Social Security Disability (SSD) is an important financial resource for people that are suffering from a disability that prevents them from working. However, SSD benefits are often difficult to obtain and many claims are unfairly denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
You all have done a superb job on my case. Thank you very much!
- Client of Schmidt Kramer
Schmidt Kramer’s York Social Security Disability lawyers have many years of experience navigating the SSA’s application and appeals processes. For more than 30 years, our trusted law firm has provided qualified legal help to Pennsylvania residents, including to those applying for disability benefits. We use our skill and knowledge as York Social Security Disability attorneys to help secure benefits for our clients.
It's free to talk to a lawyer at our firm to help determine if you have grounds to file - or re-file - a Social Security Disability benefits application and there are no upfront fees if you decide to hire us.
Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees. Ph: (717) 888-8888.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Often, filing a successful SSD claim is not a simple process. Many people are unfamiliar with the strict rules imposed by the SSA and submit incomplete or inadequate applications. As a result, many first-time applicants’ claims are denied by the SSA.
This is why you could benefit from working with a reputable Social Security disability lawyer in York. An attorney will know how the SSA’s claims process works. He or she can help guide you through the application and appeal process, pursuing the benefits you deserve.
At Schmidt Kramer, our York Social Security disability attorneys can help you by:
- Preparing your claim: Many SSD claims are denied due to applicants being unprepared for the application process. Our attorneys will help you prepare your claim so that it meets the SSA’s requirements.
- Explaining the process: SSD claims are often denied because the applicant is unfamiliar with the SSA’s requirements and application process. We have helped numerous applicants file SSD benefits claims and understand the SSA’s requirements. We will help you build a thorough and accurate claim that may help you obtain the benefits you need.
- Ensuring you receive the full benefits you deserve: If your claim has been approved, our York Social Security disability lawyers will review your benefits to ensure you are receiving the financial support you are entitled.
- Helping you appeal your claim: If your SSD application has been denied or you received less benefits than you deserved, we will not hesitate to file an appeal on your behalf. The SSA’s appeal process can be difficult and requires extensive knowledge of deadlines and the information needed to overturn a denial. We have a thorough understanding of the SSA’s appeal process and will guide you through each step.
Contact Schmidt Kramer today to learn how our York Social Security Disability lawyers can help you obtain disability benefits. Associate attorney Jessica Mitchell helps people with disabilities pursue the benefits they deserve. She is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives.
Our team of trusted attorneys are dedicated to defending our clients’ best interests and will not settle for any amount of benefits that is less than what you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact us today to find out how our Social Security disability lawyers in York can help you.
To get started, complete our Free Case Evaluation form.
Does Your Disability Qualify for SSD Benefits?
You may have earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits or meet the financial limitations for Supplemental Security Income. However, you will not be entitled to benefits unless you have a condition that meets the SSA definition of disability.
Typically, the SSA will consider you disabled if:
- You are unable to perform the regular duties of your previous occupation
- You are prevented from adjusting to other work due to your medical condition
- Your condition or disability is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months or result in your death
- Your medical condition is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book listing of impairments or the condition is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list.
Unfortunately, proving that your disability meets these four criteria can be very difficult. This is why many claims are denied or applicants end up receiving less benefits than they deserve. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our Social Security disability lawyers in York to find out how we can help you throughout the process.
Call (717) 888-8888 if your SSD benefits claim was denied.
What is Social Security Disability?
The SSA offers two main types of benefits to individuals who have a disability and are unable to financially support themselves by working:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an employment-focused financial assistance program for people who suffer a disability that is expected to last more than 12 months. The SSA provides SSDI benefits to applicants who are “insured,” meaning you have worked long enough and paid enough Social Security taxes.
To receive SSDI benefits, you must have earned 40 SSA work credits before becoming disabled. You can earn up to four work credits each year. As of 2018, one work credit is equal to $1,320 in wages. To accumulate four work credits throughout the year, you must have earned at least $5,280.
Typically, you will need to earn at least 20 work credits within the last 10 years before you became disabled. However, the number of required credits you need to be considered insured may vary depending on your age when you became disabled:
- Under age 24: You need to have earned six credits within a three-year period before becoming disabled.
- Age 24 to 31: You will need to have work credits for half the time between age 21 and the age you became disabled. If, for example, you became disabled at the age of 27, you will need credit for three years (12 credits) out of the past six years.
- Age 31 or older: If you became injured at age 31 or older, you will need 20 credits to receive SSDI benefits. The number of credits increases to 21 for applicants who are 43 years old. The number of credits increases by one for people who are 44, two for people who are 45 and so on.
You can use the SSA’s benefits calculator to get an estimate of the SSDI benefits you could receive.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides monthly cash payments to individuals who are disabled but have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must earn little or no income and have few available resources. The SSA requires the value of your total assets, which includes everything you own, to be less than $2,000 if you are single or $3,000 for qualified married couples who live together. The SSA will not, however, consider the value of the home you are living in and the vehicle you drive.
