When a physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment prevents you from working and earning a living, you may qualify for monthly payments through a Social Security disability program. If you live in Plum, PA, or elsewhere in the Pittsburgh suburbs, the SSD attorneys from Berger and Green can help you understand if you meet the criteria for disability, help you file your claim, or fight a denial.
Call our office today at 412-661-1400 to talk to a member of our team for free. Our Plum, PA Social Security disability (SSD) lawyers will help you get on the right track to apply for the disability benefits you deserve.
Disability Programs Have Different Requirements
SSD consists of two different programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have an impairment that prevents you from working a job and earning a living, you may qualify for one of these programs.
SSDI Is for Disabled Workers
SSDI requires you to have enough — and recent enough — work credits to meet the current rules of the program. To earn these credits, you must have worked part- or full-time in previous years. Older workers need several years of work credits while young workers need fewer credits.
You also cannot earn more than the current substantial gainful activity limit from working. This does not include other types of income such as investments or rental property.
SSI Supports Those with Low Income and Few Assets
SSI does not require you to demonstrate work history. You will, however, need to show little income and few assets. The limits for this program are low and almost all types of income count toward the limit. If you previously worked but had a low wage, there are some cases where you could qualify for both SSDI and SSI.
Proving You Suffer a Qualifying Impairment for SSD in Plum, PA
The Bureau of Disability Determination requires medical evidence to show you have an impairment that prevents you from working. This medical evidence may include:
- Other types of imaging scans
- Proof you meet diagnostic criteria
- Clinical testing results
- Laboratory findings
- Notes on treatments and outcomes
- Information about prognosis
When you file your disability application, the local Social Security field office will evaluate your case to ensure you meet the technical qualifications. Then, they forward your file to the Bureau of Disability Determination.
Once your case is in the hands of a doctor from the Bureau of Disability Determination, they will evaluate your impairment. There are two ways you can qualify for benefits:
Meet an Impairment Listing in the Blue Book
The Social Security Administration publishes a book of qualifying impairments and the criteria you must meet based on those diagnoses. The doctor evaluating your application will want to see medical evidence to show you meet the criteria under the applicable impairment listing.
Qualify Based on Your Residual Functional Capacity
You can still qualify for disability even if you do not meet a published impairment listing. This is possible because of an evaluation of your abilities known as your residual functional capacity (RFC). If you can show you cannot work any job you might get hired for, or you require accommodation to work, you may qualify for benefits based on your RFC.
There are three ways the Bureau of Disability Determination evaluates an applicant’s RFC:
- Based on the application information and medical records; or
- Based on an evaluation performed by the applicant’s own physician; or
- Based on the information obtained during a consultative examination with a doctor chosen by the Social Security Administration
Berger and Green Can Help You Fight for Disability Benefits
Whether you live in Plum or elsewhere in Allegheny County, the team from Berger and Green can help you pursue the disability benefits you need and deserve. Our Plum, PA social security disability lawyers will review your application materials or appeal your case for free. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
Our team can help you:
- Understand your options for disability
- Double-check your application materials
- Ensure all contact information for your doctors is correct on your application
- Help you file your application
- File an appeal if they denied your initial application
- Represent you during your appeal hearing
Our team of personal injury lawyerscan also help you pursue a payout if your impairment occurred in a car accident, slip and fall, or other negligence accident. Reach out to us today for your free case review.
Appealing a Plum, PA Disability Denial
The Social Security Administration denies most of the disability applications it receives. If it happens to you, you will need to take action quickly. You only have a short time to appeal a denial.
We recommend reaching out to our team as soon as possible. We can request your appeal hearing if there is sufficient time for us to do so. Then, we will go to work building a case to show you qualify for back pay and monthly disability benefits.
When your hearing date arrives, we will represent you before the Administrative Law Judge hearing your case. We can often get our clients approved for benefits following this hearing.
Talk to a Plum, PA Social Security Disability Lawyer
The Plum, PA Social Security disability lawyers from Berger and Green can help you understand your options and file an application for disability in Pittsburgh or its suburbs. We can also help you fight for monthly benefits and back pay after a denial.