Social Security Disability in Juneau, AK
This increase represents the most significant boost in monthly payments since 1983. As a result, anyone who needs this benefit or is at least 62 may have more help than they thought.
However, when you receive a denial, it can feel like you don’t have many places to turn. But, just as you may have more in payments than you believed, you could have more options to appeal or reapply. The details that you need to get started and work with legal counsel after reading our article today.
Social Security Disability in Juneau, AK
If you believe you are eligible, you must apply and receive approval from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
However, what happens if SSA denies your application for SSDI?
Are you confused because you meet all of the requirements? If so, you need to work with a qualified Juneau, AK attorney that has experience in handling denials.
Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance?
You should know the criteria for eligibility before trying to obtain SSDI benefits in Juneau, Alaska. Understanding this information can help you decide if you need help from the beginning.
The Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation helps determine if Juneau residents are eligible for SSI or SSDI. They look at medical records to determine if you cannot work for 12 months or more. If they find one or more of the following, they may decide you do not qualify:
- You have a partial or temporary disability
- Your doctor does not believe you need more than a year to recover
- You cannot provide adequate documentation
You have likely spent a great deal of time working in Juneau over the years, which bodes well for fulfilling the first requirement. You must have worked a specific number of years in a job where you paid taxes towards social security (FICA taxes). This time allows you to earn a certain amount of work credits to be eligible for SSDI. You can receive up to four work credits per year, and the number of credits you need for eligibility depends on your age when your disability began.
FICA taxes send 15.3% of your earnings to the federal government. Thankfully, you pay half of this levy, and your employer remits the rest. According to NerdWallet, this tax only applies to $160,200 as of 2023.
Qualifying Medical Condition
The second requirement is you must have a long-term, severe medical condition. “Severe” means the condition interferes with or prevents you from being able to perform primary job duties. Long-term means that your disability should last at least one year. Total disability means you cannot perform a substantial gainful activity for at least one year.
The updated list of qualifying medical conditions in 2020 for social security disability includes the following:
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Skin disorders
- Varying syndromes
- Kidney disease
- Hematological disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Digestive tract disorders
- Respiratory illnesses
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Senses and speech issues
- Cardiovascular problems
However, even if you have a qualifying medical condition, there are other considerations. You still might not be eligible if you are currently working in Juneau and making above a certain amount of money. The SSA refers to this as the work credit requirement.
For instance, consider the situation of a disabled applicant making $1,260 per month. The Social Security Administration will say that shows they can perform a substantial gainful activity. Accordingly, this judgment would disqualify you from receiving SSDI.
SSI vs. SSDI
If you are not eligible for SSDI due to the work credit requirement, you might still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSI is a federal program designed to help people with disabilities who have little or no income but do not meet the requirements for SSDI. Monthly payments go to people to help them pay for essentials such as clothing, food, and shelter.
Adult Public Assistance (APA) in Alaska supplements up to $362 per month for SSI recipients. However, receiving more than $841 monthly from the federal government can affect eligibility.
Juneau residents should also note they can receive Medicaid from the state government. This benefit assumes that you already received approval for APA payments.
How To Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits In Juneau, Alaska
Applying for SSDI benefits is a relatively straightforward process. But exceptional preparation is needed beforehand. Otherwise, it can become unnecessarily complicated. Here is what you need to know about your SSDI benefits application.
Step 1: Gather Appropriate Information
Before you fill out the SSDI benefits application, you must gather all pertinent information. Here is a list of some of the most common elements you should have on hand when you apply for SSDI benefits:
- A list of your diagnosed medical conditions
- Information about health care professionals you have seen, including their names, addresses, and the dates you saw them
- List of medication or treatments and the medical professional who prescribed them
- Information about work history, when you stopped working due to the disability, and the type of work you were doing before your disability
- Information about your vocational training and education level
- Employment information for the current year, as well as the two previous years, including your start and end dates and how much money you made
- If applicable, include information about military service and the dates you served
- Information about current or former spouses, including their names, social security numbers, and marriage/divorce dates
- Names and birthdates of children who are under the age of 18 or who became disabled before the age of 22
You should also include any additional information you think might be relevant to your application for SSDI.
Step 2: Apply Online
There are three ways to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits:
- Visit ssa.gov/applyfordisability
- Call the Social Security office at 800-772-1213 and schedule an appointment
- Go to your local Juneau, AK Social Security office to apply in person without an appointment
You should only apply for disability insurance when you have enough medical records to show eligibility. If you have not seen a doctor in a while, visit one a few times and get their recommendation before applying.
You can find the nearest Social Security office through the SSA website. Most Juneau residents will contact the office on 709 West Ninth Street. If you need assistance, you can reach them to schedule an appointment by calling (800)-478-7124.
Step 3. If Denied, Contact an Attorney
If you received a denial for SSDI in Alaska and believe you are eligible, your next step is to contact a Juneau attorney. They can help you appeal the decision by gathering your information and arguing why you need the benefits.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Juneau, Alaska
Have you been denied Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Juneau? If you believe you are eligible, reach out to a lawyer. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Alaska state lines.