Social Security Local to Kentucky

Social Security local to Kentucky

Nearly 35% of Kentucky’s population reports living with some form of disability compared to the national average of 25%. It means that close to four in ten Kentuckians have a disability that prevents them from working and earning an income.

These disabilities cost the state up to $5.8 billion in disability-related healthcare costs annually. For all types of disabilities, cognitive, mobility-related, vision, hearing, and inability to live independently are the most common in the state.

If you live with a disability in Kentucky, you may be wondering if there are any programs that can help you financially.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs that provide financial assistance to disabled individuals: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

This post discusses everything you need to know about Social Security local to Kentucky. Read on to learn more:

How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Kentucky?

Since SSD is a federal government program, the requirements for qualifying are the same across the United States.

To qualify for SSD, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and earned enough work credits. The number of work credits you need to qualify for benefits depends on your age when you become disabled.

Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the ten years immediately before you became disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

In addition to meeting the work credit requirement, you must also have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.

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Your condition must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death, preventing you from working in any occupation. The SSA has a “Blue Book” listing of all the disabling conditions that qualify for benefits.

If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for benefits if you can prove that your condition is as severe as a listed condition or prevents you from doing work that you previously did.

Keep in mind that the SSA definition of disability is extremely narrow. That is why of the nearly three million Kentucky residents who are disabled, only 7% of them receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Therefore, make sure you gather as much evidence as possible before you apply for benefits. This may include medical records, doctor’s statements, and testimony from family and friends about how your disability has impacted your life and ability to work.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Kentucky?

You can apply for SSD benefits in Kentucky in three ways: online, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office.

If you choose to apply online, you can do so through the SSA website. The website also has an option to start or complete your application over the phone.

You will be expected to create or sign in to your Social Security account to complete your online application.

If you choose to apply by phone or in person, you can schedule an appointment with your local SSA office. You can find the contact information for your local office on the SSA website.

Remember that there is usually a wait time to get an appointment, so it’s best to schedule one as soon as possible.

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When you go to your appointment, you will need to bring certain documents, such as your birth certificate, proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status, and your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return.

You will also need to provide information about your medical condition, including the names and contact information of your doctors, hospitals, and clinics. The SSA will use this information to obtain your medical records.

It’s important to note that you should not delay applying for SSD benefits. The application process can take several months, and if approved, your benefits will be retroactive to the date you first became disabled.

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What Happens After I Apply for SSDI in Kentucky?

Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the SSA to make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

If you do, your application will be sent to the Kentucky Disability Determination Services (DDS) office for a more in-depth review of your medical condition.

The DDS is responsible for making the disability determination for all SSD and SSI applicants in Kentucky.

To do this, the DDS will obtain your medical records and may also send you for a consultative examination (C.E.) with a doctor of their choice.

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You are required to cooperate with the DDS during the disability determination process. This includes going to any C.E. or appointments they schedule for you.

Once the DDS has all the information they need, they will determine whether or not you are disabled.

If you are approved for benefits, you will receive a notice in the mail telling you how much your monthly benefit payments will be and when you can expect to receive them.

If you are denied, the notice will explain why and tell you your options for appealing the decision.

How Can I Appeal a Denial of Benefits?

Unfortunately, only 29% of the initial SSDI applications are approved in Kentucky. If your application for SSD benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You must file your appeal within 60 days of receiving the denial notice.

There are four levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration: During this level of appeal, your application will be reviewed by someone who did not make the original decision on your case. This is usually done within three to five months.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge: If your reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This usually takes place within 12 months.
  • Review by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council: If you are still denied benefits after your hearing, you can ask the Appeals Council to review your case. The Appeals Council can either deny your request or return your case to an administrative law judge for a new hearing.
  • Federal court review: If the Appeals Council denies your request or doesn’t make a decision within 60 days, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court.

If you are denied SSD benefits in Kentucky, it’s essential to speak with an experienced disability attorney about your appeal options.

An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your disability and give you the best chance of getting the benefits you need and deserve.

How Much Will I Get in SSD Benefits in Kentucky?

The amount of your SSD benefit payments will depend on your earnings history. The SSA uses a formula to calculate your benefits, which takes into account the average of your past covered earnings.

For 2020, the maximum SSD benefit is $1,258 per month. However, most people receive much less than this amount. The average SSD benefit in Kentucky is $940 per month.

Can I Work While Receiving SSD Benefits?

You can work while receiving SSD benefits, but there are limits on how much you can earn. For 2020, the SSA has set the limit at $1,260 per month. This is known as the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit.

If you earn more than the SGA limit, the SSA will assume that you can work, and your benefits will stop. You may still be eligible for benefits if you can work but only earn below the SGA limit.

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The SSA has a program called the ticket to work program, which is designed to help people with disabilities return to work.

The program offers free job placement and training services. For more information, contact the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation at 1-800-372-7172.

Get Help Applying for SSD Benefits in Kentucky

The Social Security Disability application process can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are already dealing with a disabling condition.

An experienced SSD attorney can help you navigate the application process and give you the best chance of getting the benefits you need and deserve.

Contact an attorney at Legal Giant today to get help with your SSD claim in Kentucky. We offer a free initial consultation, and you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.

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