There are an estimated 702,000 adults in the state of Kentucky who are afflicted with some type of disability, and there are even more in Indiana. This means around 20 percent of the adult population in Kentucky and Indiana has one or more medical or health impairments.
Most of these folks press on with their disabilities because they still need to work to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, some of those who are disabled are no longer able to work or support their families. They still need some kind of income or financial support. That’s why government benefits programs are in place for medical bills and living expenses.
Qualifying for federal disability benefits can be a major challenge and many valid applications are initially denied. A disability attorney at Becker Law Office be able to help. Becker Law Office focuses on helping clients seek full disability benefits through the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration. If you work with a Kentucky disability claims lawyer, you’ll be represented by an experienced attorney who has helped hundreds of people just like you.
The process of pursuing disability benefits can be slow and confusing. Our attorneys understand the rules that determine whether an applicant qualifies for benefits. Don’t delay in contacting an experienced law firm that knows the ins and outs of the legal process.
Contact Becker Law Office today to start cutting through government “red tape”! We’ll set up a FREE consultation to review your case and tell you how we can help you. We do not get paid unless we recover benefits for you!
Types of Disability Benefits
Four types of disability benefits are available to Kentucky and Indiana residents who are unable to work as a result of a medically diagnosed condition or impairment. Potential resources for the disabled include:
- Social Security Disability—The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs that provide disability benefits to those who cannot work and meet the strict criteria to qualify for benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to people who have worked, paid into the Social Security system and become disabled after working for a long enough period. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)provides disability benefits to people who have limited resources and low or no income. Both SSI and SSDI have the same strict definition of disability.To qualify for federal disability, an individual must be unable to perform any type of gainful employment.
- Veterans Disability Benefits—Those injured due to military duty may seek disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. Benefits are available to those who are at least 10 percent disabled. Individuals who have been diagnosed with either a physical or mental condition may qualify.Your disability will be assigned a rating based on how severe it is, and your benefits payments will be determined based on that disability rating.
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits—When you suffer an injury while performing work tasks, you may be entitled to disability benefits through workers’ compensation. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to pay benefits to employees. When an injury happens on the job and causes you to be temporarily or permanently unable to work, you can receive paid medical care and workers’ compensation disability payments to cover a portion of your lost wages. Workers’ compensation can pay a defined total disability benefit if you are completely unable to work, but can also pay partial disability benefits if you can do some job but must switch to lighter duty or lower-paying work. Partial disability benefits replace a portion of the money lost due to the work injury and the need to switch to a lower paying job.
- Private Disability Insurance—You can buy disability insurance yourself, or your employer may provide it as part of your benefits package. Not everyone has private disability insurance. For those who do, this is generally the only type of disability benefits program that provides monthly income if you suffer a short-term disabling condition. If you do not have private disability insurance, you may be unable to receive any benefits for a short-term condition that lasts for less than a year.
With multiple disability benefits programs, it may seem like it would be simple enough to obtain benefits if you were disabled. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Many disability benefits programs have a long wait for review of your claim. The strict eligibility criteria can result in denials for small, technical reasons, regardless of your qualifying disability. Government efforts to fight fraud can result in pressure on claims examiners that lead to legitimate benefits applications being unfairly denied.
Making a Strong Claim
Part of being successful when applying for disability benefits is knowing the system. Becker Law Office attorneys know the major governmental disability benefits programs well. Our Kentucky disability attorneys have helped hundreds of disabled individuals obtain disability benefits.
As we prepare to assist you, you can help yourself as you apply for benefits. You should:
- Follow the Rules—All benefits programs have strict rules and some have deadlines, such as for reporting an injury for workers’ compensation or for responding to notices from the VA or SSA. Read all correspondence you receive, fill out forms completely, and follow any instructions if you are referred to a website or any other literature. If Becker Law Office is assisting you, we can handle all of the paperwork your claim requires and ensure all deadlines are met.
- Follow Doctor’s Orders—All disability benefits are based on your medical condition, which must be documented. In addition to being examined and diagnosed by a doctor, you need to go along with the doctor’s treatment plan, including keeping all appointments. If you fail to keep follow-up appointments, it can jeopardize your claim to benefits. If you need a referral to a doctor or a specialist, Becker Law Office has contacts in Kentucky and Indiana, including doctors who know governmental disability programs and their needs well.
- Gather Records and Make Copies—Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation benefits are based in part of what you earn, including your history of earning for SSA. This requires employment records, potentially going back several years and for multiple employers. A Veterans Disability benefits application requires documentation of your service record. Becker Law Office knows it can be difficult to hunt down records if you are dealing with a disabling medical condition. Our knowledgeable disability attorneys can do this legwork for you.
- Weigh Work Offers—If you are able to work despite your disability, you should. Benefits are to cover your needs if you cannot work. However, some employers encourage injured workers to return to work before they are ready or to take lesser paying work simply to end or reduce workers’ compensation payments. You can hurt yourself medically and hurt your benefits claim by working when you shouldn’t. If Becker Law Office represents you, we can review your file and advise you as to how accepting work will affect you financially.
Call a Kentucky Disability Claims Attorney for Legal Assistance
Not having a paycheck can be a very frightening prospect. Dealing with the process of applying for benefits and worrying as you wait can actually make your medical condition worse.
You should focus on your medical needs and let our disability claims attorneys in Kentucky advocate for your legal rights.
One of our disability lawyers and staff at Becker Law Office could:
- Advise you as to which disability benefits program you may be eligible to receive payments from—In some cases, you may qualify for more than one type of disability benefit.
- Help you complete your application for disability benefits—Both the VA and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have large backlogs of pending applications awaiting review. With the SSA, it could take as long as four to six months on average to get an initial answer to your application. At the VA, things are actually even worse because of a backlog of hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been waiting months to have their claims reviewed.Any mistake or omission in a benefits application gives a claims reviewer reason to deny your claim. There is an appeals process, but it can take a year or longer to complete the appeals process. Our experienced disability benefits team can help to ensure your application is complete and your claim or appeal complies with all filing deadlines.
- Help prove your eligibility for benefits—More than half of all Social Security Disability claims are denied, and the VA, workers’ compensation insurers, and private disability insurers deny legitimate claims on a regular basis. You need to make a strong case to show that you are entitled to benefits.The disability lawyers at Becker Law Office will help you gather medical evidence and present your evidence to support your disability claim. This means completing numerous forms and documenting your medical condition and how it has left you disabled.
- Help you appeal a benefits denial—A denial of a disability benefits claim can be devastating. However, denials are not final. If the VA denies your claim or gives you an improperly low disability rating, there are multiple levels of appeal, including filing a Notice of Disagreement with your local VA, appealing to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and appealing to the U.S. Court for Veterans’ Claims. The SSA and workers’ compensation boards also have appeals processes, although the steps are different for each. For the SSA, for example, you’ll make a request for reconsideration, then have a disability benefits hearing, then have the hearing decision reviewed. In some appeals you can testify and have others testify on your behalf. This can be beneficial, but it allows the government to cross-examine you or your witnesses. This requires consideration and preparation. Our determined disability claims attorneys at Becker Law Office will guide you through whatever methods of appeal are necessary, help you gather additional evidence if needed, and will stand up for your rights and argue on your behalf.
- Take action if benefits are stopped—The term of your disability benefits will vary depending on the types of benefits you are receiving. If your benefits stop unexpectedly for any reason, a disability benefits attorney can help you to find out why and work on your behalf to restore your benefits.
When you work with Kentucky disability claims lawyer at Becker Law Office, you are assured of having the experience you need to get the benefits you deserve! Don’t delay — contact the Becker Law Office today.