According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 57 million Americans — about 20% of the national population — lives with some form of disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that in 2014, roughly nine million of those individuals recieved over $10 billion in the form of monthly disability benefits. By the SSA’s own official numbers, the average benefits recipient can expect an award in excess of $1,000 each month. This assistance is an incredible resource for people whose disability prevents them from working, and can put a dramatic dent in otherwise overwhelming bills, groceries, and other routine expenses.
Unfortunately, obtaining these benefits is a struggle for most claimants. In Arkansas, about one third of all total applicants will be accepted on the first try — the remaining majority will be denied. At the next stage of the process, referred to as Reconsideration, the approval rate plummets from an already low 30% down to not even 9%.
Being approved for benefits is not impossible, but it can be a difficult and frustrating challenge to handle on your own. An experienced attorney familiar with the system can help increase your chances of getting approved, or advocate for you if you’ve already been denied.
To schedule your private legal consultation, call Rogers, Arkansas social security disability lawyer Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 today.
How an Experienced Disability Attorney Can Help
The statistics above are not particularly friendly to claimants residing in Arkansas. On average, if you have a 70% chance of being rejected during your first attempt, and subsequent attempts have an even lower rate of success. There are numerous technical and medical reasons which can fuel denials, and even if your doctor believes you are disabled, the SSA examiners may come to a different conclusion based on their own standards and procedures. These factors taken in combination with the often draining physical side effects of a serious health condition add up to one conclusion: battles with the SSA can be incredibly discouraging and exhausting.
No matter how overwhelmed you may feel, don’t give up: Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law is here to help you. Disability benefits lawyer Ken Kieklak has nearly two decades of practical experience working with the people of Rogers, Arkansas, and will advocate aggressively on your behalf. No matter where you may be in the application process, or whether you are applying for yourself or your child, our firm wants to help you succeed. Call us today to learn more about how we can serve you.
How Do You Qualify for Disability?
The answer to this question depends largely on the type of benefits you are applying for: SSI (Supplemental Security Income), or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). In very basic terms, SSI is based on financial need, whereas SSDI is based on previous payments into the social security system. While unusual, some people can and do qualify for both simultaneously, which is referred to as receiving concurrent benefits.
Whether SSI or SSDI seems to be the more appropriate fit, you will then have to pass several additional waves of criteria. In the first wave, you will have to pass the SSA’s blanket requirements, which remain the same regardless of disability:
How much money are you making?
If your income is deemed too high (currently, over $1,070 per month) you will not be accepted.
How severe is your disability?
If you can easily control it with medication or other techniques, meaning it does not interfere with your ability to work in a meaningful way, you will not be accepted.
How long has your disability lasted (or how long is it projected to last)?
If the answer is less than 12 months (unless the expected prognosis is death), you will not be accepted.
What sort of disability do you have?
If your disability is not found in the Listing of Impairments, is not listed in the compassionate allowances (CAL) program, or if you cannot prove equivalent disability with an RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) assessment, you will not be accepted.
If you pass these generic requirements, you will then have to clear yet another set of questions targeted to your specific impairment. For obvious reasons, the standards for judging blindness are very different from those used for judging diabetes, so each claim must be evaluated on an individual medical basis. The guidelines for medical assessment are contained in the Listing of Impairments. If your impairment is not on the Listing, CAL or RFC criteria must be met instead.
Our Rogers, Arkansas Disability Attorneys Can Help
Qualifying for monthly benefits is difficult, but you may be a strong candidate. An attorney can help boost your chances of being approved. To schedule a private consultation, call the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online today.