What is the Application Process for SSDI in Arkansas?

The SSDI application process in Arkansas can often be a confusing and overwhelming experience, particularly for individuals who are not familiar with the various requirements and procedures involved. However, with the support of our firm, applicants can improve their chances of success when filing for benefits.

By working with our team, you can gain valuable insights into the application process and receive personalized support tailored to your specific needs. We can help you understand the various eligibility requirements, gather important documentation, and assist you in filling out the necessary forms. Moreover, we can represent you in any hearings, ensuring that your interests are protected throughout the process.

Give us a call at (479) 316-0438 to receive a free case assessment with our Arkansas SSDI lawyers.

Understanding the Application Process for SSDI in Arkansas

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Arkansas is often an intricate process. It requires an understanding of the different steps involved, which can be time-consuming and challenging to navigate alone. However, having our skilled Arkansas personal injury attorney by your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. We can provide invaluable guidance throughout the process, help you gather the necessary documentation, and represent you in any necessary hearings.

Initiating the Application Process

The first step is to initiate your application process. You typically have two options: apply online through the official Social Security Administration (SSA) website or visit your local Arkansas Social Security office in person. The online application can be found on the SSA’s website here. If you would like to visit in person, you can find SSA locations throughout Arkansas. You can look here to find the location most convenient to you.

Whichever method you choose, you will need to provide detailed information about your medical condition, treatment history, work history, and personal information. This includes your Social Security number, birth certificate, names and dosages of any medications you are currently taking, medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers, and laboratory and test results.

You will also want to include a summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did and a copy of your most recent W-2 form or federal tax return if you are self-employed. Make sure you have all the necessary information and documents ready before starting the application process.

Completing an Adult Disability Report

As part of the application process, you will need to complete an Adult Disability Report. This report provides the SSA with more detailed information about your condition and how it affects your ability to work. A Social Security representative will interview you and complete this report during your application process.

It is crucial to provide as much detail as possible in this report, as it plays a significant role in the SSA’s decision on your claim. Be sure to include specifics about any physical limitations, such as difficulty standing or lifting objects, as well as any mental or cognitive impairments, such as memory loss or difficulty concentrating.

Determining Your Prior Work History

A critical aspect of the SSDI application process is the significance of your work history. The SSA considers your prior work history to determine if you have earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.

To earn work credits, you need to have annual wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits per year, and the amount required for a credit changes every year. For instance, in 2024, you will earn one credit for each $1,470 of wages or self-employment income. You will have earned all four credits for the year when you’ve earned $5,880.

The number of work credits required depends on your age when you become disabled. If you become disabled before the age of 24, you typically need 1.5 years of work, which is equivalent to six credits, in the three years preceding your disability. If you are between the ages of 24 and 31, you generally need credits for half of the time between age 21 and the time you became disabled.

Determining Your Substantial Gainful Activity

When applying for SSDI benefits, you must understand the concept of “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The SSA uses this concept to determine whether your work activity and earnings level disqualifies you from receiving SSDI benefits.

To be more specific, the SSA considers any average monthly earnings over $1,350 as SGA for non-blind individuals in 2024. For those who are blind, the SGA amount is $2,260. The SSA not only considers your income when determining SGA but also takes into account the nature of your work and the value of your work to your employer. If you are self-employed, the SSA considers both your work activity and your earnings in making an SGA determination.

Receiving a Decision on Your Claim

After the Disability Determination Services team finishes evaluating your claim, they will assess all the available information and make a decision based on the severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to work. Once they have reached a decision, you will receive an official letter from the SSA notifying you of the outcome.

If your claim is approved, the letter will provide you with details regarding the amount of benefits you will receive and when they will start. You will also be informed about your continuing eligibility and any other important information you need to know.

However, if your claim is denied, the letter will explain the reasons why the decision was made and provide you with information about how to appeal the decision if you disagree with it. The appeals process can be complicated, so it is important to read the letter carefully and follow the instructions provided to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.

Can I Appeal an SSDI Claim Denial in Arkansas?

If your initial SSDI claim is denied, don’t be disheartened. Many applicants have their claims denied initially but are successful upon appeal. The SSA provides several levels of appeal, including reconsideration, an administrative law judge hearing, an Appeals Council review, and finally, a Federal Court review.

During the reconsideration stage, a new reviewer will evaluate your claim and all related evidence. If your claim is denied at this stage, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case in person, call witnesses, and be represented by an attorney.

If the ALJ also denies your claim, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. The council can either decide your case itself or return it to an ALJ for further review. If your claim is denied at this level, your final option is to file a lawsuit in a Federal District Court.

Our Arkansas SSDI Attorneys Can Help You with Your Application

For a free case consultation with our Fayetteville, AR SSDI attorneys, contact us today at (479) 316-0438.