Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability
Answers you can use from Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorneys you can trust
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?
How much do most people receive in Social Security Disability benefits?
What should I do if my Social Security Disability application is denied?
These are just some of the important questions people frequently ask us about Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) benefits at O'Malley & Langan. People routinely turn to us for answers because we have years of experience and a proven track record of getting results. That's why we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability. If you have other questions or need immediate assistance, call (866) 326-0100 today for a free consultation.
Answers to FAQs about Social Security Disability in Pennsylvania
- What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
- Am I eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits?
- How are Social Security Disability benefits calculated in Pennsylvania?
- How much money will I receive in Social Security Disability benefits?
- What are common mistakes people make when applying for SSDI benefits?
- What should I do if my Social Security Disability application is denied?
- Who will rule on my Social Security Disability application appeal in Pennsylvania?
- Why do I need a lawyer to handle my Social Security Disability case in Pennsylvania?
Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI or SSD, is a federal program created to provide financial compensation to injured or sick workers who are totally disabled and cannot work and have not yet reached their full retirement age. Employees pay into the Social Security system in the form of a Social Security tax called a "FICA" contribution.
The Social Security Administration has very strict guidelines regarding who is eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must normally:
- Have or had a job covered by Social Security for 5 out of the last 10 years.
- Have an injury or medical condition expected to last at least 1 year
The Social Security Administration calculates benefits for recipients in Pennsylvania and all other states based on two criteria:
- Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)
- Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME)
PIA is the base amount for SSDI benefits. Three different calculations are used to determine a recipient's PIA benefits. Pennsylvania residents also normally receive a supplemental amount.
AIME is based on a person's future projected earnings and lifetime earnings. The Social Security Administration makes such calculations based on the highest 35 years of indexed earnings to calculate SSDI benefits.
Amounts vary widely depending on a recipient's PIA and AIME figures. According to the Social Security Administration, the average Social Security Disability recipient received $1,148 a month in benefits in 2014. The maximum amount someone can receive in SSDI benefits is $2,642 a month. Figures may vary for Pennsylvania residents, who normally receive an additional supplemental amount.
Some of the most common mistakes people make when applying for Social Security Disability benefits include:
- Incomplete medical records on their Social Security Disability application
- Leaving out work details on their Social Security Disability application
- Reporting income figures that don't match their W-2 tax forms
- Incorrect employer information
The Social Security Administration denies more than half of the 2.5 million applications for Social Security Disability benefits every year nationwide. Fortunately, you can appeal your denied Social Security Disability application. You can also request that your claim be reconsidered or request another review if your appeal is denied. You have legal options. Explore them with an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability lawyer.
An Administrative Law Judge will initially rule on your appeal of your denied Social Security Disability application. If the judge denies your appeal, you can request a review by an Appeals Council. You can also file a lawsuit in federal district court. Contact us. We can walk you through all your legal options.
Hiring an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorney may be able to make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. While hiring an attorney is no guarantee of success, retaining counsel will boost your chances of getting the results you need. A lawyer familiar with the SSD process can help reduce your stress. Furthermore, an attorney may be able to find a number of alternative approaches to present to the Social Security Administration. If you already have filled out an application without a lawyer and your claim was denied, a lawyer can help you file an appeal. The attorney and his or her staff can collect all of the relevant and appropriate documentation in support of your claim. Finally, you most likely will feel more confident with an attorney at your side if you have to appear before an administrative law judge. Contact a Social Security Disability attorney in Pennsylvania today. Contact O'Malley & Langan. Call (866) 326-0100 and schedule a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.