you qualify, you should waste no time applying for benefits. Make sure that you have extensive documentation of your injury, and explore options for local physicians who can confirm to the state that you are unable to work. If you are initially rejected from the program, don’t worry- there is a appeals process through which you can state your case in more detail. For this appeals process, it’s essential to retain a good lawyer to help you navigate the process and make your case to the review board in the most convincing way possible.

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