Down syndrome is a condition that affects thousands of people in the U.S. Due to this condition, many people with Down syndrome are unable to work and generate income to support themselves. Fortunately, there are ways to obtain financial assistance for people within the Down syndrome community. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide assistance through their disability benefits programs. While many people know that the SSA can help people with Down syndrome, few understand where they should start, what benefits may be available, and what will happen if their claim is dismissed. Our Fayetteville, AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, invites you to keep reading as we discuss these critical matters.
What Disability Benefits Are Available for Down Syndrome in Arkansas?
Generally, the SSA provides two types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Children or adults with Down syndrome can typically apply for disability benefits. Through the SSA, the petitioner can get monthly cash payments. However, the assistance provided by the SSA through their benefits program is subject to qualification. SSI is generally for people of all ages who have a disability and come from lower-income households.
The SSA can perform what is known as a means test to determine if you meet the financial requirements to get your Social Security disability benefits. If the household’s income goes beyond a specific threshold, it may not qualify for SSDI. The economic threshold for SSDI benefits can change depending on different circumstances. However, it is essential to understand that, according to the SSA’s rules, you must not engage in what is known as substantial gainful activity (SGA), or you may risk having your claim dismissed.
If you meet the minimum financial threshold, you can apply to get your SSDI benefits on behalf of your child once they are born and diagnosed with Down syndrome. Dealing with this process can be challenging, so it is recommended to be assisted by an Arkansas children’s disability attorney.
Qualifying for SSDI Benefits for Down Syndrome in Arkansas
In addition to the financial requirements to request your SSDI benefits in Arkansas, the applicant must also meet the SSA’s Blue Book listing. The SSA’s Blue Book is a catalog of physical and mental conditions that may qualify to receive benefits. Down syndrome can be located in § 110.06 of the SSA’s Blue Book titled Non-Mosaic Down Syndrome. In this section, the SSA explains the condition and the general information you should provide to prove the disability.
Per the Blue Book, people who are born with an extra 21st chromosome (Trisomy 21) are considered disabled from birth and may qualify for SSDI. Moreover, the SSA can also provide assistance if other conditions may affect the applicant, such as hearing loss or vision impairment (§ 102.00), cardiovascular disorders (§ 104.00), or intellectual disorders (§ 112.00).
What is the SSDI Application Process for a Child or Adult with Down Syndrome in Arkansas?
The application process for SSDI benefits on behalf of a person with Down syndrome can be quite overwhelming. The SSA will require specific documentation and evidence to support your claim. For instance, the SSA will require you to disclose your household’s financial information to determine your monthly income and resources regardless of whether you are an adult or apply in the name of your child. Additionally, you will need to provide the SSA with all medical evidence supporting your child’s or the adult’s Down syndrome.
Typically, requesting disability benefits for a person with Down syndrome in Arkansas will require you to present specific medical evidence. You can meet the SSA’s requirements by providing them with what is known as a karyotype analysis report. The karyotype analysis is a test used to identify and evaluate the chromosomes in the human body. This test can help a physician assess the number, size, and shape of chromosomes to determine any potential anomaly.
In addition to the karyotype analysis results, you may also need to provide the SSA with a report confirming that your child’s – or adult’s – symptoms are consistent with those found in a person with Down syndrome.
Once you provide all the required documentation, the SSA will evaluate your claim and determine whether they approve your benefits. Typically, if your claim falls within the SSA’s approved limits, you can get disability benefits. However, there may be situations where the SSA may turn down an applicant’s SSDI application. It is always in your best interest to have the assistance of an experienced Fayetteville, AR children’s disability lawyer.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for My SSDI Benefits in Arkansas?
As we mentioned, the application and qualification process for SSDI benefits in Arkansas can be challenging. Most of the time, the process of getting your benefits requires you to handle a lot of paperwork and meet specific deadlines to deliver your documents. On top of making sure that your application and paperwork are satisfactory, you have to take into account that getting your benefits is not guaranteed.
The SSA will often turn down most first applications. In cases of petitioners with Down syndrome, the SSA may turn down applications based on income matters instead of other matters related to the petitioner’s condition. However, you can still file an appeal and fight for your SSDI benefits. This is why hiring a disability attorney as a guide to social security disability for children and adults with down syndrome is critical. An Arkansas Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and can also file an appeal if the SSA initially dismissed your case.
Social Security Disability Attorney Handling Down Syndrome SSDI Cases in Arkansas
If you or a loved one has Down syndrome and requires assistance from the SSA in Arkansas, we can help. Our Harris, AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, can help you file your SSDI claim and fight for the compensation your child or adult with Down syndrome requires. Over our many years of experience, we have learned how to proceed with your case and help you understand what the process entails. To learn more about our legal services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.