Nearly 67,000 people in Kansas receive Social Security disability benefits, which include monthly payments and access to free healthcare. Getting approved for disability is often harder than people anticipate, but it isn’t impossible. To help set you up for success, this guide will take you through what programs are available in Kansas, how to qualify, and how much your payments may be worth.
Only five states in the U.S. have a statewide disability program and unfortunately Kansas isn’t one of them. However, Kansas residents can still apply and qualify for other private and federal programs.
Here are the programs that people with disabilities qualify for most often:
The rest of this guide will cover only SSDI and SSI since they’re the most common types of benefits available to Kansas residents. And even if you apply for private insurance programs, your insurance company may still require you to apply for SSDI.
You must meet specific medical and technical requirements in order to qualify for SSDI and SSI. Both programs have the same medical requirements but their work and income requirements differ.
Below is a breakdown of information you need to know about qualifying for disability.
Disability benefits are only an option if you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that leaves you unable to work. Your condition must also be expected to continue for at least one year.
SSA data released in 2022 lists the most common conditions among people who receive disability benefits in Kansas:
Mental health conditions can also qualify for benefits. A few of the most common mental health disorders among people in Kansas with benefits are:
Learn more about what conditions qualify for disability benefits.
To qualify for SSDI, you must:
Learn more about SSDI eligibility.
To qualify for SSI, you must:
Learn more about SSI eligibility.
To apply for disability benefits, there is a main application form (Form SSA-16) plus a few supplementary forms that ask for information about your work history, day-to-day functioning, and any treatment you receive for your condition.
While filling out these forms on your own is an option, an experienced disability lawyer can also fill out the application for you.
There are three ways you can file your disability benefits application:
Submitting your application in person is a great idea if you are completing it independently because you can get tips from SSA staff on how to answer questions.They can’t provide legal advice but information on the how to give accurate answers is still helpful.
Filling out your application (and then waiting for a decision) can take longer than you’d expect, especially if you’re applying on your own. Consider working with a lawyer for help keeping track of all the deadlines, paperwork and other requirements for your disability application.
Here are some key things you need to do if you’re applying on your own:
Another perk of working with a lawyer is that they can fill out the application for you, submit it, and then confirm that the SSA has received it. Atticus can also help by giving you free legal advice on completing your application or finding the right lawyer. Fill out our 2-minute disability quiz to get started.
Unfortunately, not many applications are approved after the first review. Around 70% of people are denied benefits, leading them to file for reconsideration. Still, over 90% of reconsiderations are rejected. Next you can request a hearing before a judge, and this stage gives you the highest chance of acceptance. Nearly 50% of people at hearings are approved for benefits. Your chances of approval also increase if you have a lawyer to advocate on your behalf — applicants with lawyers are three times more likely to win benefits.
Learn more in our step-by-step overview of the disability process.
It can take a long time to get a final decision from the SSA about your disability benefits. Because so many applications are denied at the first review, the follow-up reviews contribute the most to the extended wait time.
In 2022, it took an average of 5.5 months (165 days) for a person to receive an initial decision on their application. Applicants had to wait another 4.9 months for a reconsideration request to be processed, if they followed through with this step. The average wait time for a hearing in Kansas was 15.5 months. All told, the process takes an average of 25.9 months in Kansas.
Here’s a breakdown of hearing wait times by SSA offices in Kansas.
Wait time for hearing
There also isn’t really a way to speed up this process. The only way to get benefits faster is to send in any requested follow-up documentation as quickly as possible and meet all SSA deadlines — both of which a lawyer can help you do.
The amount of your disability checks depends on what type of benefits you receive and your work or income history.
According to the most recent SSA data, the average monthly SSDI benefit for Kansas residents is $1,321.28. The exact amount of your SSDI benefit check is based on your work history. The highest possible SSDI benefit anyone can receive is about $3,600 in 2023.
To figure out your potential SSDI paycheck, start by going to SSA.gov and making an account:
The average monthly SSI payment in Kansas is $568.08, very similar to the national average. The maximum anyone can receive from SSI in 2023 is $914 per month.
To determine the amount of your SSI check, the SSA subtracts all other monthly income you have — including SNAP benefits, stock earnings, and money from part-time work — from the maximum amount.
Having an experienced disability lawyer is a major help throughout the application process. They can fill out the application forms, help you stay on top of deadlines, communicate with the SSA, prepare you for a hearing, cross-examine witnesses, and simply help you make the best possible case for disability benefits. You’re also three times more likely to win benefits if you have a lawyer versus if you don’t.
Consider these five essential points as you search for a disability lawyer in Kansas:
Atticus can simplify your lawyer search by matching you with an experienced lawyer for free. We have an extensive network of vetted lawyers and can connect you with someone who will treat you with respect throughout your application. Fill out our eligibility quiz to get started and a member of our team will reach out for next steps.
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