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Social Security Disability FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Social Security Disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
 

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration for disabled people who have worked and paid FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) taxes for a certain amount of calendar quarters.

If you become eligible, some family members (children under 18 or under 19 if in elementary ir secondary school full time; children 18 or over who become disabled before age 22; a spouse caring for a child under 16; as well as a spouse, or divorced spouse in certain instances, aged 62 or older), may also be eligible to receive separate payments to compensate for your inability to provide income. And, after you have received Social Security Disability Benefits for two years, you are eligible to receive Medicare coverage, regardless of your age.

Who is eligible for SSDI?

In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity by reason of a physical or mental impairment which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least twelve consecutive months. It is not necessary to wait the entire twelve month period to file a claim. If you know that a physical or mental impairment is going to prevent you from working, and that inability to work is going to last for twelve consecutive months, then you can file on day one, after a week, or as soon as you know.

Do I need a lawyer to file a Social Security Disability Insurance claim?

You do not need an attorney to file and pursue a claim. However, statistics do show that individuals who seek the advice of an attorney before they apply for disability insurance benefits, are far more successful at obtaining all the benefits to which they are entitled. We handle hundreds of cases and are familiar with the process — we can help you every step of the way.

When should I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

You should apply for Social Security Disability if:

  1. You have been seriously ill/injured and are not able to work for an extended period of time;
  2. You have an illness which is expected to end in death in less than 12 months;
  3. You are unable to work and are covered by private disability insurance, your insurance carrier may require that you apply for benefits.

What if my claim was denied?

Rarely does someone have disability insurance benefits approved on their initial application. If there is denial of the claim at the first step, the next step of appeal will be directly to an administrative law judge.

Can I file for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits while I am receiving Workers' Compensation?

Yes. If you are totally disabled and are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits, we may recommend that you apply for benefits as a "safety net" should anything adverse happen to your Workers' Compensation benefits, or to provide a monthly income should you settle your Workers' Compensation claim for a lump sum amount.

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