Easton Social Security Disability Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, disabled residents can seek federal benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) by filing a claim with the Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD), which is the state agency that assists the SSA. The Bureau, however, is responsible for processing more than 145,000 disability claims every year, so it is not uncommon for a claimant’s request to get lost in the shuffle or to be delayed. To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, reach out to our experienced Easton Social Security Disability lawyer today.
What Qualifies as a Disability?
The Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) employs case examiners, physicians, and psychologists to conduct and process case reviews for two federal programs:
- The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which provides benefits to disabled individuals who made contributions in the form of social security taxes paid on their earnings, or on the earnings of their spouses or parents; and
- The Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI), which provides cash assistance to aged, disabled, and blind individuals with limited income and financial resources.
To qualify for benefits under these programs, applicants must prove that they are disabled, which means that:
- They are unable to do any substantial work due to a medical condition; and
- Their medical condition has lasted, or is expected to last for at least a year, or to result in death.
Demonstrating a disability is not, however, the only requirement that a claimant will face when attempting to obtain benefits.
Eligibility for SSDI and SSI Benefits
To be eligible for SSDI, a claimant must not only meet the official definition of disability, but must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a period of time, in addition to:
- Being an insured worker or an insured worker’s adult child or widow(er); and
- Not being able to perform any substantial work.
The eligibility requirements for SSI benefits are a bit different, as a claimant must meet the SSA’s medical disability criteria and:
- Have little or no income or resources;
- Be a U.S. citizen, or meet the requirements for non-citizens; and
- Not be able to perform any substantial work.
Read on to learn more about what you’ll need to prove in order to obtain federal Social Security benefits.
Filing a Claim for Disability Benefits
If, upon review by the SSA, an application for disability benefits meets the initial requirements, the agency will forward the petition to the BDD, which will then determine whether the applicant’s condition qualifies as a disability under federal law. The agency will request and review evidence from the applicant’s doctors, including proof of diagnosis and treatment. The BDD may also ask doctors for details about how a condition limits a person’s ability to work or take part in day-to-day activities. Fortunately, even if the BDD denies a person’s request for benefits, the applicant has 60 days to appeal the decision.
Dedicated Easton Social Security Disability Lawyers
To speak with our experienced Easton Social Security Disability lawyer at O’Donnell Law Offices about the ins and outs of filing an application for disability benefits, or appealing denial, call 570-821-5717 today.