Armstrong, PA SSD Attorney
If you are disabled and wish to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the help of a disability attorney can significantly improve your chances of obtaining approval and maximizing your monthly benefits. By working with a knowledgeable Armstrong disability lawyer, you will have a personal advocate who can help you avoid unnecessary errors and costly delays right from the start.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, our attorneys work with the Social Security disability system every day and can get to work on your case immediately. We help disabled people in Armstrong, PA seek the full disability benefits available by law. We will gather your medical records, file the necessary paperwork, and keep you informed of the status of your claim. Let us place our resources and knowledge at your disposal. Contact us today to discuss your case with a qualified social security disability attorney in Pennsylvania.
Types of SSD
Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program that administers two main types of SSD benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits – To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must demonstrate that you paid Social Security taxes over the course of your employment history and that you worked enough years to qualify for benefits. A disabled worker’s spouse and dependents may be entitled to SSDI benefits based on a worker’s lifetime earnings.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments – SSI payments are available to people who are disabled, have very limited financial resources, and do not meet the work history requirements to qualify for SSDI benefits. While eligibility for SSDI is based on lifetime earnings and work history, SSI eligibility is primarily need-based.
Am I Eligible for SSD?
Because the SSDI and SSI programs are intended for different recipients, each program has distinct eligibility requirements. To be eligible for SSDI benefits in Pennsylvania:
- You must be able to prove you have a condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of a medical disability.
- You must demonstrate proof of sufficient work credits earned over the course of your employment history.
- You must not be able to perform any substantial work, which means any work that pays more than $1,310 a month or more than $2,190 per month if you are blind.
To qualify for SSI payments:
- You must at least 65 years old, blind, or medically disabled based on SSA criteria.
- You must have little or no income.
- You must own less than $2,000 in assets as an individual or less than $3,000 in assets as a married couple living together.
- You must not be able to perform any substantial work based on SSA income criteria.
Why Are Disability Claims Denied?
The majority of all initial disability claims are denied by the SSA for a handful of common reasons, including:
- Incomplete applications or applications with errors or inconsistencies
- Failure to follow directions, submit the requested information or meet filing deadlines
- Insufficient history of qualifying employment or work credits
- Disqualifying financial resources or the capacity to earn too much money
- The evidence reflects temporary disability rather than permanent disability
- Failure to follow doctor’s orders or attend follow-up appointments
- Insufficient medical documentation of a medical disability
- Claiming disabilities based on substance abuse
- Lack of current contact information on file with the SSA
Appealing a Denied SSD Claim in Armstrong, Pennsylvania
If your SSDI has been denied, it’s important to talk to an experienced SSD lawyer rather than simply giving up. Many valid claims are initially turned down. You may still be able to appeal the decision and secure benefits with the guidance of an experienced lawyer. However, it’s important to act quickly.
When you receive a notice of denial, you have 60 days to file an appeal. An appeal is a formal request to have the SSA reconsider the initial decision about your claim. If you miss the deadline for filing an appeal, you will need to begin the entire application process over again.
If the SSA still denies your claim after your appeal, you have the right to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will consider the information in your file and make an independent decision.
If the judge does not rule in your favor, you can request a further review by the Social Security Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council denies or refuses to review your claim, you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court.
How Do You Know When You Need Legal Help for Your Armstrong SSD Claim?
A knowledgeable Armstrong Social Security disability attorney can help you at any stage of the claims process. While you may apply for SSD or appeal a denied claim on your own, you’re far more likely to get approved if you have an attorney helping you develop your claim and navigate the process.
It’s a good idea to seek the help of a knowledgeable disability lawyer if:
- You aren’t sure whether you qualify for disability benefits.
- You need help filing your claim to maximize your monthly benefits.
- You have limited medical documentation to support your disability claim.
- You feel uncertain about filling out applications or attending hearings alone.
- You have a history of missing medical appointments or failing to adhere to treatment regimens due to limited income or resources.
- Your claim has been denied for any reason.
- You are not receiving the full amount of benefits you believe you are owed.
Contact an Armstrong, PA SSD Attorney for Help
If your Pennsylvania SSD claim has been denied or you need help filing an initial claim, the disability lawyers of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, are available to assist you. When you choose to work with us, we can help you determine how much money you could be owed, manage your paperwork and communication with the SSA, and present a persuasive case for you.
Our firm represents SSD clients on a contingency basis. That means you owe us nothing up front. We collect no legal fees unless you receive disability benefits. Contact us today to take advantage of your free initial consultation and learn more.