Pennsylvania’s Review Of The Initial Disability Application
After your initial application is reviewed for basic eligibility by your local SSA office, it is forwarded to the Bureau of Disability Determination , which is a state agency under the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The BDD is responsible for determining the medical eligibility of those applying for disability benefits. Claims examiners at the BDD may contact your doctors, with your permission, if they need more medical information regarding your impairments. They may also order you to undergo special examinations, at no cost to you, if necessary.
There are BDD offices in Harrisburg, Greensburg, and Wilkes-Barre.
The approval rate for initial disability applications is traditionally low. In Pennsylvania, BDD’s average approval rating of 39% is somewhat higher than the national average of 35%.
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What Your Pa Should Be Like
All good PAs should be reliable, professional and willing to adapt to your needs. Think what is important to you: is it being patient, sharing similar tastes in activities or having a sense of humour?
Your PA should be someone you can spend time with and who can support you to do the things you want to do. It can be helpful to hire someone you feel could be a companion, but that you could stay in charge.
A PA should also be able to support you to do things that are important to you. For example, if you like going to the pub, you need a PA who is happy to support you to do that. You might want to have a trial period to make sure youre getting the right support and the person can do what you need.
How To File For Disability Benefits In Pensylvania
There are three ways you can start the process of filing a monthly benefits claim in Pennsylvania. You can:
- Apply in person, by going to your nearest convenient social security field office. You can find your local office by using the SSAs Social Security Office Locator, which will prompt you for your zip code. You should schedule an appointment before you arrive.
- Apply via phone, by calling 772-1213, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 7 A.M. through 7 P.M. If you are hearing impaired, call 325-0778.
- Apply online, by visiting the SSAs website.
The SSA will confirm that your application has been received.
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File A Federal Lawsuit
If the Appeals Council decides not to hear your case, decides your case unfavorably, or a ALJ rehearing results in an unfavorable decision, you have the final appeal option of filing a lawsuit in federal court. Pennsylvania has three federal district courts — Eastern District, Middle District, and Western District. Where to file your federal suit should be based on where you live.
Interesting Things To Do In Lackawanna County Pennsylvania
In the unfortunate case of a disability, you will need to enter your social security disability claim. For you to qualify for a disability claim, you need proof to show that your impairment will last for at least a year, or result in death. In some cases, your ailment may not be on the list of approved impairments and disabilities. If this is the case, then you will need to provide medical evidence. The justification should show that the illness or injury is severe and debilitating.
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How To Apply For Disability Benefits In Pennsylvania
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be an arduous process. First, people are in physical or emotional distress relating to their illness and have a tremendous lifestyle change in stopping employment. The process can be both financially and emotionally taxing for the Claimant as well as the Claimants family. The following is a brief guide as to what to expect when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Social Security Income benefits in Pennsylvania.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of disabled Pennsylvanians apply for monthly disability benefits through social security programs administered by the Social Security Administration, or SSA. If you have a health condition which prevents you from working, depending on factors like your employment history and financial resources you may be eligible for SSI , or SSDI , both of which provide federal financial assistance.
However, while numerous applicants are successful, many more are rejected. In Pennsylvania, only about 32% of claims are accepted after the initial application is made. The SSAs eligibility criteria are notoriously strict, and there are plentiful technical and medical reasons a claim might be denied. When youre up against such challenging odds, you need to take every possible step to make your claim as strong and compelling as it can be. The more you understand the application process, the better equipped you will be to deal with the social security system.
Once My Ssdi Claims Approved Are Pennsylvania Disability Payments Permanent
Pennsylvania disability payments dont last forever once the SSA approves your claim. Instead, the agency re-confirms your disability status every 3, 5, or 7 years. Youll need to keep proving you cannot work until you reach your full retirement age. Once you pass your FRA birthday, Pennsylvania disability payments automatically convert to into Social Security retirement. The amount the SSA deposits into your bank account wont change, and you dont need to complete any paperwork. Thats why people aged 66 and up cannot qualify for Pennsylvania disability payments through the SSDI program.
Bonus Tip: Buy copies of your full medical records from your doctor while applying for Pennsylvania disability benefits. Doctors visit receipts, itemized statements and credit card bills wont provide enough evidence to support your claim!
