In 2022, approximately 200,000 Kentuckians will receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Although the application process can be stressful, it is still possible to complete the application and receive benefits. To help you, this guide will explain who is eligible for benefits, how the application process works, and your possible monthly benefit amounts.
Which Kentucky Disability Program Should I Apply For?
Kentucky does not administer its own disability program. However, Kentucky residents are eligible for benefits through federal government or private insurance. Kentucky residents may be eligible for any (or all) of the following programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):federal government regulationsSSDIFor those who have been working for a long time but cannot continue to work due to medical conditions. You may be eligible for SSDI if you have worked for at least 5 of the past 10 years. SSA awards benefit amounts (payments) based on the income you earn and the taxes you pay. These are usually the largest payments for disability plans. SSDI also comes with Medicare, the health insurance.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI):Children, older Americans, and others who have never worked or have recently worked hard enough to qualify for SSDI may be eligibleSSIthrough the federal government. You are only eligible for the program if your income and assets are limited. You will also get Medicaid coverage.
- Veterans Disability Benefits:Active duty and retired veterans who are injured while in the military and are therefore unable to work may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). accessVA Disability Services Websitelearn more. You can still get SSDI and SSI benefits while receiving VA benefits.
- Long-term or short-term private disability insurance:Some employers offer private disability plans, but you can also buy one from a private insurance company. If you had a policy before you stopped working, you can file a claim. Payments can be up to 60% of your previous salary and can continue for months or years. Many insurance companies will require you to apply for SSDI if you receive long-term benefits.
Most people with disabilities in Kentucky are eligible for either SSDI or SSI, so this guide will help you apply to both programs. Learn more about other programs on our websiteA Guide to Types of Disability Benefits.
Skip reading. See which benefits you qualify for in 2 minutes or less.
How to Qualify for a Disability in Kentucky
To qualify for a disability, you must demonstrate that you meet the technical and medical standards set by SSA. SSDI and SSI have slightly different technical requirements, but the medical requirements are the same.
Medical eligibility for disability benefits
Medical eligibility for SSDI and SSI is twofold: You must have a disability or medical condition that will last at least the next year, and the condition must prevent you from working.
You must have medical documentation from a doctor confirming your diagnosis and their expectation that your condition will affect your ability to work. Applicants with terminal conditions can refer to SSAlove help listQualify for benefits faster.
SSA also considers your age in the application process.It is easier for you to qualify for a disability if you are over 50Because you just have to prove that it's impossible for you to continue the work you've done. If you are under 50, you must prove that you are medically unable to work of any kind, even if you retrain.
SSDI technical qualification
To qualify for SSDI, you must meet two basic criteria:
- You are 66 or younger (less than your full retirement age).
- you have enoughSSA work credit, which means you've paid enough Social Security taxes. You are more likely to qualify if you have worked for at least 5 of the past 10 years. To see how many work credits you have, create a free account at SSA.gov.
learn more aboutSSDI qualification.
SSI technical qualification
To qualify for SSI, you must meet two income and asset limits:
- Little or no income, less than $900 per month.
- Have few personal assets, including retirement funds or personal savings, less than $2,000 for singles and $3,000 for married couples.
learn more aboutSSI-eligibility.
Kentucky Disability Eligibility Requirements
there are many differentQualifying health conditionsThe SSA defines a disability for them. However, regardless of the circumstances, you can get disability benefits as long as your condition prevents you from working and will continue for a year or more.
Recently released data from the SSA shows the most common conditions among Kentucky disability benefit recipients:
- Musculoskeletal disorders: 35.6%
- Mental condition: 31.6%
- Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 8.4%
- Cardiovascular (disorders of the circulatory system): 6.9%
- Respiratory diseases: 3.5%
- Injured: 3.3%
- Cancer (Tumor): 2.4%
- Endocrine disorders: 2.3%
- Digestive disorders: 1.5%
- Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 1.1%
- Infectious and parasitic diseases: 0.6%
- Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.4%
- Other qualifying conditions: 0.3%
- Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.2%
- Pi ratio: 0.2%
For disabled Kentuckians with mental health issues, these are the most common:
- Depression, bipolar disorder and related disorders: 24,306 people
- Intellectual disability: 17,573
- Neurocognitive impairment: 7,401 people
For more help, read our aboutdisabled due to mental illness.
