Becoming disabled can turn a person’s life upside-down and affect their family, as well. Although some people go on to lead fulfilling lives after a disabling injury or illness, many do not. Some disabilities make it impossible to work, depriving the person of income. They may rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for support. But these only provide enough money to live; it does not provide for extravagant living.
If you or someone you love has become disabled, it may be beneficial to apply for long-term disability benefits. Disability compensation is one way people can receive support. This compensation may help you to pay for medical bills, buy necessities, or get adaptive devices.
At the same time, disability claims can take months or even years to process. The federal government has a backlog of more than one million disability applications from people who need benefits. It might seem as though the application process will never end and your family will never see any money from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is where the importance of working with an experienced disability attorney can come in.
If you are disabled, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, such as long-term disability insurance. It is important that you understand the application process and how hiring a Pennsylvania SSDI lawyer can help in getting access to this critical financial assistance program.
You may qualify for SSDI if you have a mental or physical condition that keeps you from working for 12 months or more and you have worked for long enough before then while paying into the system. Disability applications are decided on by the agency in PA if applicants meet both of these conditions.
If you are not working but have paid enough into Social Security through the years, then the first step is to apply for Social Security Disability benefits initially through your local office. They will assess whether you meet the criteria to be considered disabled based upon a set of rules called the “Blue Book”. This will usually involve a physical examination and sometimes a psychological evaluation, too.
A local SSDI attorney will be familiar with the steps required and can help ensure that your rights are protected during the entire process, as well as answer any questions to find out if long-term disability is taxable. To find a lawyer, you can search online for “disability lawyer near me” for a list of options.
The SSA determines your eligibility for these programs and makes the payments to you. It is funded by the payroll taxes authorized by Section 201(b) of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
In PA, these are some of the benefits that are available for people who are determined to have a long-term disability:
If your condition is expected to improve so that you will be able to return to work, the application will most likely be denied. You should have a condition that is expected to continue or worsen.
If your disability application is denied, you can request an appeal. There are a number of levels of appeals that you can request to have your claim reconsidered. The final stage of appeal is to the SSA Hearings and Appeals Administration. This is a part of the federal court system in which administrators and judges make decisions about your case. It can take about one year to receive a final decision on your disability claim after this point.
Contact us right away if you are disabled and want to improve your chances of getting approved for benefits on the first try.