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What Disability Benefits Are Available
As mentioned, the SSA administers two primary benefit programs known as SSDI and SSI. There are important distinctions between the two. Each has its own eligibility criteria and provides different benefits. General information for each program is provided below:
- SSDI This program supports individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history, either through their own employment or a family member, such as a spouse or parent.
- SSI This program provides minimum basic financial assistance to older adults and disabled people regardless of age who have limited income and resources.
An SSDI eligibility determination is based on disability and work credits earned through a qualifying work history where a portion of payroll taxes are paid into the Social Security fund. An SSI determination is based on age or disability and limited income and resources. In most states, an SSI recipient will automatically qualify for Medicaid, whereas a person with SSDI will qualify for Medicare after 24 months of receiving disability payments, with the exception of people diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who are eligible for Medicare immediately.
The Differences Between Social Security Disability And Supplemental Social Security Income Benefits
Social Security oversees two distinct programs, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplement Security Income benefits . In order to qualify for SSDI, you must meet both medical requirements and have the requisite work history, i.e., work credits that are accumulated over a sufficient number of years. In contrast, SSI is available for individuals who have a limited work history and have limited assets. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must not have assets in excess of $2000. Generally, SSDI benefits are higher in dollar amount than SSI benefits particularly for those who have had a successful work history. Children may also be eligible for benefits if they are disabled and the spouse may be eligible for benefits if he/she is 62 or older or caring for a disabled child or for widows/widowers benefits if you are a widow/widower of a deceased, disabled spouse and you are disabled and over the age of 50.
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Pennsylvania’s Disability Appeals Process
In Pennsylvania, for years Social Security had shortened the appeals process by eliminating the first stage of appeal, the reconsideration step, but reconsideration has been reinstated as of April 2019. The second appeal step is a hearing in front of a judge. In order to keep the right to appeal your disability decision, you must submit an appeal in writing within 60 days of receiving your initial or reconsideration determination letter from the BDD.
How To Get Disability Benefits In Pennsylvania
You waited what seems like a lifetime for your day in Court and you have finally been scheduled for your Social Security Disability hearing. At this point, your chances of success are better than at either the initial application or reconsideration stage. However, you still want to ensure that you have the greatest chance of success in obtaining disability benefits in Pennsylvania. While each case is unique unto itself, the following is some general advice that may help you in preparation for this most important day.
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‘apply As Early As Possible’
The first thing to realize about applying for Social Security disability benefits is that it is often a lengthy process, Geist said.
Once an initial application is filed with the Social Security Administration, it can take three months to five months to get a decision. If that initial application is denied, it can take four months to six months for the application to be reconsidered on a first appeal, Geist said.
From there, if the application has to be reviewed at a hearing, it can take up to 12 months just to get scheduled before a judge, Geist said.
“Apply as early as possible, because it is a long process,” Geist said.
A 2020 Government Accountability Office report found that about 1.3% of applicants filed for bankruptcy while waiting on their appeals, and 1.2% died before receiving a final decision.
“Many particularly those without legal representation end up wrongfully denied on multiple occasions before finally being approved with a lawyer’s help,” said Rebecca Vallas, senior fellow that the Century Foundation. “Untold numbers spend what savings they have to try to stay afloat while waiting for an appeal to be heard and countless more lose their homes in the process.”
There are about 8.2 million disabled workers collecting benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. Their average monthly benefit is $1,277.
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The definition of disability will vary depending on your employer’s plan. Some policies consider you disabled when you’re unable to perform your job duties, while others pay only if you’re unable to perform in any job suitable for you based on your training, education and experience. Other policies require that you not be gainfully employed while you’re collecting benefits or that you are unable to earn a certain percentage of your pre-disability income because of injury or sickness.
There are some policies that will pay you a portion of your total disability monthly benefit amount if you have lost a part of your income due to a disability. Other policies and plans may include a rehabilitation provision that requires you to take part in a vocational rehabilitation program in order to continue to receive benefits.
Keep in mind that many policies and plans have exclusions and limitations and may not fully cover certain disabilities and pre-existing conditions. Benefits differ from company to company, so speak with your benefits administrator for your workplaces complete plan details.
Benefits may begin after you have met an elimination period a plan-defined period of time, starting with the date you are disabled from work and the number of days you must continue to be disabled until benefits may begin. Most group long term disability plans have an elimination period of 90 days or 180 days. Under most group plans, generally the employer selects the elimination period.
