The sense of independence and self-reliance that a day’s work provides contributes the character of hard-working and dependable Arkansans. However when illness or injury forces you to stop working, the loss of self-identity isn’t the only problem you are likely to face. Those who have stopped working due to a serious impairment recognize that your savings are likely to be depleted faster than you expect. Furthermore, bills accumulate more rapidly than you imagined and, without some action, you could soon find yourself buried in debt.
Luckily the federal government has established several programs for hard-working people who fall on tough times. Especially in the case of Social Security Disability, these benefits are not hand-outs because you have likely paid into the fund for your entire working life. In fact, to qualify for SSD you must have made sufficient payments to qualify for the insurance program. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has been trusted by Arkansans for more than 20 years. He can explain the Social Security Administration’s process and handle each and every step of your claim.
What is the Difference Between SSD and SSI?
Many people are aware that there are two distinct benefits programs administered by the Social Security Administration. Social Security Disability (SSD) is an insurance program for hard-working Americans who become sick or injured and can no longer work. To qualify for SSD benefits you must have a sufficient work history and pass the SSA’s 5-step sequential analysis. In contrast, Supplemental Security Disability (SSI) is a program designed to help those with few resources or little income. There is no work history requirement and approval is dependent on factors including having a qualifying disability, being blind, or reaching the retirement age of 65.
How Will the Social Security Administration Determine if I Qualify?
Proving a Social Security claim can be a time-consuming and technical endeavor requiring medical, legal and educational knowledge. Luckily you do not have to go through the process alone. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can explain each and every step in the SSA’s process to you. The sequential analysis consists of:
- Are you currently working? If you are currently working and your substantial gainful activity (SGA), the work you can do or income you have through work, brings in more than a certain amount you will be considered ineligible for benefits.
- Is you condition severe as defined by the SSA? A severe condition or impairment is one that causes at least some limitation to the tasks that you are able to perform. If your condition does not impose any limitations on your ability to work or perform tasks then the SSA will not consider it to be severe.
- Do you have a condition listed by the SSA or it medically equivalent? At the third step in the sequential analysis your condition or combination of conditions is compared to a list of severe impairments compiled by the SSA. Even if your condition is not listed, you may qualify for benefits if it can be shown to be functionally or medically equal to a listed condition.
- Are you able to perform your past work? The claims examiner or administrative law judge then determines if you are able to do your past work by analyzing your residual functional capacity (RFC). RFC are the things that you are able to do despite your severe impairment or impairments.
- Is alternate work available? If you are unable to perform your past work, but have some level of functionality the examiner or administrative law judge may rely on a court-appointed vocational expert. That expert is likely to opine on the type of work you can perform despite your disability and if jobs of that type exists in sufficient number in your region.
Contact Bella Vista, Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer Ken Kieklak
If this process appears intimidating, the good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. Rely on the experience of a respected Social Security attorney like Ken Kieklak. To schedule your free and confidential legal consultation, contact Ken by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.