- Social Security Disability Programs
- What Are the Qualifications Necessary for SSDI?
- What Qualifies You for SSI?
- Medical Conditions Eligible for SSDI and SSI
- Can an Application Be Expedited?
- Do You Need a Disability Lawyer?
Many of us consider Social Security as retirement insurance for older Americans. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers retirement insurance, they also monitor two programs to support disabled people. If you have a disability or become unable to work, contact a Social Security lawyer in Beaver, PA, to find out how these two programs work.
The Social Security disability team at Berger and Green has been working with people for more than 40 years. They can help you file a claim for Social Security disability and stand by your side throughout the process. Berger and Green lawyers will also evaluate any necessary paperwork for submission.
Social Security Disability Programs
The SSA has two different disability programs. Both programs assist people with disabilities by providing monetary stipends. When you have been working your whole life and are suddenly unable to work, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides compensation. For people who never have, or rarely, worked due to a disability, compensation is available through the Social Security Income (SSI) program.
Both programs require applicants to provide documentation proving their disability, such as medical records and doctor statements. Some applicants may qualify for both programs. Other assistance programs are available that provide for medical assistance (Medicaid) and help with food procurement (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP).
How Much Can You Expect to Receive?
Both SSDI and SSI have maximum award limits. SSDI payments are based on work history (work credits) and income level. SSI is needs-based and provides support at a lower financial level.
The maximum SSDI payment for 2022 is $3,345 per month. The majority of applicants receive an average amount of $1,358 per month. Your SSDI award will automatically convert to Social Security retirement as you reach retirement age.
SSI has a lower maximum benefit of $841 for an individual and $1,261 for a couple. If you reside with someone else, sharing living space and expenses, Pennsylvania adjusts the maximum compensation to $522 per month for an individual and $783.34 for a couple. SSI is adjusted for inflation as well.
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What Are the Qualifications Necessary for SSDI?
To qualify for SSDI, the basic requirements are only that the applicant must have worked jobs that paid into the system and that they have a qualifying medical condition. In cases where a disability is not listed, applicants may need additional information from a medical professional to qualify.
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What Qualifies You for SSI?
SSI is a needs-based program available to people with disabilities that prevent them from working. The SSA definition of a disability is a condition that precludes a person from participating in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). The introductory provisions for SSI are that an applicant must be blind, over age 65, or disabled based on the determination of the SSA. You must also have minimal financial resources for this program, including accumulated assets.
Medical Conditions Eligible for SSDI and SSI
The SSA uses a master listing of medical conditions in the Blue Book that outlines specific conditions that qualify for SSDI and SSI. Adult inclusions are listed in Part A, while inclusions for childhood illness are in Part B. The adult listings include:
- Problems with the musculoskeletal system, including amputations and chronic joint pain
- Speech, hearing, and sight impairments
- Asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
- Conditions of the heart
- Liver disease and digestive system impairments
- Kidney disease
- Blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease
- Certain skin disorders
- Diabetes and thyroid disorders
- Birth disorders such as Down syndrome
- Neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy
- Specific mental health and cognitive disorders
- Certain immune system disorders
Medical conditions that are not included may still allow you to qualify for SSDI or SSI if you meet the other requirements and can prove the disability. Having a Social Security Disability attorney to guide you through the application process can help significantly.
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Can an Application Be Expedited?
Sometimes, you can request expedited processing for both SSDI and SSI applications. The SSA uses the provisions within the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program to allow qualifying applications to be processed quickly.
Do You Need a Disability Lawyer?
You can apply for Social Security disability directly through the SSA without the assistance of a lawyer. However, there are advantages to having a ready pool of knowledge and experience at your side.
Berger and Green offer a free initial consultation to assess your claim. Call and ask us questions to determine if you would feel more comfortable filing with a Social Security disability lawyer in Beaver, PA. This could help to prevent from dragging the process out because of any mistakes that could be avoidable.
How a Social Security Lawyer in Beaver, PA, Can Help
Having the assistance of a Social Security disability attorney can offer you peace of mind that a team of professionals is handling your claim. Among the advantages:
- Our team is familiar with the process
- We know what information and documentation are required
- We can help you collect and organize your documentation
- Our team stays current on new policies and changes
- We answer your questions
- We monitor your claim to track progress and keep it on track
Our compassionate team members understand the emotional toll that being unable to function at your previous capacity can have on you. We cannot file for you, but we can advise you along the path and help you navigate the hurdles. In addition to the above advantages, our team will also help in the following ways:
- Double checking your application for accuracy
- Organize and verify your documentation before submission
- Assist in obtaining the documentation you need from medical facilities
- Attend all review board or other in-person meetings with you
- Assist with the appeals process if necessary
- Manage your claim from beginning to end
While a Social Security disability attorney can’t speed up the process, we will be there to reassure you along the way.
Our No-Risk, No-Obligation Commitment to You
Our Social Security disability lawyer in Beaver, PA, provides a no-risk, no-obligation avenue to allow you the representation you deserve with no upfront costs. From the complimentary case evaluation through the final resolution, you pay nothing. If your case is resolved favorably, our fees will come from your settlement amount. We don’t get paid until you get paid.
They Sent a Letter of Denial – What Now?
If you have received a “Social Security Notice of Disapproved Claim,” you must act quickly to file an appeal. You have 60 days to respond with your intention to appeal the decision. The appeals process can be long, but a Social Security disability attorney in Beaver, PA, can help.
The Importance of a Social Security Disability Attorney in Beaver, PA
The Social Security disability team at Berger and Green is familiar with the application and appeal process for Social Security disability benefits. Whether you are a first-time applicant or have received a denial letter, our team can help. Our lawyers will look through your claim and evaluate the best possible next steps to take. Please take advantage of our complimentary case evaluation to see what we can do.