How Do I Qualify for Disability in Pennsylvania?
April 29, 2023 | Social Security Disability
If you live in Pennsylvania and have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for disability benefits paid through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Claimants should understand the requirements and steps involved in the application process to improve their chances of success. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney is the most surefire way of obtaining the benefits you deserve.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
Receiving disability benefits in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that you meet the SSA’s qualifications for being disabled. In other words, you must have a physical or mental condition that is severe enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). You must be prevented from working for at least 12 months or have a condition that is expected to result in death.
The SSA considers many factors when determining whether your condition meets the definition of disability. For instance, the SSA considers the severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to perform basic work activities. If you are unable to perform tasks, you may be considered disabled. The SSA also considers whether you would be able to perform any of your previous jobs.
Relevant factors for these considerations include:
- Your age
- Your level of education
- Your previous work experience
In addition to meeting the definition of disability, claimants must also have paid Social Security taxes for a certain amount of time. The specific requirements vary depending on your age and the type of benefit you are trying to obtain.
If you do not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may be able to claim Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits instead. SSI is a needs-based program that provides monetary assistance to disabled persons with limited income and resources.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
The application process for disability benefits in Pennsylvania can be lengthy and complicated, so make sure you start the process as soon as possible. It may take several months or even years to receive a decision.
The first step in the process is to complete a disability benefits application. You can apply online, in person at your local Social Security office, or by phone.
The application requires you to provide detailed information about your:
- Medical condition
- Work history
- Education and job training
- Bank account information
After you submit the application, the SSA will review it to determine whether you meet the disability criteria.
If your claim is approved, you will receive a letter confirming your eligibility, which will specify the amount of benefits you will receive. If denied, you have the right to appeal, but the appeals process can be just as drawn-out, and it may require the assistance of a legal professional.
A Harrisburg Social Security Disability Lawyer Will Protect Your Right to Benefits
If you plan to apply for disability benefits in Pennsylvania, make sure you seek the assistance of an experienced disability benefits attorney who can help you navigate the application process and improve your chances of success.
An attorney can also help you appeal a denied claim. They will represent you at a hearing before an administrative law judge. A legal representative can gather medical evidence and other information to support your case.
Qualifying for disability benefits in Pennsylvania can be complicated and time-consuming. It is important to understand the eligibility requirements and steps involved to improve your chances of success, but you should not have to worry about whether you will receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Speak with a Pennsylvania disability benefits attorney today to explore your legal options.
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