How to Apply for Disability in Kentucky
Apply for disability, start with the most important thingSSI and SSDI Application Form.then you will explain your work historywork history reportand how your condition affects your daily lifefunction report.You may be required to complete additional forms or provide additional medical information while SSA processes your application.
You can complete the application yourself or collaborate with othersdisability lawyer.If you are helping others apply, you can refer to our guideDisability application on behalf of a childoask loved ones.
How should I prepare my application?
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your application. It may take one to two hours to complete the application, not including the time required to gather all necessary materials. Your attorney can handle most of the application process, but there are some important steps to keep in mind:
- Have all your personal records ready.This includes medical records, treatment forms, bank account information, employment and income history, and contact information for your healthcare provider. When it comes to medical documentation, the more the merrier.
- Make sure to complete the entire application.Double check that you have answered all questions on all forms. This can help you avoid delays in treatment.
- Answer questions honestly and coherently.SSA will verify that the answers on your application match the information on your medical and supplemental forms. Be realistic and honest about your condition, including limitations, pain levels and symptoms.
- Follow up with SSA immediately after submission.Contact someone at SSA to confirm that they have received and are processing your application. If you have a lawyer they can do this for you.
- Respond promptly to SSA requests.This helps avoid processing delays, although you have up to 10 days to respond.
get more helpDisability Application Startup Guide.
3 ways to send your application
You can submit your application in three ways:
- apply onlineSSA website.
- Call 1-800-772-1213 or your local office to apply by phone.
- Apply in person at your officeLocal SSA Office.
Applying online may seem quick and easy, but applying in person may actually be the most helpful option because you can ask SSA staff for clarification about your application. But there are limitations. Only a lawyer can give you personal legal advice on how to strengthen your answers or which details to include or exclude.
Second reading:What exactly do disability lawyers do?
Get help with the app
Working with an attorney is one of the best ways to get help with your application. Applicants with attorneys have a better chance of being approved because they can strengthen your answers, complete the application for you, communicate with SSA, and represent you during appeals.
At Atticus we are a law firm, which means we can advise on how to complete your application and find the right lawyer for your case. To get help today, please fill out ourFree 2 Minute Trial Disability Benefits.
What happens after I apply for disability?
When you apply, SSA will begin its review process. SSA will check that you meet the technical requirements for SSDI, SSI, or both. soDisability Identification Services(DDS) will confirm that you are medically eligible. SSA may ask you to complete a phone interview and DDS may require a cardconsulting reviewand one of his doctors.
Note that there are processing cycles between each step. By 2023, the average wait time for an application decision is about six months.
Your Chances of Getting Approved for Benefits
Your chances of being approved for benefits are not always high. Don't let that stop you from applying, but there are a number of rejection and appeal stages to go through before you make a final decision on your application.
About 70% of applicants are rejected the first time they apply. Then they can requestreview, but the SSA rejects the other 90% of applicants at this stage. If you are one of them, you can complain and ask for oneaudienceAdministrative Law Judge (ALJ).
While you may not like the idea of a hearing, going before a judge can improve your chances of approval.more than halfapplicants appealed to a judge in 2022 and won. Applicants who had an attorney at the hearing stage were also three times more likely to receive benefits.
learn more aboutChance of Winning a Disability Appeal.
How long does it take to receive disability benefits in Kentucky?
As of March 2023, the average Kentuckian wait time from application to approval is 24 months, or about two years. it's faster than monthsaverage waiting timei am american
Most applicants go through several rounds of appeals, adding to the lengthy waiting time. The average wait time for each stage in Kentucky is:
- Original decision:6.1 months (184 days)
- Reconsideration decision:6.1 months (183 days)
- Consultation waiting time:11.5 months (plus 1-3 months for decision)
That said, wait times vary by hearing office, and your actual wait time may vary greatly depending on the office processing your claim. These are the wait times for the three hearing offices in Kentucky:
Office of Hearings
Waiting for consultation time
how to speed up the process
Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the process. But there are steps you can take to avoid delays. Submit your application as soon as you are ready and follow up with SSA immediately. You can also avoid processing delays by responding quickly to any request from SSA. Your attorney can contact the SSA and file your complaint, which can help simplify the process.
good news? You will be compensated for waiting time in the form ofpost disability benefits, which covers the payments you would have received had you been approved earlier without having to appeal and wait.
related articles:How to Find a Good Disability Lawyer Near You
How much is disability benefits in Kentucky?
