If you’re one of the millions of Americans living with a disability, you know how challenging life can be. More than that, you know that providing for your family and paying for your medical bills can prove extremely challenging when disabled. If you’re a person who’s worked under Social Security and have paid Social Security taxes prior to becoming disabled, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
If you’re disabled and hoping to receive disability benefits, here’s what you need to know about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Pennsylvania.
Who can apply for SSDI in Pennsylvania?
Those applying for SSDI must meet certain criteria.
- They must be at least 18 years of age or older.
- They must have an appropriate number of work credits based on age.
- Applicants must be incapable of working due to a disability that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
- and, they cannot have been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days.
If you meet the criteria listed above, you may qualify for disability benefits. If you are eligible to apply for SSDI, you can begin your application online or you can file an application at your local Social Security office.
Social Security Disability Application Process
Information You Need When Applying for SSDI in Pennsylvania
The application for disability benefits is lengthy, and you’ll need information about yourself, your disability, your family members and your work history in order to fill out the form completely. You may be asked questions about your work history over the past 15 years, detailed information about your disability, any disability benefits you’ve received in the past, prior military service, information about your current and former spouse(s), and more.
In addition to answering multiple questions about yourself, you’ll also be required to provide documentation in the form of your birth certificate, W-2 forms, medical evidence (medical records, doctors’ reports, etc.), any workers’ compensation benefits or similar benefits, and your bank account information.
After Your SSDI Application is Filed
After your application is filed, the Social Security Administration will review it. Because any incomplete applications will be denied, it is essential that you fill out your application in full and attach any necessary documents. After your application has been processed, the SSA will mail its decision to you. In the event that your application is approved, you will begin receiving benefits. In the event that it is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Like the application process itself, the appeals process is also lengthy, has multiple stage, and requires gathering important documentation and information.
When would I receive my medical coverage if I’m on SSD?
Why You Should Consider Help from an SSDI Attorney
The Social Security Administration denies many initial claims every year. Many claims are denied because they’re incomplete, and unfortunately, many individuals who truly qualify for and need the SSDI benefits are denied. In order to ensure that your claim has the highest chance possible of being approved, make sure you submit all required information the first time.
Meanwhile, if you receive a denial, you may ask for reconsideration and appeal the reconsideration to an administrative law judge in a hearing. The Appeals Council would be the next stop, then federal district court. An attorney can be crucial for navigating the appeals process to help you exercise your rights and present a case.
Patrick J. Best of ARM Lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you with the Appeals Council and the federal district court lawsuit if you reach these stages of the appeals process. To get started on filing your claim today, call our offices now at 570-257-4509 (Stroudsburg), 484-765-8140 (Palmerton) or 610-849-2788 (Bethlehem).