Many American workers become disabled and unable to work due to injury or illness. If your medical condition is so severe that it keeps you from working, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. These monthly benefits can help support you and your family if you are disabled.
The application process for Social Security Disability can be challenging, but a Lawrence County social security disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help. We can help you understand the different stages of the appeals process. Together, we can help ensure that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the information it needs to make an informed decision about your application.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Disability (SSD) program provides monthly payments to eligible people whose disabilities stop them from working. Social Security Disability consists of two separate benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some people qualify for SSDI, and some meet the requirements for SSI. In some cases, people qualify for a combination of both types of benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is essentially an insurance program for workers. Your payroll taxes go to fund SSDI. When your disabilities are so severe that you cannot work, you may be eligible to draw SSDI benefits based on your past earnings records.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI also offers monthly benefits for disabled persons, but this program is limited to very low-income people. Individuals who qualify for SSI meet strict income and resource limits. This program is primarily for people who become disabled and have little or no work history.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Lawrence County, call 412-661-1400
Applying for Social Security Disability
SSDI and SSI have different applications. However, you generally must provide information on both applications to establish your medical conditions and how those conditions prevent you from working. As a result, you must provide information about your job history, earnings record, medical diagnoses, and medical treatment.
When you apply for SSDI or SSI, your application goes to the Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) for review. The BDD is the state agency in Pennsylvania that employs case examiners and medical providers to process SSD applications. BDD will determine whether you meet the medical requirements for SSD by getting information about your medical conditions. BDD also may schedule special medical examinations for you.
Lawrence County Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
You must meet the SSA definition of disability to receive either SSDI or SSI. You qualify for SSD only if you meet both of the following requirements:
- Your medical conditions make you unable to do substantial work
- Doctors expect your condition to last at least one year or end in your death
If you earn above a specific amount of money per month from work, SSA may decide that your medical conditions do not keep you from working. This maximum monthly amount of earnings changes periodically.
Likewise, if your medical conditions do not prevent you from engaging in necessary work activities, like lifting, standing, and walking, or concentrating for at least 12 months, then BDD likely will find that you can work and do not qualify for SSD.
BDD will consider whether your medical conditions prevent you from doing the kind of work you did in the past. If you can no longer do that kind of work, BDD will examine whether your age, medical conditions, work experience, education, and training would allow you to do another type of work.
A Lawrence County social security disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help ensure that BDD has all the information needed to decide you deserve disability benefits.
Requesting Reconsideration of Your SSD Application
Many applicants receive an initial denial of their SSD applications. If the BDD or SSA denies your request, you can ask the SSA to reconsider your application. You generally have 60 days to request reconsideration.
If SSA finds that you filed for reconsideration within 60 days, it will forward your request to Disability Determination Services (DDS). The people who reconsider your application are not the same people who initially reviewed and denied your application. Once the reconsideration is complete, you will receive a written decision, either granting or denying your SSD application.
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Asking for a Hearing With an Administrative Law Judge
If you receive another denial of your application after you asked for reconsideration, you can request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You must request a hearing within 60 days of receiving the denial notice from your reconsideration.
When you ask for a hearing, your Berger and Green attorney will have full access to your Social Security file. You can also submit updated medical records or treatment you have had since you first applied for SSD.
We will present evidence to support your application for SSD. The ALJ will consider all the evidence and decide whether you qualify for SSD. You will receive a written decision from the ALJ after the hearing.
Contact us for Help With Your SSD Application
Applying for SSD can be a lengthy and frustrating process that involves significant amounts of paperwork and preparation. When you are in this situation, you need to be focusing on your health, not paperwork. A Lawrence County social security disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help.
We can guide you through every step of the appeals process and ensure that SSA has all the evidence necessary to support your claim. Together, we can work toward getting you the crucial financial support that you need. Call our offices at (412) 661-1400.