Back injuries are one of the most common and painful injuries people can suffer. The consequences of this type of injury can affect multiple areas of their lives. In such a situation, it is easy to feel desperate, hopeless. However, there are ways you can fight to obtain compensation during your recovery. Our Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, explains the implications of a disability and whether you can qualify for Social Security benefits.
Do Back Injuries Qualify for Disability?
Back injuries are among the most uncomfortable and life-altering injuries anyone can experience. Most of the time, back injuries are the result of accidents such as a truck, motorcycle, or car accident. Additionally, back injuries are common in the workplace. For people who suffer from debilitating back injuries, things like going back to work and doing the things they once enjoyed may seem like an impossible task.
If you or a loved one can relate to this situation, you may wonder if you can obtain assistance for your disability. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain the benefits offered by the Social Security Agency (SSA). However, taking advantage of the benefits provided by the SSA will depend on your specific situation. Petitioners will need to go through a qualifying process which we will further explain below.
Do I Qualify for Disability After a Back Injury?
The SSA provides what is known as Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. SSDI is available to workers who are insured, thanks to their contributions to Social Security. Workers can accumulate what is known as “credits” over time. As a worker pays their SSA taxes, they can accumulate these credits, granting him or her the opportunity to receive SSDI benefits if needed.
SSDI is designed to make payments to an insured worker in the event of an injury that prevents him or her from working. However, you need to go through a five-step qualifying process to obtain the benefits of SSDI. The SSA will look at the following factors when analyzing your claim:
Do You Engage in Substantial Gainful Activity?
This is one of the first things the SSA will look at when determining your eligibility. The SSA has a limit on the amount of monthly income you can earn. This is called “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). For 2019, the SGA limit is of $1,220.00. There is a presumption that you are not disabled in the eyes of the SSA if you engage in SGA. For this reason, the SSA can deny your claim and you may be unable to obtain SSDI benefits.
Is Your Condition Classified as Severe?
To qualify for SSDI benefits in Arkansas, your injury or condition must be classified as severe. The SSA defines a severe injury as one that is expected to last for at least a year or that may result in death. In other words, not all injuries qualify to obtain the benefits offered by the SSA.
Is Your Condition Listed in the ‘Blue Book?’
In addition to suffering from a severe injury or condition, that condition must be listed in the SSA’s list of qualifying ailments, known as the “Blue Book.” The Blue Book has a list of all conditions that may be eligible for SSDI benefits. However, there may be instances where your condition is not individually listed in the book. In such a situation, your condition may come close enough to one of the listed conditions that qualify for disability benefits, and it may qualify. A skilled disability benefits attorney can further explain this process and how it may affect your claim.
Can You Perform Your Previous Job?
The SSA will look into whether you are able to perform your former job. Keep in mind that SSDI is designed to help disabled people; if you are able to perform your former duties, you won’t be considered disabled, and the SSA may proceed with the dismissal of your claim.
Can You Perform Another Job?
Similar to the previous requirement, the SSA will look into whether you can perform another type of job, even if it’s not related to your former one. If you can return to a different position and continue working, you won’t qualify for SSDI benefits.
Obtaining the benefits offered by the SSA will depend on the extent of your injuries and whether they meet the requirements set forth by the SSA. There may be times when your claim is denied. A skilled disability lawyer can help you appeal a denied disability claim such a determination. Additionally, you can obtain assistance applying for disability benefits in Arkansas.
Disability Claim Attorney Offering Free Consultations in Arkansas
Dealing with a back injury can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when it interferes with your everyday life. That is why our Arkansas disability claim attorneys fight aggressively and strategically to get the compensation you deserve to recover from your injuries. To discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today at (479) 316-0438.