If your disability is so severe that it keeps you from working, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. However, you may need to go through multiple stages of denials and appeals of your application before you receive your benefits. In this situation, a Clarion Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
You might assume that you will easily receive benefits from the federal government in the form of Social Security Disability when you become too disabled to work. For some applicants, however, the process of receiving these benefits can become frustrating and lengthy when they receive initial denials of their applications. The attorneys at Berger and Green may be able to guide you through appealing a disability claim. Call us today at (412) 661-1400 to learn more about how we may be able to help you through this process.
Social Security Disability Programs
The Social Security Administration offers two different kinds of programs for disabled adults in Pennsylvania. Each of these programs has different eligibility standards, but both provide benefits solely for people whose disabilities are so severe that they cannot work for a continuous period of 12 months or whose impairments are expected to result in death.
Furthermore, to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your disability must make you unable to return to the work that you did before and unable to adjust other types of work based on your education, training, and experience.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Clarion, call (412) 661-1400
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI benefits are for disabled adult workers. To receive SSDI, you must both meet the definition of disability and have worked long enough in jobs that are covered by Social Security. Although there are some exceptions, you generally must have accumulated 20 work credits earned within the last ten years. Each work credit is worth a specific amount of earnings, which is a number that changes each year. You only can earn four work credits per year. The amount of SSDI that you receive depends on the number of work credits that you have earned, and there are no limitations on the number of resources or assets you can have to receive SSDI.
Clarion Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (412) 661-1400
Supplemental Security Income
The Supplemental Security Income or SSI program provides benefits for people who are disabled and who have very limited income and resources. SSI provides people with a set amount of benefits each month, which often changes slightly from one year to the next.
However, some types of income that you receive, with a few exceptions, decrease the amount of SSI for which you are eligible each month. SSA does not count all your resources in determining your eligibility for SSI benefits, but for those resources that it does count, you are limited to $2,000 worth of resources or $3,000 worth of resources for a married couple.
Call Berger and Greene for more information at (412) 661-1400 today.
The Social Security Disability Claims Process
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) 2019 Annual Statistical Report on the SSDI program, only 28.8% of the people who applied for SSDI benefits in 2018 received a benefits award. Likewise, the 2019 Annual Statistical Report on the SSI program shows that only 32.6% of the people who applied for SSI in 2018 received benefits. As a result, the denial rates for Social Security Disability applicants are considerable.
Due to these high denial rates, applicants often must go through different levels of the appeal process to receive their benefits. A Clarion Social Security Disability lawyer can assist you through every level of the appeals process.
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Filing Your Initial Application
The first step to receiving Social Security Disability benefits is to fill out an application with the Social Security Administration. You must complete separate applications for SSI and SSDI if you wish to apply for benefits from both programs.
Along with filling out the standard applications, you also must provide detailed information about your medical conditions, including contact information for all doctors and medical professionals who have treated you, a list of medications and dosages that you take, and medical tests that you have had. You also must provide the Social Security Administration about your work history for the past 15 years, as well as your earnings for the current year and the previous year. You also likely will provide several documents, including birth certificates, income tax returns, and medical records in your possession. Once your application is complete, the Social Security Administration will review your application and mail you a decision.
If the Social Security Administration denies your application, you have 60 days to ask for a reconsideration of your application. A person who did not participate in the first review and denial of your application will review your application at the reconsideration stage. That person will review all the evidence and information that you submitted with your original application, along with any new evidence that you have.
Appearing at a Hearing
If you receive another denial of your application after the Social Security Administration reconsiders it, you have 60 days to file an appeal. In this appeal, you will ask for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge or ALJ who did not participate in the first review or the reconsideration of your application. The ALJ will review all the evidence that you already provided, along with any new evidence, and hear from you personally about your claim for benefits. After your hearing, the ALJ will mail you a decision in your case.
Our Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you want to challenge a denial after filing for Social Security Disability benefits, you should know that you do not have to go through this process alone. A Clarion Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with appealing any denials of benefits.
Call (412) 661-1400 to get started. The lawyers of Berger and Green can help you through this complex process and build a strong claim for benefits.