Berks County, PA Disability (SSDI) Lawyer

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. This includes responsible, hard-working individuals who, despite working for years, become ill or injured and can no longer work. Unfortunately, scenarios like these are more common than one might initially assume. According to a statistical review by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the governmental organization that administers Social Security, approximately 30-percent of workers currently 20 years of age will become disabled at some point during their career.

Working alongside an experienced Social Security benefits attorney can improve the likelihood that a disability award is granted. An experienced attorney, like those of Young, Marr & Associates, who understands the Social Security disability system can present your medical, educations, and occupational evidence in a clear and easy to understand manner.

How Many Types of Benefits Exist?

There are two main forms of Social Security benefits are Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, it is important to note that these benefits are not the only forms of government aid available. Additional local, state, and federal programs like TANF and SNAP may be available.

SSD is a worker’s insurance program. The program is funded by payroll deductions. Because of the program’s aims and source of funding, you must have sufficient work credits to qualify. Generally speaking, the greater the worker’s age at the onset of disability, the greater number of work credits required.

In contrast, SSI is not an insurance program. It is designed to assist those with limited resources or limited income with cash benefits. It is funded by general taxes, but it is also administered by the SSA. The SSI benefits program does not have a work requirement. While all circumstances are unique, many people with a severe impairment can qualify for both SSD and SSI.

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What is the Claim Determination Process Used by the SSA?

The SSA’s claim determination process is highly technical and can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. An experienced SSD attorney can explain the process, prepare your claim, file appeals and advocate for you at disability hearings. The 5-step sequential process through which all claims are adjudicated is:

  1.  Does SGA exceed program limits?  To qualify for benefits, your substantial gainful activity (SGA) must not exceed certain program limits. However because certain types of income are not included in the calculation, an experienced representative can help ensure an accurate number.
  2. Is the impairment severe? The SSA’s guidelines require an impairment to be severe to grant a benefit award. Severe impairments are those that cause limitations in the things you are able to do. Impairments that are not severe cause little or no limitations.
  3. Is your condition a Listed condition? The SSA has listed a number of conditions that it considers so severe as to automatically qualify. However, you may qualify even if your condition is not listed. Conditions that are medically equivalent can also qualify you for benefits.
  4. Is your RFC sufficient to perform past work?Your residual functional capacity refers to the things that you are able to do despite your severe impairment.  The SSA will determine if you are able to perform past work despite your impairment
  5. Is alternate work available? The SSA will then determine if there are alternate jobs available in sufficient number in your region.

Working with an experienced SSD attorney can give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your recovery. To schedule your free and confidential Social Security benefits consultation, contact Young, Marr & Associates today by calling 1-(609) 755-3115.