Social Security & SSD Law Firm In Arkansas Offers Comprehensive Services
Don’t go it alone when filing or appealing a Social Security claim
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, you are likely frustrated and confused. The good news is that you have options. At Huffman Butler, PLLC we represent your interests throughout the claims process, from the initial application to the final appeal. Our Benton, AR disability attorneys are passionate and experienced legal advocates who care about the outcome of every case.
Social Security benefits are designed to replace a percentage of your earnings when you retire, become disabled or die. Your benefit payment is based on how much you earned during your lifetime. While most people do not start collecting Social Security benefits until they retire, illness and injury can strike at any time. In fact, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) states that the odds of a 20-year-old worker becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age are three in ten.
If you cannot work because of a physical or mental condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Similarly, individuals with disabilities who meet certain financial hardship requirements may be eligible for disability payments through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. For SSI, there is no requirement that the applicant has worked.
Filing a Social Security Disability claim
Your eligibility for disability benefits is determined by your work history and your disability. In general, you must have a disability that is expected to last or has lasted 12 months. A disability is defined as a physical or emotional — or both — condition that renders an individual unable to perform substantial gainful activity, considering the individual’s age, education and past work history. You must be totally disabled. The SSA does not pay benefits for partial disability or for short-term disability.
To qualify for an SSD filing, you must also meet certain earnings requirements at the time you became disabled. The “recent work” test takes into account your age at the time you became disabled, while the “duration of work” test evaluates whether you worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security benefits. In most cases, if you worked most of your life, you will have no difficulty satisfying these tests.
Appealing a Social Security claim
Within three to five months of filing your claim, you will receive a decision in the mail from the SSA. If your application is approved, the letter will state the amount of your monthly benefit and the effective date.
If your claim is denied, the SSA allows claimants to file appeals through a multistep process. The four levels of appeal are:
While the SSA conducts the reconsideration level, the other three levels involve the court system.
An experienced lawyer guiding the way
You don’t need legal representation to file or appeal a Social Security Disability claim. However, data from the SSA confirms that it will likely improve your chances of success. The complexity of the Social Security benefit system requires in-depth knowledge of both the laws and the process. Our legal team can help. With more than three decades of combined legal experience, our central Arkansas lawyers can answer all your Social Security FAQs.
Contact a skilled Benton Social Security attorney today
The disability benefit process is full of traps for the unwary. At Huffman Butler, PLLC our seasoned lawyers understand the law and fight aggressively on your behalf. To discuss your case, call 866-539-0747 or book an appointment on our online scheduler. We offer free initial consultations.