The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly one in five Americans, or approximately 57 million people, lives with a disability today. The Social Security Administration (SSA) projects that in 2014, nearly nine million of these individuals will receive monthly disability benefits. If you suffer from severe arthritis which negatively impacts your ability to work, you could qualify to be one of them.
However, while these benefits offer excellent financial support to those individuals who are deemed eligible, being approved by the SSA is notoriously difficult. Statistically speaking, the national average hovers around a dismal 36% approval rate, meaning 64% of claims — well over half — are denied after an initial review. Unfortunately, the Arkansas state average is lower still, with initial approvals around 30%. For claimants who go on to appeal their denial and request Reconsideration, the national approval average plummets to just 13.8%; and in Arkansas, that number drops to only 8.7%.
When you’re already struggling with physical pain and financial hardship, you shouldn’t have to fight a solo uphill battle against tough statistics and a convoluted application system. An experienced social security attorney can help you claim the benefits you deserve.
Ken Kieklak: Arkansas Disability Benefits Attorney
The daunting numbers cited above make one fact clear: being awarded benefits is often an enormous challenge. Applicants can be denied for any number of medical or technical reasons, ranging from missed deadlines to insufficient evidence to failure to follow a physician’s recommendations. But no matter where you may be in the application cycle — whether you’ve already been rejected by the SSA and want to appeal, or you haven’t even begun filling out your first form — a knowledgeable attorney can strengthen your claim and advocate on your behalf.
Arkansas disability lawyer Ken Kieklak has nearly 20 years of dedicated experience helping claimants just like yourself navigate this challenging process. When you work with our attorneys, you will always be supported with compassion and respect. Our committed legal team brings decades of knowledge to even the most complex cases, and we will carefully guide you through each and every stage of your case as developments occur. When you need an aggressive attorney with a history of achieving excellent results on your side, you can call on Ken Kieklak.
To schedule your private legal consultation, call our law offices right away at (479) 316-0438.
How You Can Qualify for Benefits with Arthritis
A rejection from the SSA can be devastating, and denied applicants are often left feeling baffled and frustrated. The unfortunate truth is that simply having a given condition is not “enough” to qualify — you must meet various, specific points of criteria imposed by the SSA.
Having a basic understanding of the factors that influence claims examiners’ decisions will help you know what to expect, and allow you to build a stronger case. If you want to qualify for monthly benefits in Arkansas based on arthritis, what do you need to know?
Before the criteria related to arthritis can be addressed, it’s very important to be aware of the SSA’s blanket, base-level requirements, which apply regardless of the disability involved:
- Your arthritis (or any condition) must be expected to last for at least 12 months, or to end in death.
- Your arthritis (or any condition) must impact you so severely that you are unable to work, either in your old job or in a new, modified job.
Assuming you meet these generic requirements, your claim will then be evaluated specific to arthritis. The guidelines for such evaluation are contained within the SSA’s “Blue Book,” formally known as the Listing of Impairments, under Section 1.00, Musculoskeletal System. Under Section 1.00, you will primarily be assessed for your:
- Ability to walk (“ambulate effectively”).
- Ability to repeat both basic and intricate motions (“to perform fine and gross movements effectively on a sustained basis”).
- Degree of pain (“associated with underlying musculoskeletal impairment”).
Arthritis is considered in Section 1.00 under 1.04, Disorders of the Spine, including:
- Facet Arthritis
Section 14.00, Immune System Disorders, also covers inflammatory arthritis under Section 14.09. Forms of inflammatory arthritis are divided into those which affect the axial spine and the peripheral joints, and listed forms include:
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Contact a Fayetteville, Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you or someone you love is living with any of these conditions, you could be eligible to receive monthly benefits. Ken Kieklak will work with you and your doctor to gather powerful medical evidence and present the most compelling case possible. To schedule your private case evaluation, or if you’re simply interested in learning more about how we can help, call Arkansas social security disability attorney Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online today.