Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Bucks County PA
Supplemental Security Income is considered part of the most extensive government-sponsored protection for disabled people.
If you have been injured on the job and have filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, or you have a health condition that no longer makes it possible for you to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). According to the Center on Budgets and Policy Priorities, around 8.5 million people receive disability payments like Social Security benefits. In some cases, these payments are extended to spouses and children.
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income?
These Social Security measures are put into place to protect U.S. citizens in the case that a physical or mental condition, or a workplace accident, prevents them from being able to earn living wages to support themselves and their families. A part of the federal Social Security Administration, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits for you and your family members if you have paid Social Security taxes throughout the course of your working career, and if you have worked recently and for long enough to qualify to receive the benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income has the same medical requirements for qualification as SSDI, though recipients of benefits do not need to be ‘insured,’ as they do to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid to people with disabilities who have limited access to resources. The only requirements you need in order to qualify for SSI is meeting the Social Security Administration’s definition of ‘disabled.’
Additionally, like SSDI, you also must have worked in a job covered by federal Social Security. Both a duration work test and a recent work test must be passed in order to qualify for disability benefits.
What are work credits, and how do they affect my eligibility to receive SSDI or SSI benefits?
While it may seem that receiving SSDI or SSI benefits would be an easy, straightforward process if you have been injured on the job or are otherwise disabled after being a member of the U.S. workforce, there can be situations that complicate federal eligibility. For this reason, it is helpful to have a personal injury lawyer to support your application for federal benefits. The fine line on qualification for benefits lies in the Social Security work credits program. In order to qualify to receive Social Security benefits, you must have accrued at least 40 work credits over the course of your career in the workforce.
According to the Social Security Administration, since 1978, the Administration has been awarding up to 4 credits per year if you work and pay Social Security taxes on your earned income. These credits are earned depending on your wages or your self-employment income.
The number of credits you have earned does not determine how much in benefits you receive; they simply deem you eligible (at 40 work credits) or ineligible (under 40 work credits) to receive disability benefits.
Additionally, in order to have the work credits necessary to qualify for Social Security benefits, you must be able to prove that you are disabled, completely unable to work. This can be a testy process in itself, and having the support of a personal injury attorney is recommended. The Social Security Administration will require the following proof of disability:
- the specifics of your medical condition, including description and onset date
- medical records showing long-term injury and/or disability
- the specific ways in which your medical condition limits or inhibits your capacity to participate in regular livelihood activities and work
- medical records and other evidence showing therapeutic steps you have taken toward recovery
In order to qualify as a disability, your medical condition must impede specific basic activities that are required for everyday functioning in society and certainly at work. These could include standing, walking, writing, twisting, recalling information, and other basic functions. These inhibitions must be present for at least one year in order to qualify as eligible disabilities.
The Social Security Administration and personal injury attorneys implore you to file for SSDI or SSI benefits as soon as you become disabled if you are eligible. In order to navigate the ins and outs of the claims process, seek the support of a personal injury attorney.
Get in Touch with our Bensalem Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At Cohen & Riechelson, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys serves clients across Bucks County towns such as Bensalem, Feasterville, Northeast Philadelphia, Levittown, Millbrook, Penndel, and across all of Southeastern Pennsylvania in all Social Security Disability claims.