Suffering from a herniated disc can be overwhelmingly stressful. Your entire life can be turned upside down after suffering from a back injury affecting your discs. While it is easy to feel hopeless, you should know there are ways to find support for your condition. Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak invites you to keep reading as we explain whether you can get disability benefits for a herniated disc in Arkansas.
Can I Get Disability Benefits for a Herniated Disc in Arkansas?
If you are suffering from a herniated disc, chances are you are experiencing significant discomfort. Herniated discs can interfere with a person’s entire life. This debilitating condition can prevent people from doing the things they love, including earning a living. Fortunately, people can obtain assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA), provided they meet all the requirements.
The SSA can provide you with monthly payments to assist you with everyday expenses such as housing, medical treatment, and other necessities. Qualifying for SSA assistance is a complex process requiring knowledge and experience. It is always in your best interest to have the support of a disability attorney on your side.
How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits with a Herniated Disc?
To qualify for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by the SSA, you must meet five specific requirements. The SSA will ask the following questions to determine whether to accept or deny your claim:
Do You Engage in Substantial Gainful Activity?
Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is the term used by the SSA to reference the amount of income you make every month. The SSA has a limit to the amount of money you can make each month while still qualifying for SSDI benefits. As of 2019, the maximum amount of monthly income you can earn while still qualifying is $1,220. If the SSA discovers that you make more than this amount every month, you will be deemed as someone who is not disabled. Therefore, your claim may be dismissed.
Is Your Injury Severe?
Qualifying to obtain SSDI benefits requires your injury to meet the “severe injury” definition as defined by the SSA. In other words, your injury must be expected to last at least twelve months or to result in death. If your herniated disc is severe enough to meet this definition, you may qualify to obtain benefits.
Is Your Injury Listed by the SSA?
The SSA has a book called the “Blue Book;” in it, there is a list of many conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits. Once it has been determined that you do not incur in SGA and that your definition meets the “severe” threshold, you will need to see whether your illness or condition is listed in the SSA’s book. There may be instances where your condition is not explicitly listed; however, if your condition is close to one of those listed, that can be enough to qualify you.
Can You Return to Your Former Job?
The SSA will monitor your claim closely to determine whether you can return to perform the duties of your previous job despite your injury. If the SSA determines you are well enough to return to your old position, your claim could be dismissed or denied. In such a situation, you may be able to appeal the SSA’s determination.
Can You Perform Any Other Jobs?
At the fifth and final step of the qualifying process, the SSA will look at whether you can perform another type of job, in the event that you can’t return to your former one. This may mean doing something different in another area of your workplace. If you can perform any other type of job, the SSA may deny your claim.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Disability Case?
The SSA system is intricate and confusing. This is especially true for those who have never been part of an SSDI claim before. Meeting the requirements established by the SSA requires knowledge and expertise. A mistake in your claim can set you up for failure.
Keep in mind that the SSA receives hundreds of thousands of claims every year; the chances of all those claims being approved are minimal at best. A skilled disability lawyer can help you successfully apply for SSDI benefits in Arkansas by guiding you through the qualifying process. Additionally, an attorney can help you during the denied disability benefits appeals process in the event your claim is denied.
Disability Attorneys Handling Herniated Disc Disability Claims in Arkansas
At the offices of Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, we understand how difficult dealing with a herniated disc can be. That is why we dedicate our practice to fighting aggressively and strategically to get the compensation you need. Thanks to our experience dealing with SSA claims, we are able to help you go navigate the complexities of the system. To discuss your claim in a free, confidential consultation, call our Arkansas disability attorneys today at (479) 316-0438.