The Oklahoma Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) law attorneys at Kania Law Office possess the knowledge and skills necessary to handle your Social Security needs. The Kania Law Office is an Oklahoma based Social Security law office and aggressively assists individuals who are seeking Social Security Disability and SSI benefits.
Distinguishing Oklahoma Social Security Disability and SSI
Both programs are administered by the Federal Government through the Social Security Administration. The medical requirements needed to qualify for both SSI and Social Security Disability under either program are the same. What is considered to be a disability under either program is also the same. The difference between the two programs is that Social Security Disability is an insurance benefit while Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a safety net for low or no income earners.
For individuals 18 years or older to qualify for Social Security Disability Income the person must have paid enough of their past income into the plan. This is done through payroll taxes paid by the employed worker or self-employed individual. A rule of thumb is that the person should have worked for two of the last ten years. For those individuals under 18 years of age, the amount of money the recipient is eligible for is based on the Social Security earnings of the insured. The maximum benefit available under SSDI is that which the taxpayer would earn if he or she were accelerated to full retirement age. Generally those who are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits after 24 months will qualify for Medicare benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI or Title XVI) is available to low or no income persons who are disabled. Unlike SSDI, SSI recipients are not required to have worked or paid Social Security taxes. Each state is different on the amount of payments each recipient will receive. Also, the prospective recipient must have a minimal amount of assets including cash on hand. In Oklahoma the maximum benefit available to a single individual is just under $700 per month and for a married couple just over $1000 per month. Medicaid is available to SSI recipients.
Social Security Disability Qualifications
An individual may qualify for Social Security Disability payments (SSDI) if they are no longer able to perform substantial gainful activity as the result of a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months, or possibly result in death. It also includes “blindness” as a disability for those who have “central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens.” In other words, you are disabled if you are unable to work due to an illness or medical condition that is life threatening or is expected to continue for (or has lasted for) one year. You would also be eligible if you become blind.
To decide whether you are disabled, the Social Security office may use as qualifiers some of the following physical and or mental disorders: Cancer, diabetes, type 2 diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, Lupus, crohn’s disease or crohns, Multiple Sclerosis or MS, rheumatoid arthritis, diverticulitis, back surgery, heart surgery, high blood pressure (hypertension), hip, neck, shoulder, ankle, wrist, back, or other joint problems, disc herniation, hydrocephalitis, interstitial cystitis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rsi or repetitive stress injury, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, arthritis, dysthymia, depression or other mood disorders. Congestive or Chronic Heart Failure, Type 1 Seizure Disorder, Stroke, COPD, Auto immune system disease, emphysema, hearing loss or poor hearing, statutory blindness, Peripheral Field Problems or Other Vision Loss, Clinical Obesity or Morbidly Obese, attention deficit hyper activity or ADHD, bipolar disorder or manic depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia, autism, head trauma or brain injury. Low IQ, mental retardation, learning disability, epilepsy, cancer, chronic fatigue, lupus, anxiety, inner ear problems, meniere’s, vertigo or dizziness, kidney failure requiring dialysis or other renal problems, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis C or other liver disease, pancreatitis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, rsd or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, sarcoidosis, peripheral vascular disease, lyme disease, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, down syndrome, hiv, aids, anemia, sickle cell, thyroid problems including hypothyroidism, esrd or end stage renal disease, reflux, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), cfids, muscular dystrophy, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, or tachycardia, bradycardia or other arrhythmia.
How do I Apply for my Social Security Disability in Oklahoma?
You can either hire an Oklahoma Social Security attorney from the Kania Law Office or you can do it yourself. If you choose to go it alone you can contact the Social Security office nearest to you or visit the government web site and file the application online. If you decide to do it yourself be ready to supply the Social Security Administration with all your medical records, taxes and work information.
What if my Social Security Disability Claim is denied?
Most disability applications will be denied upon first application. In fact, the rate of denial on the initial claim in Oklahoma is 66.1%. In the likely event that your initial application is denied, the process allows 60 days to apply for reconsideration and appeals to an administrative law judge and beyond. The likelihood that the reconsideration is denied is also high. This is why you need competent assistance to work through the process. Your chances on appeal depend on the quality of your evidence and your understanding of the process. At the Kania Law Office we take the hassle out of the claims process. Contact one of our Oklahoma Social Security Disability lawyers for a free consultation.
What are the Listings?
The Social Security Regulations provide tables from which the Social Security Administration determines whether your circumstances warrant a determination that you are, in fact, disabled. These listings describe how sever your condition or limitations must be for you to be considered disabled. Your age, education and work experience also factor in to these listings. The listings are very specific, but, if your particular circumstances do not meet the requirements of one single listing you can argue alternatively that the combination of all your illnesses, limitations or diseases together constitute disability.
What Evidence do I Need?
Your best evidence will be your medical reports. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will place great weight on your treating physician’s report. Also, past tests that you have undergone through your treatments will be invaluable in the Court’s determination should you get that far. It is possible that testimony from family or friends will be taken into consideration by the court. However, the best evidence will come from expert witnesses and reports.
How Long will the Process Take?
Your initial application will take between four and six months depending on your medical evidence. If denied at this stage, the reconsideration process can take anywhere between one and six months. If denied at reconsideration stage, the process to get a hearing before an ALJ takes between twelve and sixteen months.
Our experienced Tulsa lawyers represent Oklahomans with disabilities, helping them to navigate through the Social Security Administration process and get the help that they need.