ASEA Legal Services.

The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from Legal Services Plan participants and their eligible dependents. Plan limitations and exclusions apply, so it is important to consult the Plan Booklet on this site for specific details, and call the Administration Office if you have any questions.

Eligibility

Am I Eligible?
You are eligible for benefits if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are an ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 member, or agency fee payer.
  • You have contributions reported on your behalf.

Your initial eligibility will begin on the first day of the second month following the date you begin working in a covered position and have contributions reported on your behalf. For example, if you begin working May 15 your coverage will begin July 1. Your eligibility terminates at the end of the second month following the date you last worked and had contributions made on your behalf. For example, if you last worked in September, your eligibility would cease at the end of November.

Are My Dependents Eligible To Use My Benefit?
Your dependents and certain designated beneficiaries are eligible when you are, can use your legal benefits (if you consent), and are subject to the same Plan requirements and limitations as you are. Your dependents and/or designated beneficiaries are defined as:

  • Your spouse.
  • Unmarried children who are less than 19 years of age, live in your home and depend on you for principal support (50% or more).

The Affordable Care Act allows parents to cover their dependent children up to age 26 on their health insurance policies. Is the same true for ASEA Legal Services Plan participants?

No. Dependent children are eligible up until age 19, as long as they live in your home and depend on you for at least half of their support.

Does my benefit stop after termination of my employment?

Your eligibility for ASEA Legal Services Plan benefits will end when you no longer comply with all the conditions of eligibility as listed in the Plan Booklet, Part C, or you reach your maximum benefit for the Plan year.

If your eligibility for benefits ends, you may still receive benefits under certain conditions. If you began a legal matter that was not finished when your eligibility ended, the Plan will continue to cover the matter until thirty (30) days after your eligibility ends, your Plan year maximum benefit is exhausted, or the matter is concluded, whichever comes first.

Benefits

What will an attorney charge?
If you select an attorney in the Plan, he or she will charge up to $225 an hour for services covered by the Plan. Participating attorneys have agreed to limit their hourly fee to the rate the Plan will pay.

You may choose an attorney who is not on the Plan list, but you may have to pay any hourly charges above the $225/hr. that is allowed by the Plan.

Is there a limit on how much the Plan will pay in a year?
Yes, effective January 2018, you may receive up to $2,000 in benefits per Plan Year (July 1–June 30).

Is there a deductible?
Yes, you must pay a $25 deductible each Plan Year in which you use legal services under the Plan before the Plan begins to pay benefits.

Legal Issues

If the ASEA Legal Services Plan covers “landlord/tenant” issues, why I can’t I use my Plan benefits when I, as a landlord, have a dispute with a tenant?
When you are a landlord, you are engaged in a business venture, earning revenue from the property you rent. The Plan does not cover legal services related to business ventures. See the Plan Booklet, Part F, Exclusions.

Nothing prevents you from using a participating attorney in a dispute with your tenant; you just can’t use your ASEA Legal Services Plan benefits to pay for the services. The attorney may charge more than the negotiated plan rate of $225 / hour for non-covered services.

Other free or low-cost legal resources may be available to you, including:

I am a tenant and my landlord is trying to evict me from my personal residence. Can I use my Plan benefits to defend myself against the eviction process?
Yes. Since this is a personal residence, it is considered to be a personal legal matter, not a business legal matter. Therefore, you may use the Plan benefits for this purpose as long as you are an eligible participant of the Plan and have not exhausted your yearly maximum allowance. See the Plan Booklet, Part E.

I am a participant in the ASEA Legal Services Plan and am the executor of my mother’s estate. Can I use my ASEA Legal Services Plan benefits to assist with the probate of her estate?
No. The Plan provides up to one year of coverage for probate-related expenses for the ASEA Legal Services Plan participant’s death. You may not use your benefits for legal representation during the probate of any other family member. See the Plan Booklet, Section E.

My parent, who was covered by the ASEA Legal Services Plan, recently died. Can I use my legal benefit to settle my parent’s estate?
Yes. If your parent was an eligible participant in the Plan upon his or her death, the Plan will provide up to one annual Plan maximum benefit for probate expenses. Please contact the Plan Administration Office. See the Plan Book, Section C.

I was named as a beneficiary of my parent’s estate, but it is being disputed. Can I use my Plan benefits to protect my status?
Yes. If you are or should be named as a beneficiary or next of kin in your parent’s estate, you can use your ASEA legal benefits when you try to gain or protect that status.

