In Pennsylvania, most people think about retirement benefits when they hear the phrase Social Security. The Social Security Administration has additional benefits that are available to people, including the Social Security disability insurance program for U.S. workers. Workers who have suffered a disabling injury or illness and who are no longer able to earn a living might be able to recover monthly benefits that are designed to help them to make ends meet because of their disabilities.
What is SSDI?
Unlike other types of assistance, SSDI is a type of insurance that covers workers through automatic payroll deductions. Many workers do not realize that this coverage might be available to them. Established in 1956, the SSDI program now has approximately 9.5 million people who receive benefits under it.
There is a second Social Security option called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. This program offers benefits to some disabled people based on their economic need, but it is different from SSDI. Workers are not eligible for SSDI unless they meet the minimum requirements for work credits in addition to suffering from a disabling condition that is expected to last for at least one year or longer.
The number of work credits that you must have to qualify for SSDI depends on your age as follows:
- Six credits in the past three years for people ages 21 to 24
- Credits that are equal to what has been earned while working half of the time since reaching age 21 for people who are ages 24 to 31
- Twenty credits over the past 10 years for those who are 32 to 42
- From 22 to 40 credits with 20 earned during the past 10 years, depending on the person’s age for people who are ages 43 and older
Social Security Disability PA
Besides the work credit requirements, you must also have a disability that meets or exceeds the requirements outlined by the Social Security Administration. The agency defines disabilities in stricter terms than do other government programs. In order for your disabling condition to meet the eligibility requirements, it must keep you from doing a similar type of work to what you did previously, and you must also be unable to do other types of work. In addition, your disability must be one that will last for a year or longer or result in your death as certified by a doctor.
Here are a few examples of physical and psychological conditions that might be eligible for SSDI benefits:
- Heart disease
- Major depressive disorder
When you apply for SSDI, you will need to prove that your disabling condition meets or exceeds the requirements that are outlined by the SSA. You will need to understand all of the medical terms and technical language that is included in your medical records. Most applications are initially denied even though they are filled out correctly and demonstrate that the requirements have been met.
The Social Security Administration does have an internal four-step process for appeals that you can use to have your denial overturned. Appeals are generally more complicated than are the initial applications, however.
Getting Help from an Social Security Attorney PA
Getting help from an experienced disability attorney from Chermol & Fishman LLC might help you to make the difference in your ultimate success in securing SSDI benefits. Our experienced team of professionals might help you by assisting you with preparing your application and gathering all of the evidence and medical records that you need to submit along with it.
If your initial application is denied, you have a limited time period in which to appeal. Your experienced disability lawyer at Chermol & Fishman can help to make certain that your appeal is filed on time. We can also assist you with gathering the additional evidence that you might need and represent you if you must go to a hearing before the administrative law judge. We will take the time to explain all steps of the process so that you understand what is happening throughout your appeal. For more information about SSDI in Pennsylvania, call Chermol & Fishman LLC today.