Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Laws 6 Common Questions Answered
Social Security Disability Assistance provides those who can no longer work due to a disability or disabling condition with a monthly check to help cover their medical bills and living expenses. If you are having trouble working due to a worsening condition or disability, you may be eligible for assistance in accordance with Pennsylavania Social Security Disability laws. These frequently asked questions can help you get started to understanding the process from start to finish…
Who Decides If I Am Eligible?
The Bureau of Disability helps the Social Security Administration decide if citizens living in the state of Pennsylvania are eligible to receive benefits. Each year, around 145,000 claims will be processed. The state employs examiners, psychologists and physicians to help in the determination process.
Are There Requirements for Qualifying for Social Security Disability?
There are several criteria that must be met to qualify for assistance through Social Security Disability. To qualify you:
• Must have little to no income/resources
• Must be a citizen of the United States or meet certain non-citizen requirements
• Meet disability criteria
• Must not be preforming any substantial work
How Do I Apply for SSI Benefits?
You can apply for SSI benefits at: www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/.
If you do not have access to online application processes consider using your local library’s computer or applying in person at your local Social Security Administration offices. Keep in mind that there can be a long wait and you may have to come back by appointment. Thus, online applications are preferred but not required. It can take several months to go through the process and for the SSI Administration to reach a decision. This is why it is important to apply as soon as you become disabled. You can apply at any time but applying sooner means less time without vital income. However, remember, you will be eligible for back-pay if your application is approved.
What Does the Law Say About Eligibility for Less Common Disabilities Like MS, Parkinson’s Disease, Etc.?
Uncommon disabilities like MS, Parkinson’s and other diseases are eligible for disability assistance according to Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Laws. Invisible symptoms such as vertigo and double vision as experienced in MS can be harder to prove but that does not mean it is impossible. This is why you should always document your new symptoms with your doctor by phone so that there is evidence of your worsening condition. It is also a good idea to stay up to date on any annual screenings that document progress of your disease such as MRI’s, CAT Scans and other tests.
What Might My Doctor Be Asked?
Some people get a little nervous when they consider the fact that their doctor may be phoned and interviewed to further determine eligibility. Remember, your doctor is on your side and often times it is your personal doctor who may be able to assist in getting a decision in your favor. These are a few of the things that your doctor may be asked:
• What is your medical condition?
• When did this condition begin?
• How does the condition limit your everyday activity?
• What are the results of medical testing?
• What, if any, treatments have you had and did it help?
Remember, keeping good records with your doctor and staying current on checkups will be extremely helpful in getting an approval. If you have not kept good records up to this point — start now. It is never too late. If you are not eligible for disability yet but expect to be in the future due to a progressive disease, starting records now can double your chances of approval especially where less noticeable symptoms are concerned.
How Many Times Can I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Many people fear that if they apply now and are not eligible after all that they will not be able to apply again. This keeps many men and women who need disability assistance from applying in the first place. Not only does this hurt you in the long run but it leaves you wondering where money will come from. The truth is that you can not only appeal your first decision if it is not in your favor but you can also apply again if after this your appeal is denied. You should never let fear of rejection keep you from getting the help that you need and deserve. If you are having trouble getting approved, turn to a PA lawyer who gets results and knows their way around disability claims processes. Often times, a disability lawyer can get results that you might not be able to get alone. This is especially true in cases where symptoms are invisible to the world around you but very real inside your own skin.
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a lengthy process and it requires a lot of patience. However, the end results are well worth the effort and the wait. Trying to work when you are unable can not only worsen some conditions but leave you frustrated. Apply today to get the ball rolling and if you need a little help, a disability lawyer would be more than happy to help you proceed in any way they can. Whether you need advice or help with an appeal, you never have to go it alone. There will always be someone in your corner to cheer you on and help you get the assistance that you deserve.