If you or someone you love is disabled, you may be eligible to apply for financial benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). A Clairton social security disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help you determine eligibility and complete your application for Social Security benefits.
If you received a denial letter, our Social Security Disability team can help you determine why the SSA rejected your application and help you appeal the decision.
There Are Two Social Security Disability Programs: SSI and SSDI
When you suffer from a long-term or chronic disability, it affects your ability to earn a living. The SSA has established two programs to help people with disabilities meet their financial needs.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is an income-based benefit program for disabled individuals who make less than a specified amount. In addition to meeting the SSA’s definition of being disabled, to qualify you must meet strict income guidelines.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a federal disability insurance plan. To qualify for SSDI, applicants must have earned income for a certain period before they became disabled and paid into the Social Security fund with a portion of those earnings.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Clairton, call 412-661-1400
How to Qualify for SSI or SSDI Benefits in Clairton, PA
Although both SSI and SSDI are available to people with qualifying disabilities, each program requires a different application.
- SSI applicants must prove they have a disability that prevents them from working and establish that they meet the income threshold.
- SSDI applicants must prove they have a disability that prevents them from working and show they earned enough qualifying income before they had to stop working due to disability.
Income calculations for SSI and work credit calculations for SSDI can be complicated. A Social Security Disability lawyer serving Clairton, PA can help you understand the requirements and establish whether you qualify for SSI or SSDI. In some cases, you may even qualify for both.
How Does the SSA Define Disability?
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA requires you to establish that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Additionally, your disability must be expected to last at least a year or results in your death.
Qualifying Conditions for Social Security Disability
The SSA “Blue Book” outlines some of the conditions that may qualify you for Social Security Disability. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Skin, blood, lymph node, thyroid, breast, bone, or lung cancer
- Blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, thrombosis, or bone marrow failure
- Respiratory disorders, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, or respiratory failure
- Musculoskeletal disorders, such as spinal injuries that cause neurological or structural complications
- Sense and speech disorders, such as vision, speech, or hearing loss
- Cardiovascular disorders, including heart disease, recurrent arrhythmia, chronic heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, or aneurysm
- Neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis
- Mental disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Endocrine, skin, digestive, and genitourinary disorders
- Congenital multi-system disorders
- Immune impairment, such as lupus, systemic sclerosis, polymyositis, or inflammatory arthritis
The SSA’s Blue Book is comprehensive, but some terms and conditions are labeled differently. This can lead to rejected claims, even for applicants with eligible conditions. You may also still be eligible for SSD benefits if the Blue Book does not list your disability.
Our Social Security Disability attorneys serving Clairton, PA can determine whether your disability meets eligibility requirements. If the SSA denies your application for a technicality of medical terminology, we can help you seek the documentation you need to appeal the rejection.
Clairton Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Income Limitations and Credit Requirements for Social Security Disability
In addition to establishing your condition as an eligible disability, your Clairton SSD attorney can help you understand the complex calculations and requirements for SSI and SSDI applications.
SSDI Credit Requirements
The SSA uses a work credit system to determine SSDI eligibility. In 2022, you can earn one work credit for each $1,510 of income, with a maximum of four credits earned each year. Generally, workers must prove they earned at least 20 credits throughout their career to qualify for SSDI. Some exceptions may apply.
SSI Income Requirements
SSI benefits are income-based, which means you must show you cannot work to earn more than the allotted SGA value. Per the SSA, in 2022, a qualifying individual must make less than $841 per month, and a couple must make less than $1,261 per month.
The requirements for SSDI and SSI are complicated. A Social Security Disability attorney serving Clairton, PA can tell you more about work credits and income limitations for SSD benefits.
The SSA Often Denies First-Time Social Security Disability Claims
Social Security Disability claims are extremely complex, and there are many steps in the applications and appeals process. Some common reasons for SSDI and SSI claim rejections include:
- The SSA needs more proof of your disabling condition
- The SSA wants more documentation to show your inability to work
- Your disability does not qualify for SSI or SSDI
- Your income is too high to qualify for SSI
- The applicant did not earn enough work credits for SSDI
If you received a denial letter from the SSA, don’t lose hope. A Clairton Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can review why the SSA rejected your application and help you appeal and represent you at a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.
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Get Help from a Clairton, PA Social Security Disability Lawyer
At Berger and Green, we pride ourselves on giving our Social Security Disability clients the help they need to obtain financial assistance. We understand it’s hard to make ends meet while coping with a debilitating injury or illness. Our goal is to guide you through the application or appeal process, so you can take the time you need to focus on your health and well-being.
Reach out to us today to learn how our Social Security Disability lawyers serving Clairton, Pennsylvania can help you with your case.