When a chronic, terminal, or impairing condition prevents you from working, it can be challenging to make ends meet. If you cannot work because of your condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. At Berger and Green, we can evaluate your qualifications and help you file your claim in Armstrong County, PA.
Our Armstrong County, PA Social Security disability (SSD) lawyers can also help you navigate the appeals process if the Social Security Administration denies your initial claim for benefits. Call our office today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your options with a member of our team.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits for Which We Can Help You File
If you cannot work because of a permanent or long-term physical, mental, or emotional impairment, you may qualify for one or both of the programs offered through Social Security Disability. These programs include:
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance, more commonly known as SSDI, is the primary disability program offered by the Social Security Administration. This program helps workers by ensuring they continue to have take-home pay even when they cannot work. To get these benefits, you will need to show:
- You suffer from a qualifying impairment;
- You worked and earned enough work credits based on your age; and
- You have an earned income below the current substantial gainful activity limit.
While there are limits on your earned income for SSDI, you can have any amount of unearned income from investments.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a need-based program for those with a low household income and few assets. You will need to prove you have a qualifying impairment and show your household income and assets are below the current cutoffs to qualify. Almost all types of income count, and the exceptions for assets generally only cover your home, car, and tools for work.
While rare, there are some instances where someone who had a low earned wage from their job and receives a low payment through SSDI can qualify for both programs. When we review your case, our Armstrong County, PA Social Security disability (SSD) lawyers can explain if this may be a possibility for you.
You Must Prove You Suffer from a Qualifying Impairment to Get Disability
To get approved for any disability program in Armstrong County, PA, you will have to provide medical evidence that you meet the qualification of having an impairment that prevents you from working or requires you to have accommodations to work. When you complete your application, you will include contact information for all your doctors and specialists.
We will double-check this list because it is imperative the disability examiner tasked with handling your application can contact your doctors and get your medical records. Once they have these records, they will look for proof of a qualifying disability. The necessary proof will differ based on your impairment but may include:
- X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other medical imaging
- Clinical testing and laboratory testing results
- Information about treatments and outcomes
- Notes about progress and prognosis
- Surgical notes
- Other data confirming a diagnosis or the severity
The disability examiner will use this information to see if you meet the qualifications included in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book of impairment listings. Alternatively, it may use them to evaluate your residual functional capacity (RFC) if you cannot work but do not meet the criteria in a Blue Book listing.
Other ways it can evaluate your RFC include asking you to attend a consultative examination with a third-party doctor or asking your doctor to complete the evaluation based on their knowledge of your case.
Berger and Green Can Help You Pursue the Disability Benefits You Need
If you cannot work and earn a living, it can be very difficult to pay your household bills, take care of your family, and focus on your health and well-being. At Berger and Green, we understand this struggle.
You can count on us to:
- Review your case for free
- Help you understand your qualifications
- Help prepare and double-check your claim
- Submit your claim to the local Social Security field office on your behalf
- Manage your appeal, if necessary
- Represent your best interests throughout the process
If your impairment stems from an accident injury, you may be eligible to pursue additional compensation by filing a personal injury case. Let us review the facts of your case and explain your legal options. Our founding partner, Laurence B. Green, has 40 years of experience navigating PA personal injury claims. Call 412-661-1400 today for your no-cost case review.
Berger and Green Can Help You Navigate the Appeal Process
Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration denies a large portion of the applications for a disability that it receives. If you approved on your first try, you are in the lucky minority. However, you do have the option to appeal if you get a notice of denial. Call us at 412-661-1400 as soon as you get your notice, and we can go to work for you.
- Request reconsideration on your behalf, if there is sufficient time to do so
- Explain the appeal process to you, including the possible timeline for future steps
- Request your appeal hearing if you do not get approved during reconsideration
- Investigate your case and develop a strong argument to present during your hearing
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge who will oversee your hearing
- Handle additional steps in the appeal process, if necessary
The appeal process can take a while. You will need to wait for reconsideration then wait for your hearing date if you do not get approved before that. This process can take more than a year. However, you can recover back pay for the time you spent waiting once the Social Security Administration does approve you for benefits.
Talk to Our Armstrong County, PA Social Security Disability (SSD)