In the United States, the Social Security Administration denies nearly 75% of all disability applications. Even though most people who apply for Arkansas disability benefits qualify, the Social Security Administration denies many applications more than once.
If this happens to you, contact an Arkansas social security disability lawyer at Cottrell Law Office today. We help clients navigate the complicated disability application process and strive to obtain the benefits they deserve.
Why Work With an Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer?
When applying for social security disability in Arkansas, there are several strict requirements you must meet to be eligible for benefits. In many cases, you must prove that your disability prevents you from working and that you have financial need.
At Cottrell Law Office, our Arkansas social security disability lawyers can help you file your initial application for benefits accurately in order to prove your disability. If the Social Security Administration denies your application twice, we can also represent you at an appeal hearing.
Arkansas Disability Benefits
There are two different types of disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration: social security disability insurance and supplemental security income. While they might seem similar at first, it is important to know the differences so you choose the correct application.
If you need help selecting the correct application, reach out to one of our disability lawyers in Arkansas.
Qualifying for AR SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance
Social security disability insurance, or SSDI, provides benefits to workers who suffer from a disability in the middle of their career. The applicant must prove that their disability prevents them from doing the same work as before.
Qualifying conditions and disabilities include, but are not limited to:
- Bipolar disorder,
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
- Multiple sclerosis,
- Spinal injuries,
- Hearing/Vision loss,
- Cancer, and
- Chronic fatigue.
There are also other requirements the applicant must meet. For example, you must have sufficient work credits and paid social security taxes before suffering from the disability.
Qualifying for AR SSI: Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental security income, or SSI, is meant for individuals with disabilities who have financial need. Usually reserved for the elderly or blind, SSI provides money for basic needs like clothing, shelter, and food.
To qualify for SSI you must be aged 65+ or have a disability. In addition, you must have limited resources or income. The Social Security Administration considers resources to be:
- Bank accounts,
- Life insurance, or
- Anything that can reasonably be sold for cash.
In contrast with SSDI, SSI is primarily need-based and applies to non-workers and retirees.
How to Apply for AR SSDI and AR SSI
Whether you apply for AR SDDI or AR SSI, you must prove that you have a qualifying disability. To do this, you must fill out an application for benefits, which the Social Security Administration must review and approve.
Step One: File the Initial Application
Once you file an initial application for benefits with your Arkansas social security disability lawyer, the Social Security Administration reviews your qualifications. This review usually takes 3 to 6 months.
According to the Social Security Administration’s Annual Statistical Report, they only approved 26% of SSDI applications and 32% of SSI applications in 2017.
Step Two: Submit a Reconsideration Appeal
If the Social Security Administration denies your initial application, you have 60 days to submit an appeal. At this stage, another committee within the same office reviews your application again. The average appeal takes 3 to 6 months to review.
On average, the Social Security Administration denies 9 out of 10 reconsideration appeals. If they deny your application again, you can ask for a final hearing in front of a judge. If you reach this stage, you should strongly consider hiring an Arkansas disability lawyer to represent you if you haven’t already.
Step Three: Attend a Disability Hearing
This is the longest step in the Arkansas disability benefits application. The Social Security Administration takes a long time to set up hearings. According to Disability Judges, the average wait time for an Arkansas disability hearing is 12 months, and the Social Security Administration only approves 38% of cases in Arkansas.
During this stage, it is important to consult with an experienced disability lawyer in Arkansas. They can help gather expert witnesses, including medical experts, to support your claim and help you answer the judge’s questions about your disability.
Contact a Qualified Arkansas Disability Lawyer Today
If you or loved one becomes disabled and unable to work, our team of experienced disability lawyers in Arkansas can help.
At Cottrell Law Office, we strive to get you or your family the financial support you need after an unexpected, debilitating injury. We can help you take the steps necessary to apply for the correct Arkansas disability benefits.
If you have questions about your disability or want to know how to apply for benefits, call us at (800) 364-8305 or contact us onlinefor a free consultation.