If a physical or mental disability is keeping you from working, you should know that you have options. The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to those who are disabled and unable to work. There are specific rules you must follow to apply, as well as deadlines to meet and paperwork to complete. The process of applying for these benefits can be complex.
At Berger and Green, our Pittsburgh attorneys can review your claim to see if you meet the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits. Let our more-than forty years of knowledge and experience guide you through the process of seeking the benefits you deserve.
Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits
When you hear the term Social Security Disability, you should know that this refers to multiple types of benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- SSDI offers partial income replacement benefits
- SSI provides cash assistance for those with low incomes
You may qualify for SSDI if you can show that you have a disabling impairment and a work history. We can tell you more about the work history requirements, which is also referred to as work credits by the Social Security Administration.
For applicants seeking SSI benefits, you will need to show that you have a disability and meet specific low income requirements.
How Does the SSA Determine What Qualifies As a Disability?
This decision is made through the Disability Determination Service. Many sources are used to investigate your claim for disability benefits. Disability specialists and doctors will assess your ability to work according to your health records and your doctors’ statements.
The SSA provides a handbook known as the Blue Book, which applicants can use to determine if their disability may qualify. Qualifying disabilities may include:
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Sensory and speech conditions
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Mental conditions
- Digestive system conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Immune system conditions
- Genitourinary conditions
- Hematological conditions
- Congenital conditions that affect several systems of the body
- Endocrine conditions
- Skin conditions
Other conditions beyond those listed above may qualify. Our lawyers can help you determine your eligibility.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
What You Should Know About the Application Process for SSD Benefits
Whether you pursue SSI or SSDI benefits, seeking Social Security Disability benefits entails a specific application process. Our team can help you navigate the process.
Submitting the Application to the SSA
The SSA will need to see proof of your disability through your medical records. To complete your application you will need contact information for your doctors, dates of appointments and exams, and other health history details.
Beyond proof of your impairment, your application will need to provide details related to:
- Your work history
- Your job training and education
- Employer details
You can find a full checklist of documentation requirements through the SSA’s website.
If you are ready to apply for disability benefits we can help you. You can work with our team at Berger and Green to ensure your application is in order before filing.
Appealing If Your Benefits Are Initially Denied
After submitting your application, it can take between 3-5 months to receive a response. You can expect to receive one of several responses:
- A request for additional documentation
- An approval of your claim
- A denial of your claim
If you receive a denial, know that you are not alone. Most applicants face an initial denial before receiving benefits through the appeal process.
To appeal, you may need to progress through one or more of the following stages:
- Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Review through the Appeals Council
- Review in federal court
Our attorneys can help you understand why you received a denial and help you through the appeals process.
Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Will Help You Navigate a Disability Claim in PA
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping applicants understand SSD benefits and seeking the compensation they need. You may be:
- Considering whether or you have an eligible impairment
- Starting to gather documentation per the SSA’s requirements
- Awaiting the SSA’s decision about your claim
- Wondering why you received a denial
- Exploring the benefits of hiring legal help
When you call our team for a free consultation, know that the call comes with no obligation. We will listen to your situation and tell you more about your options.
What Services You Can Expect From the Pittsburgh Attorneys at Berger and Green
The process of seeking Social Security Disability benefits is often complicated, and our prospective clients have many questions about how we can help.
Here’s what we can do for you if you hire our team:
- File your application for benefits
- Ensure that necessary documentation is in order
- Advise you on how to collect important documentation
- Identify reasons why your claim was denied
- Explain what steps you need to take after a denial
- File paperwork on your behalf to begin the appeals process
- Represent your best interests during reconsideration and hearings
Get a Free Consultation About Your Benefits with Berger and Green
At Berger and Green, we understand how to help applicants navigate the Social Security Disability benefits process. Our Pittsburgh attorneys are prepared to help you understand your options, whether you’re beginning to file a claim or appealing a denial. Additionally, we don’t require upfront payment to get started—we only receive payment if we get results for you.
Let us use our experience to help you pursue the benefits you need in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Call our team today for your free consultation: (412) 661-1400. We will answer any questions you have about Social Security Disability benefits and help you get started today.