If you can’t work because of a health condition, you still need to be able to pay your bills. That’s why it’s important to find out if you’re eligible for Arkansas disability benefits from the federal government. Two programs pay monthly benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA):
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Finding out if you may qualify is easy since both programs use the same criteria. We created this guide to help you get the support you’re entitled to.
The SSDI program is funded by deductions from employee paychecks. Here’s what residents of The Wonder State need to know.
If you answer “yes” to all these questions, you can apply for SSDI benefits:
- Have you worked full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years in jobs that withheld Social Security taxes? Eligibility lapses if you stop working for 60 months since you weren’t paying FICA taxes.
- Are you between 18 and 65 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits? The program stops paying at full retirement age since that’s when you start receiving regular Social Security benefits.
- Have you seen a doctor in the past 90 days about your disability? If not, you can get a Disability Determination Services (DDS) exam to confirm your condition. Did you know an Arkansas disability lawyer can cover doctor’s visits and medical records if you can’t pay for them?
- Does your doctor expect your condition to keep you off the job for at least 12 months? If you can return to work sooner, then you aren’t eligible.
If you have some “no” answers, you may still qualify for the SSI program.
2. How Much Does SSDI Pay?
Arkansas disability payments are calculated in a two-step process. First, the SSA determines your average monthly paycheck over 35 years of work. Then they set your payment at 40% of that amount.
The average recipient receives $1,358 in monthly SSDI for 2022. To earn above $3,000 a month, you must have made $139,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled. The largest amount is $3,345 a month.
Your payments may increase in years when Congress approves a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
3. How Long Does It Take to Get Your First SSDI Payment?
Most applicants wait 5 months, so you could receive the first payment in about 6 months. Unfortunately, though, about half the people who apply are denied because of paperwork errors.
If your claim is denied, you have 60 days to request a reconsideration. That can take up to 3.5 months. If you’re turned down, you can go before an Administrative Law Judge to appeal your case. That process can take up to 12 months, though. And only 11% of appeals are successful. Even if you do win, you might have to wait almost 2 years for the first payment.
That’s why it’s important to get your application approved the first time.
Did you know that hiring an Arkansas disability attorney can make you three times more likely to get approved? You only have to pay this kind of lawyer if you win your case.
4. How Long Can I Receive SSDI Payments?
SSI for Arkansas Disability Applicants
SSI disability benefits help Americans who are blind, disabled or over 65 who meet eligibility requirements. Here’s what residents of the Natural State need to know.
Arkansans aged 65 and over are eligible. Younger residents must get a DDS exam to establish eligibility. Did you know an Arkansas disability lawyer can pay for doctor visits and medical records if you can’t?
2. What Are the Financial Eligibility Rules for SSI Disability?
- Possess total assets less than $2,000 ($3,000 for couples), including money in the bank and items you could sell, like stocks and bonds, lottery tickets, etc. Your vehicle, wedding ring, the home you own and other daily living items aren’t counted toward this limit.
- Have monthly income from wages and/or other sources under $2,260 if you are blind and $1,350 if you have another disability. Couples must have less than $2,607 in combined monthly income. Child support, alimony, earned interest, SNAP, TANF, etc., all count as part of your monthly income.
Approved individuals can get as much as $841; couples can get up to $1,261. These amounts may go up when Congress approves a COLA.
Arkansas disability recipients must pass a disability update every 3-7 years. If you’re over 65, benefits continue as long as you meet the financial requirements. If you’re under 65 and don’t pass the update, you no longer receive benefits.
Did you know engaging an Arkansas disability lawyer makes you almost 3x more likely to receive benefits?
Remember, qualified Social Security attorneys won’t charge you if you don’t receive benefits. If your application succeeds, then you only pay a small one-time fee.
Don’t wait! See if you qualify now! Click below to start your free online benefits evaluation.
Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.