Fayetteville Social Security Disability Attorney
It is a simple fact of human nature that over time our bodies wear out and the things that we could once easily accomplish become significantly more difficult. Over time, sitting or standing for extended periods of time may become painful or impossible. Your ability to lift and carry heavy or objects of twenty pounds or more may become significantly reduced. Similarly, the dexterity in your fingers may be reduced over time due to arthritis or other conditions. In short, you may no longer be able to perform the work you once did simply due to time or the natural aging process. In other circumstances, you may be unable to continue your current work due to an injury that occurred or because of an illness or condition you developed. If you are interested in applying for the Social Security Disability program, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville Social Security Disability attorney.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, our disability attorneys are prepared to provide you with the legal representation necessary to obtain disability benefits. Our team of attorneys possesses decades of legal experience, and we would like to utilize this experience to represent you. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your claim, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 717-9068, or contact us online.
How SSDI Insurance and SSI Insurance Works
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two forms of financial assistance that is offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of these programs is to provide a safety net for individuals who live with chronic illnesses or who are unable to work due to a number of circumstances like suffering a serious work injury.
SSDI is typically for individuals that are under the age of 65 and have paid taxes from their paychecks into the Social Security trust fund. SSDI also allows a disabled individual to use a portion of their benefits to their spouse and children. While you may have to wait five months to receive benefits after being approved for SSDI, the program may return that money in back pay.
SSI is a need-based program that distributes benefits based on a person’s income and assets. For example, if you have extremely limited assets combined with a low income, you will likely be eligible for SSI benefits. Unlike SSDI, SSI does not depend on a person’s work history. If you qualify for SSI, you may also qualify for the Medicaid program and food stamps.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs can provide individuals who can no longer work with cash benefits. These cash benefits can provide stability for a family and the resources to seek medical treatment to address or control the condition. However, the process through which an individual obtains benefits can be complex and overwhelming. Furthermore, benefits denials are common for a variety of reasons including a failure to present sufficient evidence. The following is a list of conditions that can make a person eligible for SSDI or SSI:
- Digestive system disorders
- Hematological disorders (blood disorders like Sickle Cell Anemia)
- Respiratory disorders
- Mental disorders
- Cardiovascular system conditions
This is not an exhaustive list. To learn more about the process of applying for SSDI or SSI, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Arkansas disability lawyer.
How the Social Security Administration (SSA) Determines a Benefits Award
For benefits determinations, the SSA utilizes a 5-step sequential evaluation process. The five-step process begins with determining whether you are working or otherwise engaged in what the SSA calls “substantial gainful activity” or SGA. If your activity exceeds certain levels, you will be ineligible for benefits. At step two in the process, the SSA will consider whether your injury, condition, or impairment is considered severe under SSA rules. If the SSA should happen to rule that your disability is “not severe” it does not necessarily mean that your condition is mild, it could simply mean that you have failed to present sufficient evidence.
If you proceed to the third step of the process, the SSA will determine whether your condition meets or equals a listed condition. If your condition meets or equals a condition that appears in the SSA’s listed conditions, you can immediately qualify for benefits without proceeding to steps four and five of the process.
Should your condition be considered severe but not meet or equal a listed condition, your residual functional capacity (RFC) will be assessed at step four. RFC simply means the things that you are still able to do despite your severe impairment. At step four, a determination will also be made regarding whether your RFC permits you to perform past work. If you are unable to perform past work, the SSA will determine whether you are able to perform alternate work at step five in the process.
You should not be discouraged if your initial application is denied, you may have options to successfully appeal the SSA’s decision.
Working with an SSDI and SSI Lawyer to Get Approved for Disability Benefits
A Social security Disability lawyer has a thorough understanding of not only the decisional process outlined above, but also the specific Social Security rules, regulations, and manuals the effect and influence the action a disability determination specialist (DDS) will take.
Furthermore, Social Security Disability attorneys understand the types of evidence the Social Security Administration is looking for to prove not only the presence of a severe condition but also the effects that it has on your day-to-day life.
For instance, many people think that a mere diagnosis from a doctor is sufficient to convince the SSA that you have a particular condition or impairment. In reality, you will require significantly more evidence of the condition including objective medical tests, medical imaging tests, and other tests. The exact tests will vary by the nature and type of condition.
Additionally, you must also provide evidence and examples of how the condition limits your ability to engage in activities of daily life. This evidence can come in a variety of forms including the testimony of friends, relatives, and community leaders. However, other and additional forms of evidence are often effective and may even be required.
Work with a Fayetteville, Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you are seeking an SSDI or an SSI benefits awards because of a severe disability or impairment, the SSDI lawyers of Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP are willing to fight for you. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your claim, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 717-9068.