In 2018, the monthly maximum federal amounts for SSI benefits are:
- Individual: $750
- Couple: $1,125
- Essential person: $376
In addition to the federal payments you may receive, Pennsylvania also provides eligible applicants state supplemental payments to maximize their SSI benefits.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
What You Need to Apply for a Social Security Disability Claim
Many individual’s applications are denied because they were unprepared to apply for disability benefits. Before you apply for disability benefits, you should gather information required by the SSA to ensure your application is accurate and complete. This may include:
Information About Your Disability
When applying for benefits, the SSA will need detailed information about your disability. This may include:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of treatment from your health care provider and clinics where you received treatment for your disability
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone familiar with your disability
- Names of any medications you may be taking and the name and contact information of the health care provider who prescribed your medication
- Information about any medical tests you have taken regarding your injury, including the type of test, date of test and the outcome
The SSA may require you to provide certain personal information when applying for disability benefits. This includes your:
- Date and location of birth
- Social Security number
- Current or former spouse’s name, date of birth and Social Security number, and the time and place of marriage, divorce or death.
- Names and dates of birth for any children you may have under the age of 18
- The Routing Transit Number of your bank account for electronic deposits
You may also be required to provide the following information about your employment history:
- Total income for the current and previous year before you applied for disability benefits
- Your current employer’s name and address, as well as any previous employer in the year before you applied for disability benefits
- The dates for active services in the U.S. military before 1968 (if applicable)
- The name and dates of any employment you sustained within the 15 years before you became disabled
- Details about any workers’ compensation claim you filed
In addition to the above mentioned information, the SSA may require you to provide the following materials:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Proof of lawful alien status, if you were not born in the U.S.
- Birth certificate
- W-2 forms and/ or self-employment tax returns for the past year
- Medical evidence of your disability, such as doctors’ reports and medical test results
- Proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits you may receive
Call (717) 888-8888 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
How to Apply
There are several ways you can apply for SSD benefits in Pennsylvania:
The SSA allows applicants to apply for disability benefits online. When you begin your online application, the SSA will assign you a number to access your application at a later date or track its results.
When applying online, you will be required to:
- Review the Adult Disability Checklist to help you find out which materials you need to apply
- Complete and submit the Disability Benefit Application
- Complete and submit a Medical Release Form
Children, however, may not apply for SSI benefits online. Instead, the disabled child’s parent must complete a Child Disability Report. The SSA provides a Child Disability Starter Kit for parents to review before starting the SSI benefits application.
If you choose to apply for disability benefits in person, you may visit your local SSA office. However, you will need to make an appointment beforehand by calling 1-800-772-1213.
Applying Over the Phone
You may apply for disability benefits over-the-phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you are deaf or hearing impaired, you may contact the SSA by calling TTY 1-800-325-0778.
Contact a York Social Security Disability attorney right now.
How to Appeal the SSA’s Decision
In many cases, first time applicants’ disability claims are denied. If this happened to your claim, you may appeal the SSA’s decision.
Appealing a denied disability claim, however, can be complicated and overwhelming to handle on your own. Applicants who are unfamiliar with the SSA’s appeal process may miss important dates or information that results in their appeal being denied. Hiring a York Social Security disability lawyer to represent your claim may provide you with the guidance you need to successfully appeal your denied claim.
To appeal the SSA’s decision, you or your York Social Security disability attorney must send the SSA a written request within 60 days of receiving the denial decision letter. Submitting a written appeal request is the first step in the SSA's appeals process:
The SSA’s appeals process starts with your claim being reviewed by a claims examiner who was not part of the original decision to deny your claim. The representative will examine the evidence you provided during your original application, as well as any new information submitted by you or your attorney.
If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge who did not partake in your claim’s original decision or the reconsideration process.
The hearing will likely be held within 75 miles of your home and the administrative law judge will inform you of its time, date and location. Before the hearing, you may be asked to provide the SSA additional evidence and to clarify information about your claim.
During the hearing, the administrative law judge will question you and any witnesses you may bring. Additionally, medical or vocational experts may be allowed to provide information during the hearing. You and your York Social Security disability lawyer may question any witnesses involved with the hearing.
Although you are not required to do so, it is in your best interest to attend the hearing. This will provide you an opportunity to explain your case and defend your claim.
If you are unable to attend the hearing, you must provide a written explanation as soon as possible. However, if the administrative law judge believes it is necessary for you to attend the hearing, you must be present.
After the hearing has concluded, you will receive a letter and a copy of the judge’s decision.
Review by the Appeals Council
If you oppose the administrative law judge’s decision, the SSA’s Appeals Council may review the decision.
The Appeals Council will consider all requests for a review, but it may turn down your request if it believes the hearing decision was accurate. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case or return it to be considered by an administrative law judge.
You will receive a letter explaining the Appeals Council’s decision to review or deny your case. If the Appeals Council decides to review your application, you will receive a letter detailing the outcome of your claim.
Federal Court Review
If you do not agree with the Appeals Council’s decision or it denied to consider your claim, you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court. The SSA will inform you about how to ask for a court to review your case when it sends you the letter regarding the Appeals Council’s decision.
In this situation, it may be in your best interest to allow a trusted Social Security disability lawyer to represent your case. He or she will be familiar with the SSA’s appeals process and help you understand your rights at every step.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now.
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer in York, PA
If you suffer from a disability and believe you are eligible to receive disability benefits, we recommend that you contact an attorney for help with your application.
Schmidt Kramer’s qualified Social Security disability attorneys understand how to complete a successful SSD application and can explain the process to you in easy-to-understand terms.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, which means we will represent your case for no upfront charge. We only require payment if we recover the benefits you need.
Call (717) 888-8888 for experienced legal representation.