When a serious accident, medical emergency, or other disability prevents you from being able to work, it can be hard not to lose hope. Bills start to pile up and it can become difficult to pay your rent or mortgage. You may even be unable to provide food and clothing for your family.
But there is good news. If you are unable to work due to a disability, you may be entitled to disability benefits. These cash awards can help you provide for your family. Obtaining these benefits is often difficult. A Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer in Erie County from Berger and Green can help you get the benefits you deserve.
We will do the stressful and tedious work on your behalf. Call us today to find out more about how you could receive funds to help you pay your bills and support your family: 412-661-1400.
What is SSD?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) are benefits, available through the Social Security Administration (SSA), that help people who are disabled and unable to work.
To be eligible for SSD, you must have obtained enough work credits and paid taxes into social security. The number of years that you must have worked depends on your current age. For example, to be eligible for SSD:
- If you are younger than 24 years, you must have earned at least six work credits in the last three years.
- If you are between the ages of 24 and 31, you may be eligible if you worked at least “half of the time between age 21 and the time you [became] disabled.”
- If you are 31 years or older, you must have earned a specific number of work credits (depends on your exact age)/worked five of the last 10 years.
If you meet the prior work requirements, then you should apply for SSD benefits. These are available for individuals who:
- Suffer from a disability that has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 months or result in death
- Cannot engage in substantial gainful activity
You can apply online at the Social Security Administration website, over the phone, or in person at a social security office in Erie County.
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is available to disabled individuals with low income and limited resources. Unlike SSD, you do not need to have paid into social security via taxes in order to be eligible for this benefit. SSI is available for individuals who:
- Are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65
- Have limited income ($733 a month) and limited resources ($2,000 in resources/assets)
I am not working. Do I qualify for government benefits?
Just being unable to find work does not qualify you for SSD or SSI benefits. Instead, you must be unable to work in any capacity. Those who qualify for SSI or SSD benefits fall into one or more specific categories.
When applying for these benefits, you must answer five basic questions:
- Are you currently able to work? Being unable to find a job does not mean you are unable to work. If you can work, you will not qualify.
- Is your condition on the Listing of Impairments? If your condition is on the list, you must be able to prove that it meets the criteria in the listing. However, you may still qualify even if your condition is not on the list. Our team can help you meet the criteria.
- How severe is your medical condition? Even if your medical condition is on the list, you will not automatically qualify. You must also be able to prove that your condition is severe enough. Typically, a condition is severe enough if it impairs your ability to complete basic work tasks, such as walking, standing, or remembering pieces of information.
- Are you able to do the same work you have done in the past? If you can return to your former job, you will not be eligible for benefits.
- Are you able to do work of any kind? If you can find a less physically demanding job to work at, you may not be entitled to benefits.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
Yes. The SSD benefits process is notoriously difficult; the majority of applications receive denials. One tiny mistake on your application could be the difference between qualifying for benefits or getting nothing.
Hiring an attorney to represent you and protect your interests can greatly increase your chances of qualifying for these valuable benefits.
By working with an SSD lawyer from Berger and Green from the start of your application you are giving yourself the best possible chance of receiving monthly benefits.
What if the SSA already denied my application?
If the SSA has already denied your application, do not despair. The SSD attorneys at Berger and Green can help you to appeal the denial and get you back on track.
If you decide to appeal a denial, contact our office as soon as possible. You only have 60 days to file an appeal and it will take time for our attorneys to learn the facts of your case and put together a winning argument for why you should receive benefits.
Call Berger and Green Today
Do not let a complicated application form or a simple mistake prevent you from getting the benefits you and your family deserve. Contact one of our SSD attorneys in Erie County today. We have over 35 years of experience helping people with government benefits like these. Do not delay. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start to help.
Call today: 412-661-1400.