Jenkintown, PA Disability (SSDI) Lawyer
We rely on our jobs to help us earn income and provide a good quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones. When a disability interferes with the ability to work, however, that financial stability can be weakened. Unfortunately, whether an individual is earning income or not, the costs of living continue to accumulate: medical bills, utility bills, and other expenses do not cease because an individual is unable to work.
If you have been prevented from earning steady income due to a mental or physical disability, living expenses can rapidly become unmanageable. Monthly benefits can help to cover these expenses, and to offer individuals a renewed sense of financial confidence. For individuals living with severe medical conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two forms of financial assistance: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), also known as disability benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Could you qualify for either?
To set up a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call Young, Marr & Associates today at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.
How Our Disability Benefits Attorneys in Jenkintown, PA Can Help
SSI and SSDI are very different programs, but share one trait in common: they are both notoriously difficult for claimants to be approved for. On average, over two-thirds of all social security applicants have their claims denied by the SSA on the first submission round, and for additional claims, the rejection statistics are even higher. In Pennsylvania, the average approval rates for the 2008 fiscal year were:
- 36.7% approval for an initial claim (63.3% denial rate)
- 27.9% approval at reconsideration (72.1% denial rate)
Successfully filing a claim for disability benefits in Pennsylvania is a challenge. When you are coping with a painful or tiring medical condition, fighting a complicated and stringent application system can become even more of a battle. Fortunately, you don’t have to contend with the SSA on your own. At the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates, our Jenkintown, Pennsylvania disability attorneys have more than 25 years of experience representing thousands of clients with a wide range of medical and employment backgrounds.
What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
The two main categories of social security assistance are SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). While SSI and SSDI are alike in that they are both forms of financial aid dispensed by the government, they are different in other important ways, including terms of eligibility and how payments are made.
According to the SSA, in order to be eligible for SSDI, “You must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.” Alternately, people who have reached the full retirement age are also eligible for SSDI, in which case, “your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.”
The requirements to be considered a candidate for SSI are very different, because SSI is need-based. To be eligible for SSI, an individual must be either blind, aged 65 or older, or disabled; must have limited income; and must have limited resources. All three of these conditions must be met. While an income entails annual job earnings, “resources” refer to non-income assets such as land, bank accounts, vehicles, stocks and bonds, and life insurance.
How to Qualify for SSDI in Pennsylvania
A report issued by the SSA says that in 2012, a total of 2,660,380 Pennsylvanians were receiving some form of OASDI benefits. Of these recipients, 403,388 were disabled workers, meaning that disabled individuals account for roughly 15.2% of Pennsylvania’s social security recipients. In Montgomery County, there were 148,045 OASDI beneficiaries in 2012, including 15,385 individuals with a disability. This means that disabled individuals accounted for 10.4% of people receiving social security benefits in Montgomery County in 2012.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, the applicant:
- Must have worked in a job covered by social security.
- Must have accumulated sufficient work credits, usually 40 credits with 20 being from the past 10 years.
- Must have a substantial physical or mental disability.
Furthermore, there is an additional set of five questions to determine candidate eligibility for benefits, stated on the SSA website as the following:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition severe?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
If you are currently working, if your disability is not listed and categorized as “severe,” or if you are able to perform either your previous job or a new job, your claim may be denied.
How to Qualify for SSI in Pennsylvania
According to SSA statistics from 2011, in Pennsylvania, a total of 367,586 individuals received SSI benefits out of a state population of approximately 12.7 million. This means that in 2011, just under 3% of the state population was receiving SSI. Out of the total Pennsylvania SSI recipients, 8,239 were residents of Montgomery County. Of all SSI recipients in Montgomery County, 7,207 people were categorized as blind or disabled, making up a considerable 87.5%.
SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is very different from SSDI. Unlike SSDI, which is based on a history of paying into the social security system, SSI is need-based and is granted to individuals who lack financial resources. Nonetheless, SSI has its own requirements for eligibility. To qualify for SSI, applicants:
- Must be either blind, disabled, or at least 65 years of age.
- Must have limited income.
- Must have limited resources.
Examples of “resources” include:
- Bank Accounts
- Life Insurance
- Stocks and Bonds
A condition is counted as a disability when the following requirements are met:
- The condition prevents the individual from performing work (sometimes called SGA, or Substantial Gainful Activity).
- The condition either has or is expected to last for at least 12 months, or is expected to cause death.
As the rules and statistics demonstrate, being approved for benefits can be a daunting task. If you or a loved one is considering applying for disability, or if you need assistance submitting a claim or appealing for reconsideration, Young, Marr & Associates can help.
To arrange for a no-cost, confidential consultation with one of our Jenkintown, Pennsylvania disability lawyers, call our law offices today at (609) 557-3081, or contact us online.
ALL CASES ARE OVERSEEN BY FORMER SOCIAL SECURITY LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES
Before coming to Young, Marr & Associates, our SSD attorneys worked for the SSA which gives us an advantage over attorneys who have never dealt directly with the internal SSA system. We know the process is difficult – your job is to get better, and our job is to make sure you get the disability you deserve.
Chances are you are preoccupied dealing with a painful illness. You are concerned about your financial future, about how you will get by without a steady source of income.
Read what our clients have to say about us.
“I have already recommended Paul Young numerous times. He was honest, explained endlessly in terms that were understandable. Paul Young guided me through the process from beginning consultation to the end of case. Highly satisfied and grateful for his expertise.”