Jonesboro, AR Social Security Disability Attorneys
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS
Each year in the United States millions of Americans receive some form of social security disability benefits. Approximately 17.5% of adults suffer from functional limitations that make it difficult to perform daily tasks.
Disabling conditions are relatively common among adults, but obtaining social security disability benefits can be difficult due to the complex process. It can take months even years before your SSD claim gets approved or even denied. That is why it is critical to have a team of experienced SSD lawyers on your side to help you get through the process and help your claim be approved faster.
Your work and medical history are extremely important when filing for SSD benefits. Make sure to keep a detailed record of all medical conditions, doctor visits, and medical records; this is critical. At Caddell Reynolds, your case will be handled by an experienced Arkansas Social Security Disability attorney who will make sure your files are up to date and filed properly.
If your disability prevents you from working and earning an income and you’ve worked enough “quarters” (and earned enough of an income) to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability.
Contact us Today for Help, You’ll be Glad You Did.
Caddell Reynolds has been serving Arkansas & Oklahoma clients for many years. Our experienced Jonesboro social security disability attorneys are dedicated to finding solutions to problems for our clients. Contact us at one of our offices near you for a free consultation.
3000 Browns Ln, Jonesboro, AR 72401
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case at our Jonesboro office, which is located at 3000 North Market Avenue, Suite A. We can also meet at a location that is more convenient for you.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page, or call Caddell Reynolds Injury Law at 800-671-4100.
Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, with a population of 71,551. It is home to the Arkansas State Red Wolves of Arkansas State University, and the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s A-State campus. Jonesboro is the fifth most populous city in the state and is the principal city in the Jonesboro Metropolitan Statistical area.
Jonesboro Legal Resources:
Arkansas Bar Association– The ArkBar represents its members’ interests, provides money-saving services, promotes the profession, and alerts members to the issues created by proposed legislation that affect their law practice.
Craighead County Clerk’s Office – The official bookkeeper for Craighead County serves as clerk for the county, quorum, and probate courts. The County Clerk, additionally, is the official voter registrar and issues marriage licenses.
Jonesboro Police Department – The City of Jonesboro’s Police Department strives to ensure that all citizens are served in a professional, ethical, and equitable manner.
What’s the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
As Arkansas Social Security Disability attorneys, one of the issues we often confront is confusion over two federal programs with similar purposes and abbreviations: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To make matters more confusing, both of these programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
To help clear up some of the confusion, this post explores the similarities and differences between these two critical programs.
HOW ARE THE PROGRAMS FUNDED?
SSD and SSI have two different sources of funding. SSD is funded by the FICA or self-employment (SE) tax. If you work for someone else, you pay into Social Security and Medicare through FICA taxes, which are reflected on your paystub. If you’re self-employed, you pay into those programs through the SE tax. In contrast, SSI is funded out of general federal revenues.
This may seem like a minor technicality, but it can help keep the two programs straight. SSD is insurance—a person can only benefit from it if he or she has paid premiums (in the forms of FICA or SE taxes). SSI is more like a traditional welfare program: It’s available for anyone who needs it, whether they’ve paid towards the benefits or not.
That brings us to the second distinction between the two programs:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EACH PROGRAM?
- To qualify for SSI, a person must:
- Be at least 65 years old, blind, or disabled;
- Have limited income;
- Have limited resources; and
- Apply for any other cash benefits or payments for which he or she may be eligible.
To qualify for SSD, a person must:
- Be disabled; and
- Have worked a sufficient amount of time before becoming disabled.
For adults, the definition of “disabled” is the same across the two programs. Under either program, a disability is a severe medical condition that prevents a person from performing any substantial gainful activity, and that has lasted, or can be expected to last, for at least one year or that can be expected to result in death.
What is a severe medical condition? The SSA maintains a list of conditions that automatically qualify. A condition not included on the list may still qualify if its severity is equivalent to a listed condition.
Note that built into the definition of “disability” is a limit on income, because “substantial gainful activity” is defined in terms of monthly earnings. For a non-blind disabled individual, this limit is generally $1,180 per month for 2018, whether the individual applies for SSD or SSI.
MAJOR ELIGIBILITY DIFFERENCES
Income and property limits. To qualify for SSI, a person’s income must be below a further income limit. The SSI-specific income limit is in addition to the “substantial gainful activity” limit discussed above. The type of income a person receives can affect how much he or she can earn each month, and not all income counts towards the limit.
Additionally, SSI imposes another limit on how much property a person can own and still qualify for the program. The property limit is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a married couple, but not all property is counted. For example, a person’s home does not count towards the property limit.
In contrast, the only income limit for SSD comes from the definition of “substantial gainful activity,” and it does not have a property limit.
Work credits. A person can only qualify for SSD if he or she has earned sufficient work credits. Work credits are earned by working and paying Social Security taxes, through either the FICA or SE tax. A person can earn up to four credits per year, and the number of credits a person needs to qualify for SSD depends on the age at which he or she became disabled.
On the other hand, a person can qualify for SSI regardless of his or her work experience.
WHAT BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE?
Both SSD and SSI provide monthly payments for individuals who are approved for the programs. Under SSI, an eligible individual can receive up to $750 per month for 2018, and eligible couples can receive up to $1,125 per month. However, these are the maximum monthly amounts available under SSI, and may be reduced depending on an individual’s or couple’s other income.
How much a disabled worker can receive under SSD depends on his or her past earnings. The average SSD recipient receives about $1,200 per month, but the maximum monthly SSD benefit is more than double that amount.
In addition, SSD may provide family benefits for a disabled worker’s family members. Any family benefits are in addition to what the worker receives, and do not reduce his or her benefits. In contrast, SSI does not provide family benefits.
HOW A SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU
SSI and SSD are both programs with complex rules governing who qualifies for them. Whether it’s the income and resource limits of SSI or the work-credit requirements of SSD, understanding, planning for, and complying with these rules is critical to receiving the benefits you need.
At Nolan Caddell Reynolds, our attorneys help Arkansas and Oklahoma residents apply for SSI or SSD benefits. We can help you understand what programs you may be eligible for and how to apply for them, and we work diligently to gather evidence supporting your application and speed up the entire process. If you are unable to work and are interested in exploring these two programs, contact the expert attorneys of Nolan Caddell Reynolds today.