Kansas Social Security Disability Lawyer
Applying for Social Security disability benefits in Kansas can be difficult for people who are not familiar with the system. Not only is the application process complex, but many applicants have their claims denied. According to statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA), less than 36% of first-time Social Security Disability Insurance applications were approved in 2019. The remaining 64% of applications were denied.
While it is possible to appeal an SSA decision, the process can stretch on for months or even years. With the help of an experienced Kansas disability lawyer, however, you may be able to increase your chances of getting approved for benefits. Find out more about qualifying for disability benefits from the attorneys at Patterson Legal Group.
Note: Although Patterson Legal Group does not directly represent Social Security disability claim cases, our legal team is available to assist you in finding a qualified and experienced Kansas Social Security disability lawyer.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits in Kansas
In order to begin receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must have a medical condition that is considered to be disabling by the Social Security Administration. In addition, the disability must prevent you from earning a livable wage, also referred to as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
On top of these requirements, SSDI recipients must also have worked long enough and recently enough to earn a certain number of work credits. Disabled workers who do not have enough work credits may still qualify for financial assistance through the Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) program.
Meeting the SSA Definition of Disabled
The SSA considers a variety of evidence when determining whether or not someone is disabled. If you are working and earning more than $1,310 per month (as of 2021), you generally will not qualify for disability. You must also demonstrate that your condition is severe and prevents you from doing basic work activities over a period of at least 12 months.
The SSA also utilizes a list of common disabling conditions called the Blue Book. If your condition fits the requirements set forth in the Blue Book, you may have a better chance of qualifying. However, even if your condition is not listed, or does not meet eligibility requirements, you may still be able to get disability benefits if you’re 1) unable to do the same work you’ve done in the past, and 2) you’re unable to do any other kind of work.
Submitting Adequate Documentation
In most cases, a simple diagnosis isn’t sufficient evidence of a disabling condition. The SSA will also require extensive documentation of your personal information, banking information, family details (such as spouses or children), thorough work and education history, and all medical records related to your condition over the past 12 months (or more), including a list of doctors, hospitals, procedures, prescribed medications, and more.
If you’re unable to procure this documentation on your own, a Kansas Social Security disability lawyer can assist you in collecting all the necessary records to prove your case.
Read More: How to Pick the Right Lawyer
Appealing a Denied Kansas Disability Claim
After your initial application, SSA will review your claim. This process usually takes between three to five months. If your claim is accepted, you’ll begin receiving benefits. If your disability claim is denied, you’ll have more than one opportunity to appeal the SSA’s decision. There are four levels of appeals: review by the Appeals Council, a Federal Court review, reconsideration, and hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
For the first step in appeals, you don’t have to do anything. The SSA will perform a complete review of your application and claim by someone who was not involved in the initial denial. But if there’s something missing or the application was incorrectly filled out, a reconsideration will still result in a second denial.
To appeal a reconsideration denial, claimants are required to attend a formal hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is an in-person hearing, and often requires additional evidence, and if possible, witness testimony regarding your disability from credible sources such as your doctor. It is strongly recommended to obtain legal representation in order to win a Social Security Disability hearing.
Subsequent appeals also require extensive legal knowledge and skill in order to successfully reverse the court’s decision.
Get Help from a Kansas Social Security Disability Lawyer
Hundreds of thousands of disabled workers apply for SSDI benefits every year, whether as a result of progressive medical illnesses, mental disorders, or permanent disabilities resulting from car accidents, work accidents, or other injuries. Far too many of these applicants have their claims denied for avoidable reasons, like missing medical records or filing mistakes.
With the help of a Kansas disability lawyer, you can get your disability application approved the first time. And, should your claim be denied, you’ll have a knowledgeable and dedicated legal team on your side to ensure that your claim is fairly reviewed.
To connect with a Social Security disability lawyer near you, contact Patterson Legal Group. We’ll conduct a preliminary review of your case and refer you to a trusted legal representative in Kansas. Call us at (888) 687-2400, connect with one of our LiveChat agents standing by, or send us a brief message online.