If you are over age 50 and unable to work due to a disabling medical condition in Pittsburgh, accessing Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits might be easier. However, navigating the system can still be confusing, as many people come to realize. You don’t have to do this alone.
Our Pittsburgh Social Security Disability lawyers can evaluate your situation and determine how your age impacts your claim for benefits. We will assist you so that you don’t miss out on potential benefits. You can start today with a free consultation about your disability claim.
Our Pittsburgh Lawyers Help People Over 50 Access Social Security Disability Benefits
Applying for benefits through SSD can be overwhelming. You must demonstrate just how significantly your disability affects your life, yet you may feel like the claims process reduces your identity to what’s in your paperwork.
The Pittsburgh SSD attorneys at Berger and Green step in so that you don’t feel lost in the shuffle. Our team can:
- Determine if you are eligible for benefits based on your condition
- Explain the types of benefits available and which is right for you
- File your SSD application for you, ensuring it’s on time
- Provide relevant information to the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Support you throughout the appeals process after an initial denial
- Compile evidence and documentation for your appeal
- Represent you in hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
In addition to this support, our Pittsburgh Social Security Disability lawyers always keep in touch during the disability application process, ready to answer your questions, explain any SSD jargon, or listen to what you have to say.
We believe maintaining a connection with you is just as important as representing you. In fact, representing you requires us to stay connected to you and your needs. Our lawyers excavate the person underneath the paperwork, keeping in mind your well-being while we work on accessing your benefits.
We Can Help With Both SSDI and SSI Benefits Claims
Our attorneys can walk you through the two options for benefits through Social Security Disability:
SSDI provides benefits based on your work history. With traditional insurance, you pay into the plan with your premiums, whereas with SSD, you pay with your work credits.
SSI is not based on work but on income and assets, providing additional funds if you have a disability and limited resources. If you don’t qualify for SSDI, you may still qualify for SSI.
It’s possible to receive SSI and SSDI at the same time, depending on your situation. Our SSDI/SSI attorneys can review your work history and income to determine your eligibility.
For a free legal consultation with a Over 50 Social Security Disability lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
Our Pittsburg Attorneys Understand the Challenges of Being Over 50 and Living With a Disability
The main requirement for Social Security Disability cases is that you have a long-term disability that prohibits you from working. Accessing benefits requires having a disability listed in the SSA’s Blue Book or another condition that meets certain requirements for SSD to consider someone disabled.
If you’re over 50 and your disability keeps you from working your current job, the Social Security Administration will consider the difficulties you would have changing careers at your age. Since transitioning to an entirely new career at this age while dealing with a disability is often very challenging, the SSA can be more lenient when it comes to claims for people over age 50. You could access benefits under the SSA’s medical-vocational allowance, determined by the grid rules.
How the Grid Rules Could Apply to Your Case
Colloquially called “the grids,” a set of rules C.F.R. Appendix 2 to Subpart P of Part 404 outlines breaks down the various factors that could allow you to receive a claim approval if you’re over 50. The main factors considered are your:
- Age: Your age bracket—18-49, 50-54, 55 and up, or 60 and up—dictates how likely you are to be approved. The higher bracket you’re in, the more likely you will have difficulty transitioning to a new job, and the more likely you will receive benefits.
- Education: Your educational experience can also influence your ability to get a new job, so lower education can mean a higher chance of being deemed disabled.
- Work experience: Your type of work and transferable skills factor into whether you receive benefits. For instance, if you worked your entire life as a gardener, you won’t have skills that translate well to an office if your disability requires sedentary work, increasing your chance of approval.
- Residual functional capacity (RFC): This refers to what difficulty of work you can do—sedentary, light, medium, or heavy work—with your condition. To determine this, you see a doctor for an RFC assessment.
As you can imagine, the mix and match of factors can have different results for different people. For instance, someone who is age 55 with limited education and unskilled work experience may be considered disabled. Someone with the same diagnosis, who is age 25 with a master’s degree and experience in skilled labor may not be considered disabled.
You don’t have to figure out how your work history and condition fit with the SSA’s criteria. This is where our over 50 Social Security Disability attorneys can step in to help your Pittsburgh case. Our goal is to improve your opportunity to receive benefits, so we can go over where you stand and how it affects your claim.
Pittsburgh Over 50 Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
We Can Assist With Appeals for an Over 50 SSDI Claim
According to the Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2020, the SSA’s application denial rate averaged at 67 percent. Don’t see that as disheartening. What it means is that while the approval rate is low because many claims are denied, it’s not the end of the road. You can request an appeal hearing.
In Pittsburgh, our over 50 SSD lawyers can guide you through the steps of an appeal:
- Reconsideration: Someone new reviews your disability benefits claim.
- Hearing: An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hears your case.
- Review: The Appeals Council reviews the case.
- Federal Court: A lawsuit in federal district court.
You have 60 days to appeal from the date you receive your denial letter, so reach out to us as soon as you receive it. We can answer your questions, build a strong claim for benefits, represent you at your hearing, and work to recover back pay.
Call Us for Help From an Over 50 Social Security Disability Lawyer in Pittsburgh
Being in an older age bracket can make accessing Social Security Disability benefits easier, but the process is still time-consuming and technical.
If you’re over 50, our Pittsburgh Social Security Disability attorneys can help you apply for benefits or appeal a recent denial. Contact us today for a free consultation.