Social Security Attorneys in York & Harrisburg, PA Also serving Chambersburg, Carlisle, and surrounding areas! Social Security Disability insurance is an insurance program for workers who become unable to work. Money for this insurance comes from FICA, the tax withheld from workers’ pay and employer mandated contributions. The Social Security Administration is responsible for the operation and administration of this fund. Workers who work and pay FICA tax for at least five of the ten years prior to the beginning of their disability are eligible for coverage of benefits. Depending upon the age of the worker, he may be qualified to receive benefits with less years of work. Eligibility Requirements • You must be able to prove that you cannot perform your job or any other type of work because of your disability (“incapable of engaging in substantial, gainful employment”) AND • Your disability must last or be expected to last 12 months or longer. If there is any job which you are capable of performing and the job is available in sufficient numbers in the area in which you live, you do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The amount of the payment you receive is based upon your income while you were able to work. The Social Security Administration uses a formula based on your average lifetime earnings and the total number of years you worked in order to calculate the benefit. You can receive up to a maximum of approximately $1,500.00 per month depending on your past earnings. You may also receive a yearly cost of living adjustment depending on how long you collect social security benefits. If you have a family, you can also receive up to 50 percent of your own monthly amount in addition to that monthly amount. Assuming you are permanently disabled, you may collect social security disability benefits until you are the age of 65. At age 65, Social Security Disability benefits will convert to a Social Security Retirement benefit. To receive Social Security benefits you must provide medical evidence that you are disabled. A “disability” can be a physical impairment or an emotional impairment or combination of both. To receive benefits your disability must be severe enough to keep you from working on any regular job, for at least 12 consecutive months, available in the workplace. Examples of conditions which can be considered to be a disability are: back problems, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, asthma, cancer, kidney disease, carpel tunnel syndrome, psychiatric problems, HIV, bipolar disorder, manic depression, anxiety, ADHD, Adult ADD, surgery, and fibromyalgia. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is both complicated and time consuming. Only a small percentage of those who apply for benefits without attorney representation are successful. The Social Security office will help you with your application and your attorney may not collect a fee from you without first obtaining approval from the Social Security Administration. If you are denied benefits, you may request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The administrative law judge will hear testimony from you and receive your medical records. The Social Security Administration may also present medical evidence and vocational evidence in opposition to your claim. Supplemental Security Income Supplemental Security Income benefits are paid to individuals who are poor and disabled. SSI does not consider whether the applicant has worked in the past. SSI disability benefits determination is different for children. For most people, the medical requirements for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are the same under both programs. The process for proof is also the same. Eligibility for SSI disability benefits are based on financial need. Disabled widows and widowers benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 years old and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife who has worked under Social Security. Disabled adult child benefits go to children, disabled before age 22. Disability insurance benefits for disabled widows or widowers benefits and disabled adult child benefits are not affected by whether you are rich or poor. Benefits are determined by a review of the social security earnings record. Permanent disability, long-term disability, Title 2 benefits, and lifetime disability are issues to discuss with your social security attorney. Don’t face the SSD/SSI process alone, and don’t wait any longer to file a claim or appeal a denied claim. Our attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and will fight for the disability benefits for which you are entitled. If you have already filed and been denied a claim, don’t give up. Many times three applications are initially denied. Time, however, is a critical factor and you may not miss deadlines for filing appeals or you will be forced to start the process all over again. We will make every effort toward a successful resolution of your benefits. We work closely with your doctors to make sure your limitations are adequately explained to the SSD officials. Having an attorney to represent you through the process of the filing of claims does increase your chances for success. It takes approximately four to five months to get an initial decision. Many applications are denied. You can appeal that denial to an administrative law judge. The overall process can take a year or longer from the time you file your first application until the date of your hearing.