If you are unable to work for a year or more due to an injury or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

If you are unable to work for a year or more due to an injury or illness, you may be eligible for social security disability benefits. Although the rules governing the Social Security Administration’s disability process may seem simple, obtaining your entitled payments can be very difficult.

If you need help getting the compensation you deserve, contact us today. Our social security disability lawyers – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – have developed proven strategies to help our clients obtain their rightful benefits. If your disability was caused by a work-related injury, check out our workers’ compensation page.

The social security disability lawyers at the Travis Law Firm – with offices in Erie, Edinboro, and Warren, Pennsylvania – can help those who are planning to apply for benefits or those who are planning to appeal a recent Social Security Administration decision. Under the federal social security disability program, benefits are available to those who meet certain program standards & can not work due to disability. Below is a brief overview of social security disability. If you have additional questions, contact us and arrange a case consultation. We will evaluate your case and help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration determines disability based on your inability to work. You are considered disabled if you are unable to do the work you performed before your injury. In order to be eligible for social security disability, your injury must last or be expected to last for at least one year or until death. The Social Security Administration pays for only total disability – benefits for partial or short-term disability are not offered.

How the Social Security Administration Determines Disability

Eligibility for social security disability is generally determined by a step-by-step process using the following five questions:

  1. Are you working?If you are working and your average monthly earnings are more than $860, you are not considered disabled.
  2. Is your condition “severe”?

    In order to consider your claim, the Social Security Administration requires that your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities. If it does not, your disability claim will be denied.

  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?

    The Social Security Administration maintains a list of serious medical conditions which, due to their severity, automatically qualify for disability. If your condition is not on the list, it must be determined that your condition is of an equal severity. Examine the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments.

  4. Can you do the work you did before?If your condition is not determined to be as severe as a medical condition on the Social Security Administration’s list, then they must determine that your condition interferes with your ability to do the work you did. If it does not, your claim will be denied.
  5. Can you do any other type of work?

    If you cannot do the work you previously performed, the Social Security Administration will determine if you are able to adjust to other work. They will consider your condition, your age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If it is determined you can adjust to other work, your disability claim will be denied.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Widows/Widowers

Death benefits may be paid to a widow or widower with a disability if the following conditions are met:

  • He or she is between ages 50 and 60
  • The widow or widower meets the definition of disability for adults
  • The disability started before death or within seven years after death

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs

Many people confuse the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. The differences between them are as follows:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you or family members if you are “insured” (you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes, which fund this program). A person who is eligible to receive SSDI will automatically be enrolled in Medicare after receiving 24 months of social security disability benefits.
  • Social Security Income Programs pay benefits based on financial need (even if you have never worked). SSI is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues – not Social Security taxes. A person who is eligible to receive SSI is automatically qualified for Medicare without a waiting period.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyers

The social security disability lawyers at the Travis Law Firm – with offices in Erie, Edinboro, and Warren Pennsylvania – can help those who are planning to apply for benefits or those who are planning to appeal a recent Social Security Administration decision. If you are unable to work for a year or more due to an injury or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Our Social Security disability lawyers – serving Erie, Warren and Crawford counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – have developed proven strategies to help our clients obtain their rightful benefits. Contact us and arrange a case consultation if you would like to know more about social security disability. If your disability was caused by a work-related injury, also check out our workers’ compensation page.