Social Security Disability Lawyer in Pittsburgh
If you have a disabling injury, illness, or other medical condition and can no longer work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. However, there are strict eligibility criteria and the application process for disability benefits is challenging. Most applications are initially denied.
A knowledgeable Pittsburgh SSDI attorney can help you prepare a strong application and pursue the full disability benefits available by law. Contact the trusted team at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, for information about how we can help in a free initial consultation.
- 1 Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits in PA?
- 2 Do You Qualify for Supplemental Security Income in PA?
- 3 What If Your PA SSD Claim Has Been Denied?
- 4 Can I Qualify for SSDI Benefits If I’ve Never Had a Job?
- 5 What Criteria Will the SSA Use to Determine Whether I Am Disabled in PA?
- 6 Call A Pittsburgh Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits in PA?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to qualifying disabled workers and their family members. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must show that you worked for a certain number of years and paid taxes to the Social Security system.
You also are required to demonstrate that you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that causes limitations that prevent you from maintaining regular, gainful employment. That is, you are unable to work. The diagnosed condition should be listed in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments, though some qualifying conditions are not listed. Those conditions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The disabling condition must prevent you from making more than $1,310 per month ($2,190 if you are legally blind). The condition must be one that is expected to last at least a year or be a fatal condition.
Do You Qualify for Supplemental Security Income in PA?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal disability benefits program. SSI benefits are awarded based on financial need to disabled people with very few assets.
You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits if you can demonstrate:
- You are 65 years old or older, legally blind, or otherwise medically disabled.
- You have little or no income and have less than $2,000 worth of assets as an individual or $3,000 of assets as a married couple.
- You are incapable of engaging in substantial gainful activity.
In some cases, you may find that you are eligible for both SSDI benefits and SSI benefits. If so, you should review your options with a knowledgeable attorney. Accepting benefits from one program may reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim from the other. A Pittsburgh disability benefits lawyer can help you apply for benefits in a way that maximizes the total value of your monthly compensation.
What If Your PA SSD Claim Has Been Denied?
If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your SSD claim, you have a right to appeal the decision. The SSA’s statistical reports show a majority of first-time Social Security Disability appeal applications are unsuccessful. Many Social Security Disability appeal applications are denied because they contain errors or lack adequate documentation of the applicant’s employment history or disabling medical condition.
You have the right to ask the SSA to review the decision by filing a request for reconsideration. This is the first step in the appeals process. You must file your Social Security Disability appeal within 60 days of receiving the denial letter from the SSA.
If the SSA denies your application a second time after reconsideration, you can then request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to present your case for benefits. The hearing is a legal proceeding, and you should have a disability benefits lawyer guiding you through the appeals process to have the strongest chance of success
Filing an appeal after your claim has been denied can be a daunting prospect, but there’s no reason to do it alone. The knowledgeable Pittsburgh Social Security Disability lawyers at the law offices of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA can guide you through the process and advocate fiercely on your behalf at every step.
Can I Qualify for SSDI Benefits If I’ve Never Had a Job?
Yes, you may qualify in some cases. Although you cannot rely on your own work history to qualify for SSDI benefits, you may qualify for benefits based on someone else’s employment history and qualifying work credits. Spouses, widows or widowers, and minor dependent children of disabled workers can receive SSDI benefits based on their relative’s work history.
If you cannot claim SSDI benefits based on the qualifying work history of anyone in your household, you may still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits. The eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits has nothing to do with employment history or work credits, so you can apply for them even if you have little or no work experience.
The Social Security Disability lawyers at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA can help you determine your eligibility for disability benefits and pursue the full benefits to which you are entitled.
What Criteria Will the SSA Use to Determine Whether I Am Disabled in PA?
The SSA uses a multi-step process involving the following questions to determine whether you have a qualifying disability:
- Is your condition considered “severe”? You must have a medical condition that prevents you from performing basic work tasks for at least one full year.
- Is your condition listed in the Blue Book? The Blue Book was previously titled Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. The Blue Book lists the impairments that the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers severe enough to prevent someone from working. If a condition is not listed, the SSA determines whether your diagnosed condition qualifies on a case-by-case basis.
- Are you working right now? If you are working and earning more than $1,310 per month ($2,190 if you are blind), you will likely not be considered disabled.
- Are you able to do your previous job? If your condition prevents you from doing the work you did at any previous jobs, you may have a qualifying disability.
- Are you able to do any other job? If your condition prevents you from doing previous jobs as well as any other job, you likely have a qualifying disability.
Call A Pittsburgh Social Security Disability Attorney Today
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we are committed to helping injured and disabled workers obtain the full disability benefits provided by law to those who qualify. Contact us today to discuss the details of your medical condition with one of our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers in a free initial case review.