When injury or illness strikes, you may not immediately worry about money and how you will pay your bills. Many people first find themselves struggling to get over the shock of seemingly losing part of their self-identity. But, those who face the financial realities of the situation at the outset often achieve superior outcomes to those who take a wait and see approach.
If you have suffered a serious injury or illness and have been forced to stop working, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law may able to secure disability benefits for you. These programs are offered by the federal government to help hard-working citizens, like you, who have fallen on tough times. These programs provide an essential safety net while people work to develop new skills or recover from their serious impairment or impairments.
What Types of Social Security Benefits are There? How are They Different?
There are two main types of benefits administered by the social Security Administration: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD is considered to be an insurance program because, in order to qualify, you must have sufficient work credits. You earn work credits by paying into the Social Security fund through paycheck deductions. In contrast, SSI is not an insurance program and does not require work credits. These benefits are for those who have reached age 65, are blind, or who have a qualifying disability and few resources or limited income.
How Will My Claim be Adjudicated?
Depending on the level of review, your claim will be analyzed and determined by a Social Security claims examiner or administrative law judge. Regardless of your particular condition or conditions, the evaluation process is a standard 5-step sequential evaluation. The process is:
- Are you employed or earning income? To qualify for disability benefits, your substantial gainful activity is first calculated (SGA). SGA includes the work you perform that brings in money. If your monthly SGA exceeds a certain amount, you are considered ineligible for benefits.
- Does the SSA consider your condition to be severe? To qualify for benefits the SSA must consider your injury to be severe. A severe injury is one that causes limitation in the things that you are able to do. If you have no limitations due to your condition the SSA will not consider it to be severe and you will not be able to qualify for benefits.
- Is your condition Listed by the SSA? The Social Security Administration lists many conditions that it considers to be severe. If your condition is not listed you may still qualify if your impairment or impairments are medically equivalent to a listed condition.
- Can you complete past work? The agency then determines if you can do past work by figuring out your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is the things that you are still able to do.
- Can you perform alternate work? In some instances the agency may rely on a vocational expert to determine the type of work you can still do despite your severe impairments. A sufficient number of jobs of that type must be available in your particular region.
Sebastian County, Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer Ken Kieklak Is Here To Help
Application for disability benefits is a technical and time-consuming process, but you don’t have to handle it by yourself. The experienced Social Security benefits attorney Ken Kieklak can help. Contact us today by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.