Severe disabilities leave many people unable to work a meaningful job and could make a disabled person feel uncertain when it comes to caring for themselves and their families. Fortunately, a disabled person may be eligible for a federal program like Social Security that could provide them with money and healthcare they need to deal with various issues in their life. If you or a family member is a resident of Arkansas and you wish to learn more about disability programs, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville AR disability lawyer today. Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak can help you apply for the disability benefits you need to manage your illness and take control of your finances. The Kieklak Law Firm explains what benefits a disabled person is entitled to in Arkansas.
SSDI and SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two federal programs that can provide a person with disability benefits. Each program has a separate set of requirements that a person must satisfy before they can begin to receive any benefits. Retaining an experienced lawyer to help you with this process can help you avoid some common mistakes that could lead to a claim for benefits being delayed or denied.
Requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is a federal program that is utilized for the benefit of insured workers. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines an insured worker as an employee that has worked for a substantial amount of time while paying the necessary Social Security taxes to earn credits for the SSDI program.
SSDI distributed cash payments to workers that can no longer perform the requirements of their position due to a disability. The following is a list of medical conditions that qualify for SSDI:
- Amputation of limbs
- Severe Asthma
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Down Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sickle Cell Disease
This is not an exhaustive list. It is also important to note that severe injuries may be considered as a medical condition that qualifies you for SSDI. For example, a serious traumatic brain injury or a severe bone fracture would qualify as a disability under the terms set by the SSDI program.
The amount of time you must spend working before you can be eligible for SSDI depends on the circumstances of your case. However, eligibility requires that the disabled person worked recently before applying for SSDI. For example, a person may have to work for two years out of the past three years before their disability may satisfy the requirement.
After you satisfy the medical condition and work experience requirements, the SSA will use a 5-step analysis to examine your claim:
- Whether the applicant engages in “substantial activity” that exceeds the limits set by the SSDI program
- The severity of the applicant’s disability
- Whether your medical condition is listed by the SSA or is similar to a condition listed
- Your ability to complete the work you were accustomed to
- Whether the applicant can engage in other types of gainful employment
Requirements for Supplemental Security Income
The SSI program does not require applicants to pay Social Security taxes to be eligible like the SSDI program. To qualify for SSI, a person must have a low income and be either disabled, blind, or be at least 65 years of age or older.
An experienced attorney can help you determine whether certain streams of income can be included or dismissed when looking at eligibility for SSI. The following is a list of sources of income that the SSA does not consider when analyzing an application for SSI:
- First $65 of income from working and 50% of income over $65
- SNAP benefits
- Home energy assistance
- Money earned for burial services
The medical conditions that qualify an applicant for SSI are the same as the conditions for the SSDI program. If a disabled person successfully applies for SSI, they can receive monthly cash payments. The amount of these payments will depend upon the financial situation of the disabled person and the extent of their disability. It is also important to note that SSI cash payments are not considered income and is not taxed by the Internal Revenue Service.
Work with Our Trusted Fayetteville SSDI Benefits Attorney Today
If you or a family member is dealing with a disability, you should contact an experienced Fayetteville SSDI benefits attorney today. The Kieklak Law Firm understands the various difficulties faced by people living with disabilities, and we are here for you and your family. Ken Kieklak has decades of experience handling a wide range of disability claims, and he would be proud to use this experience to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact the Kieklak Law Firm at (479) 279-6268, or contact us online.