Understanding Disability Benefits

If you have a physical disability, a debilitating illness or a serious mental health condition that has forced you out of work or is preventing you from partaking in any gainful activity, then you may qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

There are two programs that the SSA provides benefits through: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Depending on eligibility, you may receive benefits from one, or sometimes even both, of these programs. These cash benefits can offset lost wages and cover everything from doctor's visits to medication and treatments.

Eligibility For Disability Programs

To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, your condition must first meet the SSA definition of disability, which requires:

  • That you be unable to work or engage in any gainful activity
  • That you have a condition that is expected to last at least 12 months
  • That you have a condition that is expected to result in death

Each program then has specific requirements that must be met in order to go onto the next step in the process: application consideration.

What Your Application Needs For Consideration

Applications for disability benefits typically take several months to work their way through the system. You can help speed up the process by including these important pieces of information in your application:

  • A complete and thorough description of your condition and how it affects your life and ability to work
  • All contact information for any and all health care professionals you have seen for your condition
  • Medical records, including test results, laboratory reports, and any medications you are taking for your condition along with dosage information
  • A complete work history with descriptions of the work you did
  • Other identifying information such as your Social Security number, birth certificate and your most recent W-2 Form

Appealing A Denied Claim

Unfortunately, SSA doesn't always approve initial claims, even if you are severely disabled. If you disagree with an SSA decision, you have the right to file an appeal. Because of the complexity of the appeals process and the laws that govern it, though, you may want to hire a lawyer to help you take on the daunting task ahead.

Your Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Pennsylvania Disability Attorneys

Whether you obtain help from one of our experienced disability attorneys prior to filing your initial application or after your claim has been denied, we will stand by you and make sure you understand exactly what your next steps should be. We will help you put together your claim properly, then walk you through the complex application and appeals processes.

At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., we give disability applicants in Pennsylvania the best chance at getting their applications approved. We encourage you to call our Wilkes-Barre office at 570-550-0815 or our Philadelphia office at 215-278-4767 to see if we can do the same for you. Contact us today.