Crawford County, PA, SSD Lawyer
Thousands of people in Pennsylvania who are unable to work for a living because of disabling conditions receive financial assistance from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
The Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) is a state agency in Pennsylvania that helps the Social Security Administration determine whether disabled Pennsylvania citizens are eligible for federal disability benefits. On average, the Bureau processes 145,000 Pennsylvania disability claims each year. Unfortunately, many Pennsylvanians, including residents of the Erie County and Crawford County area, who have valid claims often receive letters of denial initially.
You may need the assistance of a knowledgeable Pennsylvania social security disability attorney to navigate the appeals process and demand the disability benefits you need. The SSD benefits lawyers of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, help disabled individuals in Erie, PA and Crawford County, PA, pursue the full SSD benefits available by law.
- 1 Our Social Security Disability Lawyers in Crawford County, PA Assist People in Need
- 2 Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
- 3 Determining SSD Eligibility in Pennsylvania
- 4 How is Disability Defined?
- 5 Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income in Crawford County
- 6 Receiving Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
Our Social Security Disability Lawyers in Crawford County, PA Assist People in Need
Our attorneys have years of experience in Social Security disability law and securing SSD benefits for clients. We assist clients with initial applications and with appeals of unfavorable claim decisions.
If you or a loved one cannot work because of a disabling injury or medical condition, an Erie SSD lawyer may be able to help you obtain disability payments. If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, we may be able to strengthen your application and successfully appeal.
Don’t give up if you have received a denial notice. We urge you to contact our Social Security disability lawyers in Pennsylvania right away to discuss your status and how we can help you. The consultation is free and will help you understand whether you have a valid claim. Let us begin work for you today.
Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration provides payments to individuals who have a disability that prevents them from working for a living and who also meet certain qualifying medical and financial criteria. There are two disability programs:
- Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) is an insurance program for workers who have developed an incapacitating disability. An applicant must have previously paid Social Security taxes through employment and worked for enough years to accrue a disability benefit.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an entitlement for people with severe disabilities who have never been able to work and for elderly or blind citizens who have very little money or assets.
Determining SSD Eligibility in Pennsylvania
An application for SSD benefits requires completing multiple forms and submitting records, including:
- Medical records
- Employment records for many years
- Financial records (bank accounts, retirement accounts, additional assets).
Your application must show that you:
- Have a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or be a terminal condition that will eventually cause your death
- Cannot perform the work you’ve done in previous jobs.
- Cannot adjust to any other type of employment
- Have paid into the Social Security system for 40 quarters (three-month periods), of which 20 were in the 10 years before you became disabled.
How is Disability Defined?
The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability. You must be unable to perform any kind of substantial, gainful work as a result of your medical condition.
Your medical records should show that your condition matches an impairment in the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments. If your diagnosis matches a listed impairment, then you will be considered disabled and receive benefits.
If you cannot show a direct match, your medical records must demonstrate that your injury or illness incapacitates you in a manner that is equivalent to a listed impairment.
An evaluator handling your claim will decide whether you have a disabling condition and whether you can perform your current job’s functions or any other kind of substantial paying job. It’s not sufficient simply to have a diagnosis from your doctor that you are disabled.
It your application has been approved, you’ll receive a letter explaining the benefit you will receive and when you should start receiving payments. If your application for SSD benefits is denied, the letter will explain why and advise you that you have 60 days to appeal the decision.
Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income in Crawford County
Obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also requires demonstrating a disability through comparison to Blue Book listings but is heavily based on financial need. Most SSI payments go to people who have been disabled since birth or childhood and have never been in the workforce.
Adults over age 65 or who are totally or partially blind may qualify for SSI if they can demonstrate the required financial need.
A person applying for SSI must demonstrate that their financial resources do not exceed $2,000 ($3,000 if married). Countable resources include savings, stocks, bonds, real or personal property, or other assets. A primary home, a car, a burial plot and other government benefits, food stamps or home energy assistance, are not included in countable resources.
Often, a parent applies for SSI on behalf of a disabled child as they enter adulthood.
Matching an impairment in the Blue Book (including Part B “Childhood Listings” of congenital disabilities) is instant qualification – if financial eligibility is met.
Receiving Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
If you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, your payment depends on your average lifetime earnings. Most SSD recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per month (the average for 2020 was $1,258). However, if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, such as workers’ compensation or Veteran Administration disability benefits, your SSD payment may be reduced.
The monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment varies according to the recipient’s living arrangements:
- For those living independently, the 2021 monthly benefit is $794 for an individual and $1,191 for a couple.
- Living in someone else’s household: $529.34 for an individual, $794 for a couple
In Pennsylvania in 2020, there were approximately 374,000 individuals receiving monthly disability benefit payments from the Social Security Administration. The State of Pennsylvania adds money to the federal SSI payment.
Let our Erie & Crawford County, PA, Disability Lawyers Help with Your Claim
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we help Erie and Crawford County, PA, residents who have disabilities get all of the benefits that federal law says they should receive. It’s unfortunate that the disability claims process can be complex, but we have the commitment to pursue the full benefits available to you by law.
For over 25 years, the Social Security disability attorneys at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA have obtained SSD and SSI benefits for people like you and your loved ones. Our attorneys do not get paid a fee unless you start receiving benefits. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced Social Security disability attorneys.