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Pain Disorders That Might Be Eligible For Benefits
Despite the myths about SSDI and short term disability in PA floating around the web, many physical conditions could qualify for benefits in Pennsylvania. Some of those include:
- Somatoform disorders, which are mental conditions so severe they induce physical pain
- Many neurological syndromes
Additionally, certain injuries may cause chronic pain, which impairs ones ability to work:
- Back, neck, and spine injuries
- Inflammatory bowel disorder .
It is difficult to obtain benefits for chronic pain unless you can prove it is caused by a physical or mental impairment that is recognized by the SSA. As the blue book used by SSA does not define chronic pain as a standalone disorder, other injuries or maladies that force chronic pain to exist will qualify.
How Much Can Pennsylvania Disability Claimants Receive In Monthly Ssdi
The maximum Pennsylvania disability payment available through the SSDI program is $3,148/month. However, the average SSDI payment for disabled workers nationwide is $1,277/month. The SSA averages your highest paychecks earned over a 35-year period to figure out your monthly payment amount. However, your monthly payment may change in years that include a cost-of-living-adjustment increase.
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The Social Security Disability Application Process
You should qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if youre suffering from a medical condition that is expected to result in your disability for at least 12 months, or your death. There is an extensive list of qualifying medical conditions, however, that your lawyer can review with you. If your condition is on the list, the SSI or SSDI application process should be easier. Even if your condition is not on the list, your lawyer can work to prove that it is a qualifying disability.
In Pennsylvania, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits:
- Online, through the Social Security Administration website
- Over the phone, by calling the SSAs toll-free number
- In person, at your local Social Security office
Regardless of what method you choose to apply, you will have to provide a considerable amount of information and documentation. This may include:
- Your name, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Your birth certificate
- Your spouses name, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Your bank information, if you want benefits electronically deposited into your account
- Detailed information about your medical condition:
- Full documentation of all names, addresses, patient ID numbers, and dates that you received treatment at any doctors office, hospital, clinic, etc.
- Full documentation of all medical tests youve had
- Full documentation of all medications youre taking
If Your Disability Claim Application Is Denied In Pennsylvania
A denial doesnt have to be final. You can appeal the SSAs initial determination and may be able to have your claim approved after a reevaluation. The social security application process can take months or even years from start to finish.
Even if you are denied, that isnt necessarily the end of the process. If the SSA rejects your claim, you can appeal. The first step to the appeals process is called Reconsideration, which may be requested by using an online application, or by downloading and printing out paper forms to send in the mail.
Wherever you are in this complex process, the experienced Pennsylvania disability benefits attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates can help. To set up a free and private case evaluation, call our law offices at 755-3115 in New Jersey or 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.
How Is The Amount Of Disability Compensation Determined
The amount of compensation paid depends on how severe the medical problem is. Severity can vary from 10 percent to 100 percent disability. Benefits range up to a certain amount each month, with additional payments for certain severe disabilities. The rate of compensation may change as the severity of injury or illness changes. If you have dependents, an additional allowance may be added id your disability is over 30%. An allowance for clothing or transportation is available if certain requirements are met.
Social Security Disability Venango County Pennsylvania
Any worker who is presently above the age of 20 has a risk of about one in three of becoming disabled due to work relatedinjury and illness. The assumption of risk goes for the entire working life of the individual. Were all working to make a living and try to dedicate time and effort on creative and productive career pursuits. To continue doing that indefinitely requires a form of cushioning against the unfortunate incidence of disability. That safety net comes in the form of Venango County Pennsylvania social security disability insurance.
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What Happens If You Indicate Youre Disabled
If you indicate you have a disability on your Marketplace application, well send it to your state Medical Assistance office to see if you qualify for Medicaid based on your disability. If we send your application to your state Medicaid office, they may contact you for more information on your disability. If you dont qualify for Medicaid based on your disability, you may still be eligible based on your income or you may qualify for a tax credit.
You should still indicate that youre disabled even if youre not sure if your state will consider you eligible for Medicaid based on your disability. This will help make sure you get the most help available. Your state will determine if you qualify for Medicaid.
If you say youre disabled, but your state determines you either dont qualify for Medicaid based on your income or determines that you dont have a qualifying disability, you can still buy health coverage through the Marketplace. Plans cant deny you coverage or charge you more because of your disability.
If you dont indicate youre disabled, we wont send your application to your state Medicaid office because of a disability, but we may send it later in the process if we think youll qualify based on your income.