Can I use my benefit for an employment dispute with my boss or a co-worker?
No. You may not use your benefits in any legal matter related to your employment. This includes any “judicial, administrative, arbitration or other proceeding problem or controversy” with an employer. For details, see the Plan Book.

Why do I have to use my Social Security number when I submit a claim? I would rather use my State of Alaska ID number.
The Trust relies on a report provided by the State of Alaska to verify your identity. Unfortunately, this report lists names and Social Security numbers but does not include State of Alaska ID numbers.

If you prefer not to include your Social Security number on a form sent by e-mail, let us know that when you submit a claim. Our claims processor will contact you when your claim is received and can add your Social Security number at that time. The Trust keeps all information it receives from the State and from the claimant secure and confidential.

Does the Plan cover Canadian attorneys or legal matters originating in Canada? What about other countries?
The Plan applies only to legal services, fees and expenses incurred within the United States.

Using Your Benefit

I have a legal issue. How do I get started?

  • Call or email the Plan Administration Office to check your eligibility at 1-800-325-6532, ext. 4236 or LTSadmin@alaska.net.
  • Talk with them to see if your matter is covered, confirm that you are eligible, and confirm the amount of benefits remaining for the Plan year.
  • If the matter is covered and you are eligible is, select and contact an ASEA-participating attorney.

Who Are the ASEA Legal Services Plan Participating Attorneys?
You may select an attorney of your choice provided (s)he meets the Plan’s eligibility requirements. The current listing of Participating Attorneys is available at the Administration Office or on the Attorneys page of the website.

Participating attorneys charge ASEA Legal Services Plan participants no more than the Plan’s maximum hourly rate of $225/hr. By providing this list of participating attorneys, we are not attesting to their abilities, just making available a list of attorneys who have agreed to charge no more than the Plan pays. If you choose a non-ASEA Legal Services Plan participating attorney, you will pay the difference between what that attorney charges and the Plan’s maximum hourly rate if their rate exceeds $225/hr.

You may also want to talk with your friends and acquaintances about who they recommend for your particular kind of problem or issue. The Alaska Bar Association also provides a free statewide referral service. Contact them at 1-800-770-9999 or 1-907-272-0352. For more information, go to alaskabar.org/for-lawyers/lawyer-referral-service.

How do I file a claim?

1. A “Request for Benefits Claim” form must be completed on a per-claim basis.

2. Print out the claim form, fill out the top portion and bring it with you the first time you visit the attorney’s office.

3. Your attorney must sign and submit the form to the Administration Office, along with an itemized bill for the services you receive within 30 days of providing services to you. Late submission of claims will result in no benefit being paid for the bill, so confirm with your attorney that billings will be submitted timely.

4. If applicable, you must provide a Certification of Domestic Partnership.

Roles and Responsibilities

What is the role of the ASEA Legal Services Plan Administration Office, and when would I use their services?
The Plan Administration Office exists to make sure participants get the most out of their Plan benefits and plays two important roles:

1. The Office is your best resource for any questions regarding Plan benefits: eligibility, termination dates, dependent coverage, and learning which legal services are covered.

2. The Administration Office works with the Plan Board of Trustees to oversee how Trust reserves are invested, handled, and distributed to pay for benefits. It controls and tracks deductibles, and any Plan changes or appeals.

Remember—the Plan was created for your benefit!

The Administration Office welcomes all inquiries and is ready to help you navigate any specifics of Plan coverage. The Administration Office can help you determine which covered attorney services may be useful for your situation, help you find a lawyer, and help you to submit your claim correctly.

You can find contact information for the Administration Office on the Contact page of the website.

What are my responsibilities as a Plan participant?

  • You are responsible for verifying that you meet the Plan’s eligibility requirements.
  • You are responsible for notifying the Administration Office of any changes in address. Unless otherwise instructed, correspondence will be sent to the mailing address provided on the claim form.
  • You are responsible for the attorney fees and costs not covered by the Plan. The attorney must use her/his own judgment in determining your ability to pay for services rendered. Collections of attorney fees are the responsibility of the attorney. The Plan will not be liable for any fees that remain unpaid.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that the Administration Office receives, in a timely matter, the required forms, itemized invoices and any additional information requested by the Administration Office. It is your responsibility to contact the Administration office to ensure that they have been received.
ASEA Legal Services.