U.S. Cencus Bureau statistics show that nearly 60 million Americans have some form of a disability that limits their activities. This statistic in no surprise in light of corresponding information from the Social Security Administration (SSA) showing that one-in-five workers, about 20 percent, will become disabled at some point during their career. With such a large number of Americans experiencing such difficulties, the federal government has established a number of benefits programs. Social Security Disability Insurance is one such program intended for hard-working people who have become disabled.
While benefits are available with the average monthly benefit in excess of $1,000, it can be extremely difficult for people to qualify for these benefits and to receive an award. In fact, about 70 percent of applicants are rejected at the initial application stages. This rejection can come as a shock to many people because they know that their pain or limitations are real, and feel like they should be awarded the benefit after paying into the system for their entire working life.
But, a benefits award is not impossible to achieve if you meet the program’s medical and non-medical requirements. Your chances of an award can be helped by working with an experienced SSDI lawyer who understands the program requirements, the types of evidence that is necessary to prove allegations of an impairment, and the decision-making process utilized by the SSA. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law can handle every step of your SSDI claim. To schedule your free and confidential legal consultation, call Benton County Social Security Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 today.
What Conditions Can Qualify Me for SSDI Benefits?
There is a broad-array of conditions that can qualify a person for SSDI benefits. And while there is a list of conditions that are so severe that sufficient medical evidence alone can qualify you for benefits. These are known as Listed Conditions and typically cover extremely serious conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, certain types of tumors, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other extremely serious and debilitating conditions. Even if you do not have a Listed Condition but your condition is functionally or medically equal to a Listed Condition, you may also qualify for benefits. A full listing of all Listed Conditions can be located in the appendix to the SSA’s Blue Book. Adult listings are found in Part A, while listings for childhood conditions are found in Part B.
Even if you do not have a listed condition or a condition that is medically or functionally equal, you may still qualify for benefits based on a medical-vocational allowance. A medical vocational allowance considers the limiting effects of your severe impairment or impairments and determines what you are still able to do. The things that you are still able to do despite your impairments is known as your residual functional capacity or RFC. Your RFC is then applied to your past work to determine whether you can continue doing work of this type. If not, the SSA will determine id there is alternate work available for you to perform. The SSA will take into consideration the applicant’s experience, training, education, age, and other factors. For older workers, the SSA makes special allowances and does not expect the older worker to be able to learn a new job or trade as readily as a younger worker. If no past or alternate work is available, the claimant will receive an SSDI benefit award.
What if My Claim is Denied?
A benefits denial is not an uncommon occurrence at the earlier stages of the process. In fact, at the initial levels, only about 30 percent of applications will be approved – mostly for the most serious types of conditions or impairments. However even if your claim is denied at the outset, you are entitled to file multiple levels of appeal. Your matter can eventually be heard by an administrative law judge at a hearing, an appeals council, or by a judge in federal court. However, do not let the fear of a denial stop you from applying or visiting an experienced SSDI lawyer. Denials are common and the appeal can be used to address the SSA’s concerns with the claim.
SSDI Lawyer Serving Benton County
For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak has fought for hard-working people in northwest Arkansas who have had to stop working due to a serious injury or disability. Working with an experienced lawyer can bring you peace of mind while you attempt to cope with your medical needs. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.