In Kansas, about 67,000 of the state’s residents receive SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will assess disability benefit claims and may grant a benefit to those whose disability characteristics meet the SSA’s exact criteria.
All is not lost if a claim is denied as with the help of a disability lawyer it may be possible for an appeal to be lodged and a disability claim won.
Social Security Benefits in Kansas: Key Facts
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal body that has been delegated the responsibility for approving disability benefits for anyone who fits the criteria and who lives in any state in the U.S., including the state of Kansas.
There are 10 social security offices in Kansas where an applicant who believes he or she is eligible for disability benefits can visit to apply for the benefit. The cities where an SSA field office is located are:
- Dodge City
- Kansas City
Whether you are considering filing a claim for a social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefit or a supplementary security income (SSI) benefit does depend on the number of years worked you have completed and any work credits you may have accumulated over time.
When an applicant submits a disability benefit claim, the application is forwarded to the state office of the Disability Determination Services (DDS) which will then assess the claim. The DDS has medical experts to draw upon who may compare the severity of a disability by matching it with the SSA’s Blue Book lists.
Most, but not all disabilities can be found listed in the Blue Book. The DDS may request that the applicant has to undertake further tests or have their disability assessed through a residual functional capacity assessment undertaken by a doctor.
Kansas has a disability rate of 24.7 percent of the state’s population which is not much different from the national average of 25.6 percent. This doesn’t mean that everyone with a disability will qualify for disability benefits but only those whose disability is so serious that it is impossible to be engaged in a job.
In the State of Kansas, if a disability benefit applicant has had a claim denied after it has been through the reconsideration stage, it might be several months before a hearing is given a date. After the hearing has taken place applicants may need to wait even longer before the result of the application is released.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Benefit Claim in Kansas
When a disability benefit claims is denied from the first application in Kansas, this is often because the medical and case history information isn’t good enough for SSA claims officers to reach the correct decision. If your initial claim is denied the next step to take is to request a reconsideration of your claim. If this is denied as well, you should file request for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ).
Before attending the hearing date you should make sure you have more detailed facts about your disability so that you have a stronger case to be eligible for disability benefits than the first attempt. This includes:
- how well your disability matches the SSA’s Blue Book criteria;
- your detailed medical history;
- your work history;
- when your disability commenced and became so severe you couldn’t work any more.
It is a good idea to ask your physician to assess your residual functional capacity (RFC) which will confirm what you are able to do both physically and mentally.
At the hearing the ALJ’s job is to appraise all the information you have sent to the SSA up to now and any new information you are able to provide at the hearing. Medical experts may be present at the hearing to ask you some more questions and arrive at their own decision. Many claims in Kansas are finally approved after this hearing, but if yours is unsuccessful, there are still some more steps to take in the appeal’s process.
Help Filing for Disability Benefits in Kansas
Getting your disability benefits entitlements requires carefully following through the complicated application process. This is when a disability lawyer can guide you through this process including helping you with an appeal if your initial social security disability benefit claim is denied.
Your lawyer may help you to arrange appointments any further tests, make sure your medical records are in order and organize and book a date for a RFC assessment, if needed, which may give you a much higher chance of overturning a claim that has been denied.