There is no set benefit amount. Disability benefits vary based on the program you qualify for (SSDI or SSI) and your employment or income history. can also enjoySSDI and SSI simultaneously.
Average SSDI Payment in Kentucky
Maximum monthly SSDI payment$3,627 in 2023. But the average monthly payment for SSDI recipients in Kentucky is $1,322.16.
Neither where you live nor your specific illness affects your benefit amount. Instead, the SSA looks at your personal income and the amount you paid into Social Security when determining the amount of your check.
Use your SSA.gov account to find out exactly how much your benefits are:
- Visit SSAmiSeguridadSocialside.
- Sign in or create an account with your Social Security Number (SSN).
- Scroll down to the section titled "More Benefits".
For a deeper understanding,This is how ssdi payments are calculated.
Average SSI Payments in Kentucky
The maximum monthly SSI payment for 2023 is $914, but the average Kentucky resident receives $616.98 per month.
SSA looks at your current monthly income to determine your SSI benefit amount. Any money you earn each month is deducted from your maximum SSI payment. This means your SSI check would be worth $914 if you had no other income. learn more aboutWhat counts as SSI income.
How to Find a Disability Attorney in Kentucky
Applying for SSDI and SSI can be exhausting, but working with a qualified disability attorney can take a lot of the work and stress out of you. Your attorney can oversee your appeal, follow up on the SSA and attend court hearings. Not only does this make the application process less stressful, but those with attorneys have a better chance of getting approved.
When looking for a disability attorney in Kentucky, consider the following:
- Comments:Positive reviews are fine, but rather than dismissing lawyers with negative reviews, look specifically for patterns. If you see a lot of similar negative reviews, such as multiple people saying that the attorney is rude or reticent, it is a sign that the attorney may not be providing the services you need. Lawyers cannot win every case, but they must always be respectful and responsive.
- announcement:You may not hear from an attorney on a weekly or monthly basis while SSA is reviewing your application. But your attorney should follow up quickly with you and the SSA as your claim goes through the process.
- Main practice areas:There are many skilled attorneys, but not all of them specialize in disability benefits. The Social Security Disability Act is unique, so look for someone who has experience with it.
- Location (sort of):Social Security disability rules are the same in all states. A local attorney at your hearing office may be able to understand the judge's preferences, but advice from an outside attorney over the phone is just as effective. A good remote lawyer is better than a bad local lawyer.
Atticus can help you find an experienced attorney who will put your case first and treat you well.Take our free quiz about disability benefitsWe'll find qualified matches for you. You can still choose whether you want to work with our attorneys, and there are no fees until you receive your benefits.
Ready to profit today?
Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Benefits
How do I qualify for a disability in Kentucky?
To qualify as a disability, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working for at least one year. You must also meet certain work experience requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more information on these requirements,Read our entire map here.
What conditions qualify as a disability in Kentucky?
Any circumstance that prevents you from working for a year or more may qualify you for disability benefits. Some of the more common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, psychiatric disorders, neurological disorders, and circulatory disorders.See our full list of eligibility criteria here.
How long does it take to get disability approval in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, it takes an average of 6.1 months to make an initial disability decision. Most applicants are initially rejected and must appeal the decision. If you appeal and attend a hearing, the entire process takes about two years on average. read more:How long before early retirement can be approved
How much does disability pay in Kentucky?
The average SSDI payment in Kentucky is $1,322.16 per month per person. The average SSI payment is $616.98 per month per person. How much you'll earn depends on your income or how much you've paid into Social Security programs in the past.Learn more about your expectations.
How should I prepare for my disability application in Kentucky?
Answer application questions truthfully, consistently, and concisely. You must also collect and submit all medical records with your application. SSA paperwork can be complicated, which is why our legal team wroteThe full application guide is here.
Does Kentucky have a state disability program?
No, Kentucky does not have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island) have state programs. Kentucky residents can apply for the SSDI and SSI federal disability programs. read more aboutHere is the difference between SSDI and SSI.