Social Security Disability Lawyers
The application process for Social Security Disability is complex. An experienced Little Rock Social Security Disability lawyer can help you gather the required information, ensure your medical documentation meets Social Security guidelines, and correctly complete your disability application.
As of August 31, 2022, more than 7.7 million American workers were receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, according to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are available to some workers who cannot work due to one or more medical conditions.
The approval rate for benefit applications is low, but our experienced Little Rock personal injury lawyers can ensure your application meets the requirements necessary to obtain approval.
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How Our Little Rock Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help
At NST Law, we call ourselves champions for the injured because our attorneys are passionate about getting results for our clients. Our lawyers know what it takes to get approved for Social Security Disability.
When you have NST Law advocating for you, you can count on us to take care of the important details and give you the best chance of success. We will complete the following steps for you:
- Determine your eligibility
- Gather the necessary documents
- Ensure your medical documentation is complete and accurate before sending it to the SSA
- File your initial claim
- File an appeal through each stage of the appeals process as necessary
We will keep you informed through every stage of the process. We know the type of documentation the SSA accepts, and we will make sure every aspect of your application meets all requirements.
What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both forms of disability offered by the SSA. The differences between these programs are described below.
Social Security Disability Insurance is awarded to disabled individuals who have earned enough work credits. The award amount is based on the salary earned by the worker. Award recipients receive monthly payments until they turn 65, at which time the benefit is converted to retirement benefits, usually in the same amount.
Supplemental Security Income is awarded to disabled individuals whose income and assets fall below the annual specified limit. Attaining the age of 65 is a qualifying disability. Recipients may receive disability or retirement at the same time as SSI up to the income limit. Work credits are not required or considered for SSI.
If you do not qualify for SSDI, you may qualify for this program. An SSI disability lawyer at NST Law can help.
Short-Term Disability Considerations
The SSA does not offer a short-term disability program. The Social Security rules assume workers’ compensation, employer-provided short-term disability benefits, or other supports will be available for short-term disability.
Qualifying Medical Conditions for Social Security Disability
You may qualify for SSDI if you have any condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity that is expected to last at least a year or result in death. Terminal and other severe conditions may result in an expedited application process.
The SSA maintains an extensive list of severe conditions that automatically trigger an expedited process. These are known as Compassionate Allowances. The SSA also utilizes a computer program to screen applications to identify applicants with the highest approval odds.
The Social Security Disability Claims Process
To file a claim for SSDI, you must complete the following steps:
- Gather your information and documents.
- Complete and submit your application.
- Wait for the SSA’s response to come by mail.
The SSA’s average application processing time is three to five months for an initial application.
During the application process, you must not be engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA is any work for which you are compensated an amount that reaches or exceeds the SSA’s maximum monthly amount, which is adjusted annually.
How is disability determined?
Your SSDI claim will be processed through the Little Rock field office to check your non-medical information, including your work credits, the accuracy and completeness of your application, and whether you are engaged in SGA.
If your application meets initial criteria, the field office sends it to Disability Determination Services (DDS). These are state agencies responsible for investigating medical evidence and making a final determination on whether you have a qualifying disability.
DDS will conduct a detailed investigation of your medical records. This includes reviewing the documentation you sent and requesting information directly from your health care providers.
If DDS is not satisfied with the results of your investigation, it could deny your application or require you to undergo a Social Security physical examination.
What To Do if Your Social Security Claim is Denied
If your benefits are denied, the determination is not final. You have the right to appeal.
Common Reasons for Denial
- Incomplete or incorrectly completed application
- Lack of sufficient work credits
- Medical disqualification (the SSA determined you do not have a qualifying disability)
- Determination that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity
The Appeals Process
The appeals process begins with a request for reconsideration by someone in the SSA who was not part of the initial determination. If your application is still denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If you are denied at this level, you can request an appeals council review.
The final option is a civil lawsuit in which you ask a federal court to review your application. With the exception of reconsideration, the appeals process can take considerably longer than the initial application process due to the need to wait for the hearing to be scheduled.
Time Limits to Appeal
The SSA allows you up to 60 days to appeal, commencing on the date you receive your denial letter.
How to Reach an Experienced Little Rock Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you have become disabled and are no longer able to work, you likely need to start receiving disability benefits as soon as possible. The lawyers for Social Security Disability at NST Law have more than 32 years of experience helping clients receive the benefits they need and deserve.
Contact our Little Rock Social Security attorneys today to get started.
Social Security FAQs
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive.
Do I need an attorney to file for Social Security benefits?
The Social Security Disability application process is complex. The majority of cases are denied on the initial application, and approvals are even less likely on appeal. This is most commonly caused by incorrectly completed applications and inadequate documentation.
An attorney can ensure your information is correct and that your medical information will satisfy the SSA’s definition of disability.
How much do Social Security Disability lawyers charge?
The SSA limits lawyer fees to 25 percent of your back pay or $6,000, whichever is less, plus costs.
How do lawyers get paid for Social Security cases?
Our attorneys at NST Law provide a contingency fee arrangement, which means you do not pay for services unless we win.
What factors can affect my SSDI benefits?
Your SSDI benefits are based on your earnings prior to the disability.
Do work credits affect eligibility for SSDI benefits?
Work credits are used to determine eligibility, but they do not impact the amount of your benefits.