Is There a Way to Get More Money from SSDI in AR?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal benefit program that provides crucial financial assistance to those who have become disabled and cannot work in Arkansas. Many beneficiaries of SSDI often have questions about their payment amounts and wonder if there is a possibility of receiving more financial support.

SSDI benefits are calculated using a precise formula based on the individual’s average lifetime earnings, work history, and contributions made to Social Security. However, beneficiaries need to understand the eligibility criteria for these payments to ensure that they are receiving the maximum amount of financial support they are entitled to. By working with our firm, beneficiaries can make informed decisions about their financial future.

Call our Arkansas SSDI lawyers at (479) 316-0438 to receive your free case assessment today.

Can I Increase the Amount of Money I Receive from SSDI in Arkansas?

When it comes to receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Arkansas, many individuals wonder if there is a way to increase the amount of money they receive. SSDI benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work because of a disability.

While the amount you receive is typically based on your previous work history and earnings, there might be certain circumstances where you can potentially increase your SSDI benefits. However, this can be extremely difficult without the help of our skilled Farmington, AR SSDI attorneys. Essentially, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a rigorous system for calculating an individual’s benefits, leaving little wiggle room for increases.

How SSDI Benefits are Determined

SSDI is a federal program administered by the SSA that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a qualifying disability and earning sufficient work credits through your previous employment.

The SSA calculates the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) by reviewing up to 35 years of a worker’s earnings, adjusting them for inflation, and then averaging them. The AIME serves as the basis for determining the benefit amount.

The Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) is calculated using a formula that replaces a higher percentage of lower-earning workers’ pre-disability income than it does for higher-earning workers. This ensures that individuals with lower lifetime earnings receive a higher replacement rate.

The SSDI benefits will usually increase annually because of Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs), which are adjustments made to account for the rising cost of living. The COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If the disabled beneficiary has dependents like children or a spouse, they might also be eligible to receive benefits based on the worker’s earnings record.

The total benefit amount paid to a family is subject to a maximum limit called the Family Maximum Benefit (FMB), which varies depending on factors such as the number of dependents and their relationship to the disabled beneficiary.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a disability that meets the SSA’s definition of disability. This means that the disability must be severe enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is currently defined as earning more than $1,470 per month as of 2023 if you are non-blind and $2,460 per month for the blind.

The SSA has a list of medical impairments that can qualify you for SSDI benefits. These medical impairments are severe and debilitating conditions that can significantly impact your daily life and ability to work. The SSA will carefully review all of your medical records to determine if your medical impairments meet one of these listings.

Work Credits Requirements

You must also have earned a certain number of work credits by paying Social Security taxes through your employment. The number of credits required varies depending on your age at the time of disability onset, with a maximum of 40 credits.

Generally, individuals need to have worked for at least five of the past ten years to qualify. Each year, up to four work credits can be earned based on the amount of income earned. If you have not earned enough work credits, you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Ways to Maximize Your SSDI Benefits in Arkansas

If you are eligible for SSDI benefits in Arkansas, certain strategies can help you get the most out of your benefits. Although your work history and earnings record are the primary factors that determine your SSDI benefit calculation, there are additional methods that you can employ to potentially increase your benefits.

Increase Your Work Credits

One way to potentially increase your benefit amount is by making sure that your work credits and earnings records are accurate and up to date. As mentioned, the SSA uses work credits to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits, and the more credits you have, the higher your potential benefit amount.

To ensure that your work credits and earnings records are accurate, it is crucial to review them periodically. If your earnings are not reported correctly, it could affect your eligibility for SSDI benefits or the amount you receive.

If you notice any discrepancies or missing earnings on your record, you should contact the SSA immediately to request a correction. You’ll need to provide documentation to support your claim, such as W-2 forms or pay stubs. The SSA should review your request and make any necessary changes to your earnings record.

Consider Other Benefit Programs

There are multiple benefit programs available apart from SSDI that can provide additional financial aid and healthcare coverage. Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and Medicare are some programs that can help alleviate financial burdens.

Appeal a Denied Claim

If you have applied for SSDI benefits and your application has been denied, or the amount you received is incorrect, you have the right to appeal the decision. In fact, many initial SSDI applications are denied because of incomplete or insufficient medical documentation. By appealing the decision and providing additional medical evidence, you stand a higher chance of approval and potentially receive a higher benefit amount.

Speak with Our Team

If you are in the process of applying for SSDI or appealing a decision, our team is here to provide you with valuable guidance and support every step of the way. We understand the specific laws and regulations governing SSDI in Arkansas, and we can help you easily navigate the process.

Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in SSDI cases and a proven track record of success. We will fight tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law.

Our Arkansas SSDI Attorneys Are Here to Advocate for the Benefits that You Deserve

For a free case review with our Springdale, AR SSDI attorneys, contact us today at (479) 316-0438.