Accidents are part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans will experience a devastating injury caused by an accident in the workplace. Many of these injuries will require little recovery time, while others may persist for an extended period. One of the classic examples of injuries that can affect you to the point of being unable to work is neck injuries. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain compensation for your neck injury while you recover. Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, invites you to keep reading as we discuss whether you can get disability payments in Arkansas for a neck injury.
Qualifying for Disability After a Neck Injury in Arkansas
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides assistance to those who are injured and cannot return to work. This financial aid is known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is a federal program available to those who have accumulated enough work credits to qualify for financial assistance. Many people tend to confuse this type of financial aid with Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Unlike SSDI, SSI is available to those who have low income and are 65 years or older, disabled, or blind.
Understanding the difference between these two types of financial aid is essential to determine whether you qualify for assistance. Qualifying for SSDI benefits requires petitioners to go through a lengthy process comprising five conditions that a petitioner must meet; we discuss each one of them below.
1. You Cannot Engage in ‘Substantial Gainful Activity’
One of the elements you must meet when filing your SSDI claim is that you cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA refers to a monthly income beyond the limits imposed by the SSA. In other words, a person who earns income above the SSA’s limit may not qualify for SSDI; as of 2019, the SGA limit for SSDI is $1,220 per month.
2. Your Injury Must Be Severe
The second hurdle you must clear in your SSDI claim is establishing the severity of your injury. The SSA will automatically qualify certain conditions that the agency says are severe. A severe condition is one that is expected to last for at least 12 months or that is likely to result in death. If your condition is deemed severe, you may be qualified to obtain financial aid through SSDI.
3. Your Injury Must Be Included in the SSA’s Book
The SSA has a book in which they list all the conditions and illnesses that qualify for SSDI. The book is divided into different categories under which all conditions are listed and is known as the “Blue Book.” If your neck injury is not explicitly listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, you may be able to establish an approximation based on your condition, so it may still be possible for your injury to qualify for SSDI.
4. Possibility of Returning to Work
The SSA will evaluate whether you can return to your job despite your injury. If you are able to return to work, you may not continue with the qualifying process, and your SSDI benefits will not be paid. Remember, the SSA will only provide SSDI benefits to people who are disabled due to an injury. You should keep this in mind when applying for SSDI benefits.
5. Possibility of Performing a Different Job
Even if you can’t return to do the job you once did, the SSA may try to see whether you can perform another type of job, even if such a job is not related to your original one. If you can perform another job, your disability claim may be denied.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Disability Case?
Your SSDI claim requires understanding how the process works. SSDI claims can be complicated and confusing, especially to those who have never been part of such a process. A disability attorney can guide you through the steps and requirements. A skilled, dedicated Fayetteville personal injury lawyer or disability lawyer can also help you improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Hiring a disability lawyer can be helpful in the event that your SSDI claim gets denied. In other words, your attorney can guide you and represent your interests in a denied disability claim appeals process.
Disability Attorney for Neck Injuries Offering Free Consultation in Arkansas
If you or a loved one got injured and cannot return to work, we may be able to help. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands how difficult dealing with an injury can be. He and his staff also understand the burden it can place on your shoulders if you are the sole provider for your family. In such a situation, it is easy to lose hope and feel stressed. However, you can obtain financial aid while you get back on your feet. Our Arkansas disability attorneys can help you get your benefits following a debilitating neck injury. To find out more or to schedule a free and private consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438.
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