If a physical or mental disability means that you are no longer able to work, you may qualify for SSD but be unsure about how to obtain these benefits. A Washington County Social Security Disability lawyer with extensive experience handling SSDI and SSI claims can help.
At Berger and Green, we have years of experience assisting our clients in obtaining their Social Security benefits. While you may try to get these benefits yourself, doing so can provide some difficulty. Therefore, it is often best to work with a Washington County Social Security Disability lawyer from the beginning to obtain the benefits you deserve.
What Type of SSD Benefits do I Qualify for?
There are two types of Social Security Disability that you can obtain. Each is designed to assist those who can no longer work for medical reasons and their dependent family members.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefits program designed for those who paid Social Security taxes during their time as a worker. If you worked long enough and recently enough, you are more likely to obtain SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefits program that is designed to assist those with limited income achieve basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. SSI is also not funded by Social Security taxes but rather by general tax revenues.
Qualifying for Both
It is possible to qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits. The medical requirements are the same for both programs, but the non-medical requirements differ.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Washington County, call 412-661-1400
How to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) outlines a process for obtaining Social Security Disability. You can file your application online, by phone, or in person. In addition, the SSA website provides checklists, requirements, and other pertinent information.
The process generally proceeds as follows:
- You gather all information and documentation needed to apply
- You fill out your application and submit it to the SSA
- Your application is reviewed
- Your current work activities are considered
- Your application is processed and sent to Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD)
- A determination is made
This process to obtain benefits may seem very straightforward; however, initial applications are often denied.
Reasons your application may be denied include:
- Failing to provide all personal information, such as your Social Security number
- Failing to provide the names and birth dates of all children under 18 or current or ex-spouses
- Failing to provide enough detail related to your disability and how it affects your ability to work
In addition, the SSA may determine that you do not qualify for benefits because you did not work long enough or because your disability will not last for one full year or result in death.
If you are denied benefits it is important to remember that you must file your appeal within 60 days. We strongly encourage you to not give up.
Washington County Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Appealing a Disability Denial from Social Security
If your initial application is denied, you still have options for earning the benefits you deserve. First, however, you must follow the appeals process in order and request your initial reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your initial denial letter. If you fail to do so, you will have to start the entire process over.
Seeking Legal Representation
It can be challenging to appeal a Social Security Disability denial without proper legal representation. Therefore, we provide free consultations to all of our clients. During this time, you can explain your situation, and we can advise you on how to move forward.
We recommend that you seek representation before filing your initial application. Our Social Security lawyers have helped many clients file initial applications. A strong initial application can make all the difference in recovering the benefits you deserve.
To file a reconsideration, you can quickly fill out a form on the SSA website. You must explain why you are requesting a reconsideration, including determining whether you are requesting a medical or non-medical reconsideration.
If the reconsideration is unsuccessful, you will appear at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. You will not be able to go to a hearing until you have received a decision on your reconsideration.
Administrative Law Judge Hearing
At an Administrative Law Judge hearing, the Judge will make a determination on your case based on evidence, witness testimonies, and other pertinent information. During this hearing, witnesses and experts will explain your medical situation to help prove that you are disabled and entitled to disability benefits from Social Security.
These hearings can be conducted by phone, video conference, or in person.
You have 60 days after your hearing decision to ask for a review by the Appeals Council. During this time, you will inform the SSA about any new evidence so they can present it to the Appeals Council before your hearing.
If all other options fail, you will have to request a review by a federal court.
Discuss Your Claim with a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Washington County, PA, Today
For over 40 years, Berger and Green have helped our clients successfully obtain Social Security benefits. When you need a Social Security Disability attorney in Washington County, PA, contact us for a free consultation.