According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 percent of non-institutionalized adults in the U.S. have a disability that impairs physical functioning. Mental health problems and other health conditions are disabilities as well. In order to provide financial assistance to those with disabilities, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established two types of disability programs — Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
The differences in these programs are important. SSI is for disabled individuals with limited income and resources; SSDI is for disabled individuals who earned enough work credits by contributing Social Security taxes. Both cases can present challenges that might benefit from the assistance of a disability attorney, especially in the case of a denial when the claimant must appeal the initial decision.
Do I need a lawyer to file for SSD?
The Challenges of Being Awarded SSI or SSDI Benefits in Pennsylvania
Unfortunately, many people who apply for SSI or SSDI benefits have their claims denied. In many of the cases, the reason for a claim’s denial is a lack of information when filing the claim or an incorrect or improperly filled out application form. In the case that an SSI or SSDI claim is denied, the claim can be appealed.
The first step is a reconsideration of the claim, followed by a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). A claims hearing and appeal involve preparing a disability case, an understanding of SSA laws and a presentation of the disability case. You may present evidence of your disability that you already submitted and may submit additional evidence of disability as well.
If the case is again denied at the ALJ hearing, the Appeals Council will consider it. The Appeals Council either will send it back to the ALJ or may provide disability benefits. If the claimant still does not reach satisfaction from the Appeals Council or if the Appeals Council fails to hear the case, the disabled individual may pursue the appeal in federal district court.
Because the law can be complicated and because of the specific legal knowledge required to win an appeal, recruiting the assistance of an attorney when fighting a denied disability claim is advisable.
How a Pennsylvania Disability Attorney Helps if You are Denied SSI or SSDI
If you are denied Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, speak with an attorney about the appeals process that provides you with legal options to continue your pursuit of benefits. You must meet certain deadlines if you appeal the denial and must present a valid case that you are, in fact, entitled to benefits. An attorney can help you meet these deadlines and present existing evidence as well as any new evidence for your case.
If you are a person with a disability in the Stroudsburg, Palmerton or Bethlehem areas or if you have a disabled family member, attorney Patrick J. Best of ARM Lawyers can help get the compensation that you deserve. Patrick helps disabled individuals who must take their cases to the Appeals Council or who must take cases through the federal district court appeals process to file a lawsuit against the SSA.
For answers to all of your questions and guidance during the process of filing your claim for disability benefits, call us today. You can call us at 570-257-4509 (Stroudsburg), 484-765-8140 (Palmerton) or 610-849-2788 (Bethlehem) to get started.