Are You Disabled?
Are you unable to work due to a disability? If so, there is help for you and for your family. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide financial assistance to disabled workers in the United States. The SSA also administers another federal program for disabled persons, Supplemental Security Income (SSI); however, SSI does not require that you have a previous work history and paid taxes into the Social Security program.
Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
- SSDI Financial Requirements
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet certain medical and financial requirements. Financially, you must have earned a sufficient number of work credits based on your age and your date of disability in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. In addition to the work credits, you cannot earn more than $1,130 per month and still qualify for disability benefits.
There are some exceptions for individuals who are in a trial work period; however, you should consult a Pennsylvania Social Security attorney before returning to work or earning any income to determine if this will affect your disability benefits.
- SSDI Medical Requirements
In addition to the financial requirements, you must meet the definition of disabled according to the Social Security Administration. The definition of disabled for SSA purposes is slightly different from the definition of disabled for other programs or situations. The SSA's definition of disability is the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."
The SSA has a process of determining if an individual meets the definition of disability. The SSA's Blue Book is an invaluable tool for medical providers and attorneys to explain the SSDI process as well as provide information regarding the requirements for meeting the definition of disabled.
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security a/k/a the Blue Book
The Blue Book is another name for the SSA's publication Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. The first section of this publication provides general information about programs administered by SSA including SSDI and SSI. It provides information about the claims process and it provides a detailed discussion of SSA's definition of disability. The second section of the Blue Book explains the acceptable sources of medical information and evidentiary requirements for determine if an applicant is eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
The third section of the Blue Book is probably the section that is most commonly read by applicants, physicians, and attorneys when applying for Social Security disability benefits. This section includes a Listing of Impairments used to determine if a specific physical or mental condition rises to the level of disability. The Listing of Impairments in the Blue Book is divided into an adult section and a childhood section with sub-sections in each category for various disease groups. For each disease, the Blue Book details the general requirements for each diseases listed to be considered a disabling condition for disability benefits.
Why Do I Need a Harrisburg Social Security Attorney?
Even though the SSDI process is a matter of completely and filing forms and following the SSA's instructions, the process of filing and qualifying for Social Security disability benefits can be complicated and frustrating. If the applicant makes the slightest mistake, the mistake could result in a costly delay in benefits or a denial of benefits. In many cases, the SSA will deny claims; therefore, appeals of SS denials are quite common.
Contact the experienced Harrisburg Social Security lawyers of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP for a free consultation. Our attorneys understand the process to obtain Social Security disability benefits and have extensive experience appealing SS disability denials.