Do you have an impairment that prevents you from working? Are you applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Carbondale, PA?
Get an experienced Carbondale social security disability attorney to guide you through the process and get the benefits you deserve. Contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates today. We have over 50 years of experience helping personal injury victims receive the compensation they deserve. You can set up your free consultation online or contact our Carbondale, PA office at (717) 995-8810.
How Can Marzzacco Niven & Associates Help Me Get My Benefits?
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is more than filling out the application. You want to make sure all supporting records get filed, and nothing is missed.
Our personal injury attorneys in Carbondale can fight for your benefits by:
- Filling out your application with you thoroughly
- Collecting and submitting all medical records
- Representing you at a hearing
- Informing you about the next steps and how the system works
Give us a call today in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, to get started.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSD/SSDI, is a payroll tax-funded insurance program through the United States federal government.
Many people think of Social Security as their retirement benefits. Retirement benefits are a different type of Social Security benefits. Those are benefits you have been paying for when you retire after age 62.
The two are separate; SSDI benefits are for people with a medically-determinable disability that restricts their employment ability. The restriction occurs before 62 years of age.
Do I Qualify for SSD in Carbondale, PA?
To qualify for Social Security benefits, you must show that you are “totally and permanently” unable to work any job in the national economy. It must be a long-term disability. Short-term disability falls under a different umbrella.
You may qualify for Social Security benefits if:
- Your disability prevents you from working for at least 12 months
- Your condition is listed on the Social Security Administration (SSA) list of qualifying conditions
- You suffer from a condition that prevents you from performing your past work or other types of work
- You earn less than $1,310 per month on average in 2021 – also known as Substantial Gainful Activity
In addition to your disability, you must have enough work credits to qualify for benefits. The amount of work credits needed is based on your age:
- If you are 31 or older, you must have 20 work credits earned in the ten years before you became disabled
- If you are younger than 24, you can qualify if you have six credits earned in the three years before you became disabled
- If you are between 24 and 31, you can qualify if you can demonstrate that you’ve worked half the time between age 21 and the date you became disabled
If you don’t have enough credits, you may be able to get benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is another Social Security benefit that provides monthly payments to adults and children who are low-income.
How Much Will I Get Paid?
The amount you get in Social Security Disability benefits depends on how much money you earned while you were working. It will not be as much money as what you earned working in all likelihood. Most SSDI recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per month. In Pennsylvania, $1,800 is the highest amount you can receive.
It is important to note that if you are receiving other sources of income, your SSDI benefits will be reduced. Other sources of income might be worker’s compensation or another insurance payout.
How Do I Get Approved for Benefits?
The Social Security Administration manages SSD. Your local office reviews the initial step of the application. If you are denied there, you can appeal for a hearing. At the hearing level, an Administrative Law Judge will decide whether or not you are disabled. A decision at any level that you are disabled approves you for benefits.
How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?
There are multiple stages of the Social Security Disability benefits process.
- Initial Application
The initial application is a paper application that goes to your local Social Security Office. There are local Social Security offices in most cities and towns across the country.
You fill out paperwork that outlines a few things about yourself, such as:
- The highest level of education reached
- Employment history, which includes both the jobs you held and your responsibilities while there
- Disabilities/why you can no longer work
- The last day you worked
- Doctors and treatment history
- Your activities of daily living
The purpose of this is to determine if you can do any kind of job in the national market. Whether or not you can work your prior job is relevant to a certain point. Once that is decided, it then falls on whether you can work any job in the national economy, including unskilled, sedentary positions.
Medical records are collected by both the Social Security office as well as your attorney and submitted on your behalf. Social Security may also ask you to come in and receive an examination from their doctors.
The local Social Security office will send a written decision to you in three to six months. About 60% of cases get denied at the initial level. You can appeal this decision and keep fighting. Continue to see your doctors, and your attorney will keep building your case.
- Hearing Level
If you are denied at the initial application, you have sixty days to appeal the decision. In doing so, you are requesting that an Administrative Law Judge review the denial.
On the day of your hearing, your attorney will be present as well as the judge. There is no jury. There is a court reporter, and all hearings are recorded. A medical and a vocational expert witness may be called. Your attorney and the judge will question the expert witnesses; they will testify about jobs in the national economy and your medical records.
You will get questions from the judge and your attorney about your disability, work history, and day-to-day life.
This is your chance to humanize your application. It gives you the ability to tell your story. You are more than paperwork, and the hearing lets the judge see how your disability affects your life.
More cases are approved at the hearing level than at the initial application level.
The judge will not give a decision on the same day. The time it takes to get a decision varies. You can get your decision in as soon as a month, or it could be longer. You will get a written decision in the mail.
If you are denied at the hearing level, there are further appeal steps you can take to appeal. You can also begin the application again if you have stronger medical evidence. Your attorney can discuss options with you.
Contact a Carbondale Social Security Disability Lawyer For Help
If you are disabled, you deserve benefits. Marzzacco Niven & Associates has experienced Carbondale social security disability lawyers. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
We can help you fight for everything you deserve. Contact us today in Carbondale, PA, to schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your case.
Areas We Serve in Lackawanna County
Simpson, Waymart, Childs, Mayfield, Jermyn, Newberry’s Welding L.L.C., Carbondale, and all of Lackawanna County.
Our Team Of Social Security Lawyers At Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help In Any City In Pennsylvania
If you need an attorney in Pennsylvania, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in York, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Social Security Disability Attorney in Lebanon, Pennsylvania