If you have a debilitating disability that prevents you from working, you might ask, Do I qualify for disability payments?
Qualifying for Social Security disability can be a difficult and confusing process.
Social Security benefits are taxpayer-funded, and the government requires that applicants provide an extensive amount of paperwork before providing the disability benefit.
Even when individuals qualify for Social Security disability, their initial application can be denied.
Often the denial is due to one of several preventable errors, such as missing information in the application.
Oversights leading to a denial of benefits are common due to the complex nature of the Social Security disability application process.
An experienced Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) attorney from the Cottrell Law Office can help you avoid these mistakes in the first place.
Further, if you already filed an application and it was denied, our firm can work with you to appeal the decision.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is a federal government-run insurance program. It pays benefits to qualifying individuals who can no longer work due to their disability.
Many confuse SSDI with Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). SSI is a program for older adults and disabled individuals that provides payment based on age, disability, and income levels.
SSDI, on the other hand, provides disability payments to disabled individuals with a qualifying work history.
Common Social Security Disability Injuries
Any injury that is debilitating enough to prevent you from finding gainful employment might qualify for SSDI.
Common qualifying injuries include:
- Loss of fine motor control in the hands,
- Traumatic brain injury or other severe loss of brain function,
- Severe back injuries,
- Mental health injuries,
- Cancer or another chronic disease,
- Hearing loss, and
- Neurological disorders.
An experienced SSDI attorney can help you document your injuries and prove they qualify.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
An individual must meet two basic Social Security qualifications to collect SSDI payments.
First, the individual needs to have a qualifying work history. Second, they must have a qualifying medical condition.
A qualifying work history is based on a work credit system. SSDI work credit requirements are divided based on age.
If you are under 24 years old, you need six credits in the three years preceding your injury.
If you are between 24 and 31 years old, you must have earned 12 credits over the prior six years. Individuals older than 31 need 20 credits in the previous ten years.
You can earn four credits a year. Individuals earn one credit per every $1,640 in qualified earnings as of 2023.
Qualifying medical conditions are defined narrowly by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
In general, if you cannot engage in gainful employment and your condition will last over a year, your injury is a qualifying medical condition.
Applying for Social Security Disability in Arkansas
You will need to have all the required information to complete your application on hand. It is essential to fill out the application completely and accurately.
Minor mistakes can lead to a denial of your application. An experienced SSDI lawyer can help you apply in the most effective manner.
Once you submit the application in Arkansas, the Arkansas Disability Determination for Social Security Administration (DDSSA) will likely be the institution that will determine whether you are qualified.
Appealing a Social Security Disability Decision
Sometimes qualifying individuals have their applications rejected. Often this is due to a mistake on the application.
Other times the SSA determines that an injury is either not severe enough or not long-lasting enough to qualify. Unfortunately, you may need to fight the SSA to receive your eligible benefits.
Once you receive a rejection letter, you will have 60 days to appeal. Do not reapply; appealing is likely your best option. An SSDI attorney can help you appeal the decision.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Working with the Cottrell Law Office will improve your chances of getting approved for Social Security disability in Arkansas.
Our attorneys understand how to present your case and prove you qualify effectively. We can guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
Schedule a consultation with the Cottrell Law Office today.