When a disability affects your ability to work, getting the money needed to avoid financial hardship becomes a priority in your life. The disability advocates at London Eligibility bring an unsurpassed knowledge and understanding of Social Security law and years of experience to help you apply for Social Security disability.
Getting help is essential when you apply for disability in Philadelphia because of the complex and difficult process that results in fewer than one-third of applicants being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Reading this article is a good way to become familiar with how to apply for Social Security disability and the eligibility requirements for each of the disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration.
Are You Eligible For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
You must be disabled according to the definition used by Social Security to be eligible for SSDI, but that does not necessarily mean that you will be found eligible for benefits. In addition to the medical requirement, you also need to have a qualifying work history.
In order to be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked long enough prior to the onset of the disability and paid Social Security taxes on the earnings from your jobs or on the income you made from self-employment. How long you worked is measured through work credits that you acquire based on your earnings. You get a work credit in 2023 for each $1,640 in earnings up to a maximum of four credits each year.
As a general rule, you need 40 work credits to be eligible for SSDI, and 20 of them must be earned within 10 years of the onset of your disability. Younger workers may qualify for benefits with fewer credits, so talk to your disability advocate about the circumstances of your situation to determine what options you have available to you.
If you have enough work credits, you also need to meet the disability requirement. Social Security follows federal regulations that define a qualifying disability as one where you are unable to engage in a substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
The standard used to determine whether you have the ability to engage in the substantial gainful activity is your earnings. If you work and earn more than $1,470 a month in 2023, you are not disabled because your earnings show you can do the substantial gainful activity. If you apply for SSDI based on statutory blindness, you may earn as much as $2,460 and meet disability requirements.
However, the fact that you cannot do substantial gainful activity does not automatically make you eligible for SSDI. You also must be unable to do any type of work that you did in the past or adjust to do other types of work available for you in the national economy.
How To Qualify For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits?
The purpose of the SSI program is to provide a source of income to pay for food and shelter. It is a need-based program that places limits on the amount of income and the value of resources you are allowed to have available to you. For instance, the total value of resources available to exchange or use to acquire food and shelter is only $2,000 for one person and $3,000 for eligible couples.
Unlike SSDI, the SSI program does not have a work requirement in order to qualify for benefits. You must, however, be disabled according to the definition used by Social Security or statutorily blind to be approved for benefits.
How To Apply For Disability Philadelphia
Disability claims take time to process. First, the Social Security Administration determines whether you meet the non-medical requirements. If you do, the claim is forwarded to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination or BDD.
The BDD requests medical records from your doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities and providers that have treated. The medical records are reviewed to determine whether they support your claim for benefits. The BDD may ask you to submit to a consultative examination to assist it in making a decision about your application for benefits.
The process to obtain benefits in Philadelphia for SSI and SSDI begins when you complete and file an application. Applications may be completed and filed online, by telephone, or in person at a local Social Security field office.
If you are applying for SSI benefits on behalf of a blind or disabled child, the application process includes completing a Child Disability Report followed by a phone interview. Discuss the process with your disability advocate at London Eligibility.
Get Help To Apply For Social Security Disability
Mistakes or omissions when you apply for disability Philadelphia can delay its processing or cause your claim for benefits to be denied. Get help from the disability advocates by contacting London Eligibility today for a free consultation and claim evaluation.