Lancaster, PA Social Security Disability
If you have been unable to work due to a medical or psychiatric condition, you may be wondering if you qualify for government benefits. You may have already applied and have been denied and are seeking more information about what you can do to take the next step in applying for benefits. This article will discuss what social security disability benefits are, social security disability in Lancaster, PA, and how an attorney can help with your claim.
What is SSDI?
Social security disability provides medical benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and if it is determined by the social security administration that you can no longer work, permanently or temporarily. When you pay state and federal income tax, a portion of your income goes to pay for social security benefits. Unlike supplemental social security income, the benefits do not depend on the amount of income of the individual prior to the disability.
Not everyone gets approved for social security disability. You can be denied for medical or non-medical reasons. If you have not worked long enough to have paid into the system prior to the onset of your disability, you may not be qualified. You may also be denied if your medical records do not convince the social security administration you are unable to work due to your condition. However, keep in mind that most people are denied the first time that they apply, and if you are denied the first time, that does not mean you will not be approved after requesting an appeal and hearing with an administrative law judge.
Social Security Disability in Lancaster, PA
The first step in applying for disability is usually to apply at a Lancaster, PA social security field office. The application may also be submitted online. The primary documentation that the social security administration will consider in an application for benefits is medical records. Applicants are required to list all doctors and medical providers and any prescriptions they are taking. The application also asks for a description of symptoms and how those symptoms affect the applicant's daily life. After the application is submitted, the social security administration will send out requests to medical providers and collect all medical records. If you begin seeing a new doctor or your prescriptions change, you can supplement your initial application. Once a determination is made, the social security administration will send out a letter with the determination and what benefits are to be paid if you are approved. If you are denied, the letter will include information about the appeals process.
Getting Help from a Lawyer in the Area
Hiring a social security disability attorney can eliminate confusion and help speed up the application process. An attorney can advocate for approval of benefits at every level, from helping you fill out the initial application and making sure records are complete, to attending administrative hearings with you and if necessary, arguing your case at the federal appeals level. At an administrative hearing, which is part of the appeals process, you will be questioned about your condition. An attorney can help prepare you for this hearing so that you know what to expect beforehand.
The attorney will also be familiar with how to question the vocational expert, who will also be present at the hearing. A vocational expert is familiar with the types and numbers of jobs in your area and will have evaluated your case and determined what, if any, jobs you would be able to do with your condition. An attorney can help present information about job-limiting aspects of your condition, such as absences that would be necessary due to medical reasons, if you were able to find work appropriate for your training and education level. Having an experienced attorney by your side can help you during every step of the disability application process.