A severe personality disorder can cause issues that make it challenging to work. If you cannot maintain gainful employment in Altoona, PA, because of your condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD). These monthly payments can be vital to protecting your financial stability but securing them is often easier said than done.
Berger and Green’s Altoona Social Security Disability lawyers can fight for the benefits you need and deserve. We have over 40 years of experience serving injured and disabled clients and know what goes into a successful claim. We will complete and file your initial application and manage your appeal so you can concentrate on your health and well-being. Contact us today for a free consultation.
You Can Seek Benefits for a Personality Disorder Disability in Altoona, PA
Social Security Disability encompasses two benefits programs that provide an economic safety net for sick and injured individuals who cannot work. SSD includes:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program is for individuals who have earned work credits through their employment history. Most workers need a minimum of 20 credits (five years of work) to qualify, but younger workers may need fewer, and older workers may need more.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program is for individuals with limited income and resources. Eligibility does not depend on work credits.
Some individuals qualify for SSDI and SSI concurrently. If you qualify, you must apply to each program separately. Our personality disorder disability lawyers serving Altoona, PA, can help you file the appropriate claims.
How Much Are Monthly SSDI and SSI Payments in Altoona, PA?
SSI payments are the same for every claimant. The SSA sets an annual benefit rate based on economic indicators like the Consumer Price Index. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the 2024 rate is $943 per person per month ($1,415 per couple). Our Altoona disability attorneys can tell you how you may qualify for SSI.
Monthly payments for SSDI vary based on unique factors, including your age and earned work credits. The average monthly benefit for disabled workers in 2023 is $1,483. Depending on your claim, you may also be eligible for back payments or retroactive benefits. Contact Berger and Green to learn more.
For a free legal consultation with a Personality Disorder Disability lawyer serving Altoona, call 412-661-1400
Medical Criteria the SSA Uses to Evaluate Personality Disorders
The SSA maintains a list of conditions called the Blue Book, which outlines impairments it considers severe enough to be disabling and its evaluation criteria. It lists personality and impulse control disorders under mental disorders.
According to the Blue Book, to qualify for personality disorder disability, you must have medical records showing a pervasive pattern of one or more of the following:
- Excessive emotionality and attention-seeking
- Instability of interpersonal relationships
- Detachment from social relationships
- Disregard for and violation of others’ rights
- Distrust and suspiciousness of others
- Preoccupation with perfectionism and orderliness
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Excessive need to be taken care of
- Recurrent, impulsive, and aggressive behavioral outbursts
In addition, your disorder must cause an extreme limitation in one or a marked limitation in two of the following areas:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing yourself
Our Altoona personality disorder disability lawyers can file medical evidence with your claim. We can also ensure the SSA has the appropriate information about your medical providers. We can provide more documentation to support your appeal if it denies your initial claim.
Altoona Personality Disorder Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
How the SSA Decides Your Personality Disorder Prevents You from Working
Your income in Altoona, PA, will also affect your disability claim. The SSA considers you unable to work if you cannot earn at or above the annual substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit for at least 12 months. SGA in 2024 is $1,550 ($2,590 for blind individuals). You do not qualify for benefits if you can make this much or more on average per month.
Although your condition is not eligible unless the SSA expects it to last a year, this does not mean you should wait that long to apply. You should file a claim as soon as your personality disorder keeps you from working.
Why Did the SSA Deny Your Personality Disorder Disability Claim?
The Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy reports that about seven in 10 initial SSD applications get denied, so if you received an unfavorable determination, you are not alone. Common reasons for a claim denial include the following:
- You earn too much money.
- You did not provide enough medical evidence.
- The SSA does not expect your condition to last 12 months.
- You did not provide current contact information, and SSA does not know how to locate you.
- You refuse to cooperate with SSA requests or submit to a consultative examination (CE).
- You refuse to follow your health care provider’s treatment orders.
- The SSA believes drug or alcohol abuse contributed to your disability.
Our Altoona Disability Lawyers Will Navigate Your Appeal
You have the right to appeal disability claims the SSA denies. You have 60 days from receiving a denial notice to begin the process and 60 days between each stage to advance your appeal. Our SSD lawyers can guide you through the following:
- Reconsideration. You must request a reconsideration of your initial application and wait for a determination before moving your appeal forward in Pennsylvania.We can help you bolster your claim with evidence at this stage, but most claimants are unsuccessful and must move on to the next step.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. We will prepare you for and represent you during this official court proceeding.
- Appeals Council review. We can ask the Appeals Council to take a second look at the ALJ’s ruling. The council can reject the claim, make a new determination, or return it to the hearing stage.
- Federal court. We can file a lawsuit in Federal court.
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Call for Help from an Altoona Personality Disorder Disability Lawyer With Berger and Green
Contact Berger and Green today to learn more about how our Altoona Social Security Disability attorneys can assist with your personality disorder claim.
You can start exploring your next steps during a free consultation. Our services cost nothing up front or out of pocket.