Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Arkansans are known for their hard-working, self-reliant and dependable character. While most of us hope that we will be able to work and provide for our families until we reach retirement, sometimes life does not go as planned. You may become ill or injured, or after decades of strenuous labor, you may have developed a chronic condition, which may impair or prevent you from doing your job. When illness or injury forces you to stop working, you are likely to have some concerns. How will I pay the mortgage, car, electric, gas, or water bills? Are there any programs in Springdale that may be able to help me and my family during this time? Being unable to work because of an illness or injury can be stressful to you and your family.
The good news is that the federal government has established benefit programs through the Social Security Administration (SSA) that are designed to help honest, hard-working people who fall on hard times due to sickness or injury. These programs provide an essential safety net while people work to develop new skills or recover from their serious injury or impairments.
Getting a claim approved is a challenge. During the initial stage of filing a claim, the Arkansas approval average is only about 30%, leaving the remaining 70% of applicants with rejection notices. During the Reconsideration stage, the approval rate plummets even lower, down to a meager 9%. Having an experience attorney can help you succeed. To schedule your confidential case evaluation, call Springdale, Arkansas Social Security Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak right away at (479) 251-7767. Claims can take months or even years to be reviewed upon submission, so don’t delay another day: call now to get started.
What Types of Social Security Benefits Are Available for the U.S. Government?
Injuries and illness happen, no matter how careful you are in the workplace or with your health. Sometimes these injuries or illnesses can prevent you from working, or from working at the level you and your employer are accustomed to. The Social Security Administration has estimated that nearly one out of every three twenty-year-old workers will develop some disability or impairment during the course of their career. That number is staggering, however regardless of whether your impairment occurred due to a workplace injury or from an illness or disease, you may qualify for Social Security benefits. There are two main benefit programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – This program provides monetary assistance for those with little to no resources or income and who have reached the retirement age. This program is also available to those who have a qualifying disability, such as those who are blind.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD/SSDI) – Unlike the SSI program, to qualify for the SSD program you also need to have a sufficient work history. SSD benefits are paid in cash and offer retroactive benefits from the date of onset of your severe impairment are available.
These benefits programs are not a comprehensive listing and there may be other programs that are available to you based on your individual injury or illness.
What Conditions Are Covered?
The SSA has compiled a “Blue Book” also known as Listing of Impairments, which is divided into Listing A for adults and Listing B for children. The SSA will consider all conditions or injuries, which are covered in the Listing of Impairments. A complete summary of all the conditions, which may be covered, can be found on the Social Security Website. Some of the more common medical issues it contains include:
- Heart Failure
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Stroke (referred to as “Central Nervous System vascular accident”)
These are just some of the most common medical issues. If you do not see your injury or illness, do not panic. You may still qualify for medical-vocational allowance depending on the results of an RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) assessment.
How Do I Qualify for Disability?
This question depends on several factors particularly what type of benefits you are applying for: SSI (Supplemental Security Income), or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). As mentioned above, 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 programs simultaneously, which is referred to as receiving concurrent benefits.
However to determine whether SSI or SSDI is appropriate entails meeting various levels of requirements: First, you will have to pass the SSA’s blanket requirements, which are uniform regardless of the type of disability. This generally is dependent on:
- 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.
Ken Kieklak: Springdale, Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorney
Being approved by the SSA is often an arduous task. When you’re already trying to manage physical pain and budgetary needs, the last thing you want to do is engage in a draining uphill battle against a confusing and convoluted application system designed to weed out the majority of claimants. You need the guidance and support of a qualified attorney with practical experience handling these difficult cases.
Ken Kieklak has been fighting for rightful compensation on behalf of ill, injured, and disabled Arkansas residents for nearly 20 years. Equipped with almost two decades of experience, Ken Kieklak knows how to work with even the most difficult circumstances, during any stage of the application process. Whether you are still preparing your very first claim, or have already been denied and wish to move on with Reconsideration, we’re here to help. Don’t wait another day — let’s start exploring your resources together. To schedule your free and confidential case evaluation, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767, or contact us online today.