Dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can be challenging and overwhelming. This is particularly true if your condition shows chronic symptoms preventing you from returning to your job. Your situation can be more difficult if you are the sole provider in your household. Under these circumstances, you may wonder whether you have access to financial assistance. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides support to workers who are too disabled to perform their jobs. However, there are several steps every petitioner must follow in order to get their benefits. Our Fayetteville, AR disability attorney Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, invites you to keep reading as we discuss whether you can get disability for MS in Arkansas
Can I Get Disability Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis in Arkansas?
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune condition affecting the nervous system. This particular condition can disrupt the communication between the brain and the body. An MS patient can suffer from things such as pain, loss of vision, fatigue, and lack of coordination – among other debilitating symptoms. MS symptoms can change from person to person. Many people can carry on with their normal lives, while others can suffer from severe chronic symptoms.
The Social Security Administration can provide assistance to disabled workers and cannot return to their workplace. The SSA can generally offer two types of social security benefits for multiple sclerosis: SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income). SSDI in Arkansas is tax-funded insurance assisting individuals who are too disabled to work. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to those without enough working credits or with limited income to support themselves.
Individuals looking to get SSDI benefits must go through a qualification process. According to the SSA, individuals filing a disability petition must have a mental or physical condition preventing them from engaging in a substantial gainful activity (SGA) – income exceeding SSA’s guidelines. Additionally, the condition for which you require disability must be expected to last for at least a year or result in death. Furthermore, the disabled workers must have accumulated a set amount of work credits to get SSDI. You may be able to get SSDI if your condition is severe enough. For instance, conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, mental health conditions, and depression and anxiety qualify for SSDI. However, these are subject to investigation and approval from the SSA.
What is the Disability Qualification Process for MS in Arkansas?
When determining grating SSDI benefits to a disabled worker, the SSA follows a series of sequential steps. The SSA’s final determination will depend on whether you meet the criteria for each of these steps. We discuss each of them below.
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
Substantial gainful activity or SGA is used by the SSA to describe a situation where an individual has work allowing a certain amount of income. According to the SSA, if a person exceeds a specific amount of revenue per month, he or she may not be able to get disability benefits. Under the SSA’s eyes, if you can perform a job that exceeds $1,260 in 2020, you will not be deemed disabled, and your claim may be denied. It is essential to know that the SSA will not consider interests, investments, gifts, and other sources to establish income. You may continue with the next step if you don’t meet the SGA threshold imposed by the SSA.
The Severity of the Impairment
The SSA will look very closely at your condition and determine whether your condition is severe enough to justify SSDI. As we mentioned, your condition must be expected to last for at least a year or lead to your death. The SSA has an official listing of conditions that may qualify for SSDI benefits. This does not mean that if your condition is not explicitly mentioned on the list, you will not be considered to get SSDI. There may be instances where your illness can be close enough to one of the enumerated conditions on the SSA’s list. In this case, you can still get your SSDI benefits.
Residual Functional Capacity
If your condition doesn’t meet or is not equal to one of the conditions mentioned on their list, they will evaluate whether you can perform your past work. If the SSA determines you can perform your previous work, your claim may be denied. However, if the SSA determines you cannot perform your past job, they will evaluate whether you can perform any other job. If your MS prevents you from engaging in any work, the SSA may approve your claim.
The qualification process for SSDI benefits in Arkansas is stringent. Navigating through the SSA’s complex rules and procedures requires in-depth knowledge of how the process works. It is always in your best interest to retain the services of an Arkansas disability attorney who can help you with your particular case.
How Much are the SSDI Benefits for a Disability Claim for Multiple Sclerosis in Arkansas?
Determining how much benefits you can get from your SSDI claim for MS will depend on your average working credits. As of 2020, the average in SSDI benefits is between $800 and $1,800 per month. It is crucial to understand if you are receiving disability benefits from sources other than the SSA, your monthly SSDI payments may be reduced. In other circumstances, the SSA can suspend your SSDI claim. To determine the exact amount of money you can get each month, the SSA will make use of a special formula. This formula uses your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) in tandem with an SSA formula to reach a specified amount of SSDI benefits. Our Arkansas disability attorneys can help you understand how this process works.
Fayetteville, AR Disability Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
We can help if you or a loved one was diagnosed with MS and can’t perform their job. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is aware of the challenges dealing with MS can have over your life. For this reason, we dedicate all of our effort and resources to fighting for the disability benefits you deserve. To learn more about your case’s specifics in a free, confidential consultation, call our Arkansas disability attorneys today at (479) 316-0438.
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