If you cannot earn a living because of a physical or cognitive health condition that prevents you from working, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The team from Berger and Green can explain the process and help you file your claim in New Castle, PA.
Understanding Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits. You could qualify for either one or, in rare instances, for both. A New Castle, PA social security disability lawyer can help you understand your eligibility for either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI bridges the gap between the time when a worker becomes impaired and when they reach full retirement age. To qualify for these benefits, you must:
- Suffer from an impairment that prevents you from working
- Have enough work credits and recent enough work credits
- Earn less than the current substantial gainful activity limit from working a job
It is important to note that SSDI does not consider your total income. This means you can receive significant income from investments and other sources and still qualify for SSDI benefits. You can receive SSDI until you reach full retirement age for Social Security retirement then your benefits will transfer over automatically.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income does not take your work history into account, so it is the best option for those who have never worked or do not have the work history to qualify for SSDI. To be eligible for SSI, you must:
- Provide medical proof you have an impairment that prevents you from working
- Have an income below the current limits
- Have assets below the current limits, after the allowed exclusions
Unlike SSDI, SSI considers almost all types of income having investment income or even a small nest egg could cause you to get denied.
Berger and Green Can Help You Fight for Social Security Disability Benefits
Our SSD team understands what it takes to be eligible for disability benefits, and the type of proof the Bureau of Disability Determination will look for when they consider your application. We can help you at any point in the process, including:
- Preparing and double-checking your application before filing
- Filing your application with the local Social Security Administration field office
- Appealing a denial of benefits
- Fighting to keep your benefits during a review
The Social Security Administration requires concrete medical evidence to support your claim for disability, and we will ensure your application includes all the necessary contact information for the doctor reviewing your case at the Bureau of Disability Determination to gain access to this evidence. This is key in proving you suffer from a qualifying impairment and getting approved for benefits.
We will also review all technical criteria for the program you are applying for and can ensure you have the necessary paperwork in place. This gives you the best chance at getting approved for benefits based on your initial application.
Proving You Suffer a Qualifying Impairment for Lawrence County, PADisability
No matter if you suffered an injury or your doctor diagnosed you with a medical condition, if you cannot work any job you might qualify for because of your impairment, you should be eligible for disability. There are two ways to prove you suffer a qualifying impairment:
Meeting the Criteria in an Impairment Listing
The Social Security Administration publishes the “Blue Book,” a listing of qualifying impairments. Each entry includes the exact criteria you must meet to get approved for benefits based on that diagnosis. This usually requires you to have specific evidence in your medical record, including:
- Medical imaging scans such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans
- Clinical test results
- Laboratory findings
- Notes about treatments and outcomes
Qualifying Based on Your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
If you do not meet the qualifications under an impairment listing, you may need to rely on your RFC to get approved for benefits. This requires an evaluation of your ability to work despite your illness or injury. There are three ways they may evaluate your RFC:
- A doctor determining your eligibility will use your medical records and application information; or
- They will request your doctor to assess your ability to work; or
- They will ask you to attend a consultative exam they schedule and pay for
If any of these methods find you cannot work your previous job or any other type of job you might qualify for, you will likely get approved for SSDI. You may also get benefits if you can work but require accommodations.
Fighting for Disability Benefits After a Denial
If the Social Security Administration already denied your disability application, you only have a short time to file an appeal. We can handle this process for you if you contact us with enough time to do so. We can also represent you if you already requested an appeal on your own.
We will get to the bottom of your denial and collect evidence to show why you should qualify for benefits. We will present the case we build to the Administrative Law Judge who oversees your hearing. A New Castle, PA social security disability lawyer will fight for your monthly benefits and the back pay you deserve.
Talk to a New Castle, PA Social Security Disability Lawyer
At Berger and Green, our attorneys can help you file a disability application or appeal a denial of your claim. We work with clients in New Castle or greater Lawrence County. We can also help you pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit if your impairments occurred because of a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or other negligence accident.
Call us at 412-661-1400 for a free review of your disability case. A New Castle, PA social security disability lawyer can go to work fighting for the benefits you need and deserve today.