Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
People suffering from serious injuries and disabilities may find themselves unable to work to support themselves and their families. Fortunately, federal funds are available to cover disability benefits for those with serious disabilities and health conditions. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, helps disabled Arkansans in the Harris, AR area seek disability benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
If you or a loved one has a disability and needs disability benefits to help pay for your day-to-day needs and medical expenses, contact Harris, AR disability attorney Ken Kieklak today. Our SSDI lawyer may be able to help you file your disability claim and get the coverage you need for your injuries, health conditions, or physical disabilities. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 439-1843.
Qualifying for SSDI Disability Benefits in Arkansas
Arkansans with serious disabilities must first qualify for benefits before the Social Security Administration (SSA) will accept their application and pay them the benefits they need. Qualifying for benefits typically involves meeting a few important criteria, namely that you have a qualifying condition and that your condition is severe enough that you cannot work.
The SSA has a list of qualifying conditions that are considered “disabilities” under the SSA’s definition. If your disability is on this list, you are one step closer to qualifying for benefits. The listed disabilities include physical disabilities like paralysis, but they also include mental health disabilities, heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, and other conditions.
If your condition is not listed on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments, you may not be completely out of luck. The SSA has very specific definitions of each disorder and requires applicants to meet these medical definitions to claim damages. If they do not meet the specific definition, they may still qualify for benefits if they have a somewhat similar condition that is just as severe as another listed condition. Talk to an attorney about how to qualify for an exception if you have an unlisted condition.
Severity and SGA
The severity of the condition is another important factor in qualifying for disability benefits. Simply having a listed condition will not automatically qualify you for benefits; instead, you must have a sufficiently severe disability to prove to the SSA that you cannot work and need the additional financial help. If your disability is severe enough that it prevents you from caring for yourself or working to support yourself, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.
The SSA typically considers your disability severe if your condition prevents you from performing “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). This means that the SSA considers you disabled if your monthly income is below $1,220 per month for 2019 – an amount that the SSA has decided is too low to support yourself. If you are also blind, you are permitted to make a bit more money and still be considered disabled. This SGA income limit is instead $2,040 per month.
Once you qualify for benefits, you should be entitled to ongoing monthly payments you can use to pay for housing, groceries, medical care, and other needs. Your children and spouse may be entitled to additional benefits on your record, which can help support them as well, potentially paying your family a total of 150%-180% of the benefits you qualify for.
Applying for Disability Benefits from SSDI
To take advantage of the available SSDI benefits, you must submit an application to the Social Security Administration. This application will include biographical information as well as information about your disability and your physical and mental abilities. If your paperwork demonstrates to the SSA that you are unable to perform work to support yourself, they will accept your application.
During the application process, the SSA may require you to undergo a medical evaluation. A functional report may be requested detailing specific tasks you can and cannot perform. Ultimately, the SSA’s goal is to thoroughly analyze each case and ensure that they are not giving out benefits to those who should not qualify or anyone trying to commit fraud. However, these applications often weed-out many applications who should qualify.
If the SSA is unable to determine whether or not you are disabled, they may reject your application. It is important to work with a lawyer to have your application accepted on the first try. Your SSDI lawyer can help you fill out the application fully and honestly and provide the SSA with enough evidence and information to approve your case on the first application. Your lawyer can also help guide you through the process and help you get any medical evaluations and fill out any other paperwork to help move your case along.
Ultimately, the SSDI program has a 6-month waiting period, during which you will not receive benefits. This gives the Administration time to process applications and thoroughly analyze your case before making a decision. Ultimately, if you qualify for benefits, you will be paid in full dating back not only to the date you applied but also retroactively to the date you became disabled. During the 6-month waiting period, you may qualify for supplemental security income (SSI), another type of disability benefit offered by the SSA. Your attorney can help you apply to the proper programs to get the benefits you need in a timely manner.
Call Our Harris Disability Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation
If you suffer from a serious injury, health condition, or disability, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, to discuss filing for disability benefits in Arkansas. You may qualify for disability benefits under the SSDI program to help support you and your family in your time of need. For a free legal consultation and help filing your disability case, call our law offices today at (479) 439-1843.
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