Canadohta Lake is one of the most beautiful outdoor areas in Pennsylvania, and while it is primarily a tourist destination, the hundreds of residents of the borough remain hard at work to support themselves and their families. When tragedy strikes a worker in Canadohta Lake, and he or she is unable to earn a living, worry and struggle are often inevitable. However, the U.S. government is able to provide support through a federal insurance program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
What Is SSDI?
SSDI is an insurance program administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA) that protects U.S. workers should they experience life-changing medical disabilities that prevent them from working. Nearly 9 million people currently receive benefits through the program, and about one-third of current workers will need to rely on SSDI by the time they reach retirement age.
Unlike some other benefits that derive from Social Security, SSDI is not a government handout. It is an insurance policy, and premiums are paid by workers through their payroll taxes. To qualify for disability, however, you must pass two tests that ensure you paid into the program. The first test is based on how long you have worked in your lifetime while the second test determines how recently you worked. Both are based on your age at the time you became disabled.
In addition to the work tests, you must meet the SSA’s strict definition of what constitutes a disability for SSDI purposes, which differs from the definition used for other Social Security programs. SSDI is only for long-term disabilities that are expected to last one year or longer or cause the death of the afflicted worker. In addition, the disabling medical condition or conditions must prevent you from performing the work you did before becoming disabled, and you must be unable to adjust to other types of work.
Several types of benefits are available through SSDI, including worker benefits and benefits for dependents, both in the form of monthly payments, which are a percentage of the average annual earnings of the disabled person.
Social Security Disability in Canadohta Lake, PA
While it is possible to submit an SSDI application on your own, receive approval and start getting monthly checks, this rarely occurs. In fact, only about 35 percent of applications are approved during the first review. Most applicants must go through a four-part appeal process that includes a formal hearing before an administrative law judge (ALS).
Another problem with SSDI is that applicants have to wait for an extended period without benefits while their cases to go through the system. Approximately 3 million people apply for SSDI each year, and about 1 million applications are in the backlog at any given time. In 2015, the average wait time was 480 days, and applicants are expected to be able to support themselves and their families until they are approved.
Getting Help From an Attorney
Whether you need to file a new SSDI application or need help with an existing application that has been denied, a knowledgeable disability attorney operating in Pennsylvania is your most effective solution. You will be able to rest more easily knowing your case is being handled by an experienced legal professional, and you will be able to devote more time to dealing with your disability and trying to return a sense of normalcy to your life. In addition, an attorney with experience in disability law is indispensable when a hearing becomes necessary.
To learn more about how you can receive help with your SSDI case, contact us today.