Living with a disability is difficult enough without the added burden of being unable to work. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from a long-term disability find that the symptoms of their condition make it impossible for them to complete job tasks. When a person cannot work due to a disability, bills can quickly pile up. Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is intended to help disabled individuals pay for basic necessities.
What is SSDI?
SSDI is a type of insurance that is made available to people who are disabled and cannot work. Benefits are specifically available to individuals who are expected to be disabled for a minimum of one year. The insurance program is funded through paycheck deductions that are withheld by employers and sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This organization is tasked with reviewing applications in order to determine whether a person is eligible for benefits. If an application is approved, the SSA calculates monthly benefits and makes payments to the recipient.
Work history is essential in order for a person to be eligible for SSDI benefits. The work history requirement varies depending on factors including the current age of the applicant and the date of disability. Date of disability is considered to be the date on which a licensed medical provider diagnosed the disabling condition.
Many disabled individuals who qualify for benefits fail to apply for these benefits because they do not want to accept a handout from the government. For this reason, it is essential for potential applicants to remember that they have paid into the program throughout their working life. Unlike other federal programs, SSDI is an earned benefit.
Social Security Disability in Columbia, PA
SSDI applicants in Columbia are required to send a completed application to both the Pennsylvania Disability Determination Services and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Both offices have a unique set of paperwork and requirements that must be returned in order for a person to be considered for benefits. Much of this information is repeated; both offices ask applicants to fill out paperwork requesting name, address, date of birth, date of disability and detailed work history. Medical records are used to determine the nature and severity of a disability, so it is important for applicants to collect these records from their medical providers.
It is not uncommon for first-time applications to be denied, and denials often relate to a failure to provide the necessary medical records that are used to determine whether a disability exists. The SSA can take up to six months to send out a denial or approval. If an application is denied, the applicant has the option to appeal. Unfortunately, the appeals process is also time-consuming. The best option is for applicants to consult with an SSDI attorney before they begin the application process to improve their chances of being approved.
Getting Help from an Attorney
Applying for SSDI benefits is particularly difficult for people who are unfamiliar with this process. The average applicant in Columbia is not knowledgeable about the SSA’s requirements, and having to apply with two different organizations just complicates the process even more. Instead of trying to handle the SSDI application process alone, it is recommended that applicants consult with an experienced SSDI attorney. These professionals have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with the SSA.
SSDI attorneys are responsible for helping their clients fill out paperwork and gather medical records. Lawyers can help to create an open line of communication with medical providers to ensure that records are gathered and sent to the SSA in a timely manner. Going through the SSDI application process alone can be confusing and overwhelming. Consulting with a legal professional eliminates much of the stress and frustration associated with this process.