When a person can no longer work due to the symptoms and complications of a disability, medical bills often start to accumulate. Basic necessities may not be in the financial reach of many people who suffer from a long-term disability. Social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are designed to provide much-needed financial assistance to those who have worked in the past and now need help making ends meet.
What is SSDI?
SSDI is a type of insurance program that pays out benefits when a person is unable to work due to a disability that is expected to last at least 12 months. Everyone who works in the United States pays into SSDI through paycheck deductions. When money is withheld from a paycheck for SSDI, an employer remits these funds to the federal government. SSDI funds are then managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This organization is tasked with reviewing SSDI applications and calculating monthly benefits payments in the instance that an application is approved. The SSA will also use application information to determine whether a person is entitled to back payments for the gap of time between the date of disability and the approval of benefits.
Because SSDI is funded through paycheck deductions, there is a work history requirement. Credits toward SSDI eligibility are earned throughout a person’s working life. Work history must generally be recent in order for a person to qualify. The general rule regarding work history is that a person must have worked a minimum of five of the 10 years leading up to the date of disability.
Social Security Disability in Camp Hill, PA
People in Camp Hill who are applying for SSDI benefits will need to send applications to both the Pennsylvania Disability Determination Services and the SSA. These applications are lengthy, and the paperwork required for each is different. It is important for applicants to be sure that they are providing both offices with the specific information that is requested. The basic paperwork asks for personal information including name, current address, date of disability and detailed work history. Work history is used to determine whether a person could work in any position for which he or she qualifies with reasonable accommodations.
Medical records represent the most important part of the application process, and many applicants fail to provide the detailed records that are needed to determine the nature and severity of a disability. Depending on the type of disability, medical records should include information related to the diagnosis, severity and type of symptoms, treatment options that have been attempted and the results of any tests that have been used to verify that a disability exists. The most common reason for a denial of benefits on a valid claim is a lack of adequate evidence in the form of medical records. Since denials are so common, it is recommended that applicants consult with an experienced SSDI attorney before they begin the application process.
Getting Help from an Attorney
Applying for SSDI benefits is a complex process that is often frustrating and overwhelming for people who are trying to focus on managing the symptoms of their disability. Many people who are qualified for benefits receive a denial due to confusion about the application process. An initial response from the SSA can take six months or longer, and appealing a denial takes just as long. When benefits are needed to pay for housing, food and other basic necessities, SSDI applicants cannot afford to go it alone.
Fortunately, SSDI attorneys can be consulted to help with the lengthy and confusing process of applying for benefits. These legal professionals focus on SSDI cases, and their experience allows them to understand regulations and requirements related to SSDI benefits. Hiring a lawyer can help boost an applicant’s chances of being approved for benefits and takes much of the burden associated with the application process off of his or her shoulders.