Social Security Disability is more than just monetary compensation
The Social Security Administration offers benefits for those who are unable to perform their job because of a disability. A person can sustain a disability at any point in their life, which can leave them financially vulnerable if they are unable to work. A debilitating disability not only impacts the person who sustains it, but also their family and dependents as well.
Along with poor health, a person with a disability must deal with the financial hardships created by job loss and/or recurring medical bills. To help individuals cope with these challenges, the SSA offers Social Security Benefits under two distinctive programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
A Social Security Disability lawyer in Philadelphia will assist you with filing a claim for benefits under the right SSA program. Before turning to a lawyer for assistance, it is important to know what can be claimed as a disability under SSA and other essential details regarding eligibility of benefits.
How does the SSA determine the Applicant’s Disability?
Under the SSA, a person is considered disabled when they are unable to continue their “essential daily work.” The applicant must be unable to perform any job, which can be personal or professional, due to an accident or medical condition. The disability must last, or be expected to last, for one year in order for a person to be deemed “disabled” under SSA law.
There are no grounds for a disability claim if a person only has a “partial” disability. Hence, you are not eligible for SSD benefits if you have a disability for less than one year.
The SSA offers a public resource called the Blue Book, which is a guide to understand disability types. It provides guidelines for:
- Filing a disability benefits claim
- Qualifications to receive a disability benefit
- Criteria for application
- And many other resources.
Your physical condition may not be mentioned directly in the Blue Book, but that does not mean you are automatically disqualified from receiving benefits.
A “cumulative disability” is also considered a qualifying disability. In order to have a cumulative disability, the disability must prevent the applicant from performing the necessary actions and tasks required for sustaining their own life. Your disability must be debilitating to qualify for SSD benefits, so a partial disability will not count.
Under the SSA program, those who are dependent on the disabled person are also eligible to get SSD benefits. But, to understand every aspect in detail, it is recommended to visit a Philadelphia SSD Attorney.
Who can apply for disability benefits?
You should consider seeking relief when you have a disability for more than a year and are also experiencing financial difficulties. With recurring medical bills and other expenditures, a disabled person may find it difficult to sustain themselves and their family.
There is a lot that needs to be taken care of when filing for SSD benefits with the SSA. As a first-time applicant, it might be a confusing process, and one may not correctly fill out the required forms while preparing the documentation without the assistance of an attorney.
Proper documentation is the most important part of filing for SSD benefits. If the documents are not properly filed and do not adhere to the guidelines set by the Social Security Administration, then your application may get rejected.
As you plan to file for a disability benefit under the SSA, disability lawyers in Philadelphia become important. You can apply if…
- You are a citizen of the U.S.
- You are between the 18 and 65 years of age
- You are unable to earn a living or perform work due to the disability for 12 months or more
- Your disability request was not denied in the last two months
- Your disability is expected to last longer than one year and get worse in the future
After completing the online application process, the SSA’s representative will contact the applicant, either by email or directly through call.
Information asked for by SSA along with your disability application:
- Personal Information
- Date of birth, birth certificate, or other valid documentation proving your age
- Place of birth
- Valid proof of the U.S citizenship
- Social Security Number
- Details regarding your family members, including spouse, divorced spouse, children, etc.
- If the applicant has minors in the family, they need to give their SSN and date of birth as well.
- Medical Information
- Medical documents showing names of medications, test reports, etc. for your ailment
- Details of people who can explain your health conditions and line of treatment.
- Finance Information
- Tax return of the prior year
- Employer information
- Income information
- Name of jobs you have done in the last 15 years.
- Prior Benefits Information
- Details of benefits you are currently receiving or received in the past.
- Social Security Statement.
Social security lawyers in Philadelphia are knowledgeable and experienced with SSD cases, and they are legally qualified to handle your case. The process of applying for disability benefits is often overwhelming. Especially if your mental and physical health are poor, it can be challenging for you to file your claim.
A social security disability attorney can help you by:
- Consulting with you to understand your condition
- Taking care of your medical documents as well as other mandatory documentation
- Building your case to strengthen your chances of approval for disability benefits
- Helping you adhere to the SSA guidelines while filing your claim
- Informing you of your case proceedings after filing.
- Representing you in court if necessary.
- Preparing you for the final hearing date.
- Helping you successfully obtain social security disability benefit
Why should you hire a Disability lawyer?
It is advisable to hire a disability lawyer in Philadelphia before you file your claim. However, you can even decide to hire an SSD lawyer after your initial claim is submitted and has been rejected. Here are a few reasons for why you should hire SSD lawyers in Philadelphia.
- Consult a lawyer on the first day to avoid delay- The application and approval process for disability benefits may take a considerable amount of time. It is always a great option to consult an SSD lawyer on the very first day, to make your chances of approval as high as possible. If your initial claim gets rejected, you may have to undertake the whole process over again. This means more of your time will be spent waiting for the results. A delay can be devastating for someone who is already suffering both physically and financially.
- Appoint a lawyer to avoid rejection- Getting approval for social security benefits is not controlled by your attorney. However, a seasoned attorney at a reputed Disability law firm in Philadelphia can ensure that your application does not get rejected for incorrect or incomplete information. It has been observed that, every year, 60% of the claims are rejected by the SSA on this basis.
- Know what you need-Your case might require additional documents or information from your health practitioner. A social security attorney will help you understand the medical aspects of your case and gather all the proof necessary to show the SSA that your disability has merit. Medical records, in the case of SSD benefits, are extremely important. If there are explicit medical records and findings that prove your medical condition, your chances of success will greatly improve. A Social Security attorney will help you decide why and when to see your doctor, and can also guide you on how to proceed with your medical records, medical bills, medical reports, etc.
Apart from this, a Social Security attorney will also represent your case in court and keep you updated on all the legal proceedings of your case.
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Philadelphia
If you are suffering from an ailment that has rendered you disabled for more than 12 months and the condition is likely to worsen in future, then you can apply for disability benefits. Contact our SSD lawyers to get complete assistance with your online application, as well as every other step until you receive monetary benefits for your condition or disability.
Contact us today and we will arrange a free consultation at the earliest available time. You can discuss your case with us and know the best approach to receive disability benefits.