Even though Clintonville, Pennsylvania, was first settled in 1833, the population has changed very little through the years, but this speaks nothing of the hard-working individuals who call the borough home. For the most part, the residents here are average, working-class Americans who are just a few paychecks away from not being able to meet their financial obligations.
When an individual in Clintonville becomes disabled and is no longer able to earn a living, the results can be disastrous. However, the federal government operates an insurance policy that all U.S. workers support through payroll deductions called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
What Is SSDI?
SSDI was first established in 1956, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of overseeing the program. Many people confuse SSDI with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is an income-based program that covers people only in dire financial situations. In contrast, SSDI is an insurance program that covers workers of any age regardless of whether they were hurt while performing job duties.
Disabled workers who have sufficiently paid into the program through their payroll taxes will receive monthly benefits if all of the qualifications are met, and dependents may also receive benefits in certain situations. Although there is no means test, individuals must be suffering from a disabling medical condition that is expected to last for the rest of the person’s life or result in death.
In addition, workers must have earned a minimum number of work credits in a specific time period to qualify, which is based on the age of the applicant at the time he or she became disabled. All applicants must wait at least five months before benefits begin, and many must wait even longer because of the backlog of applications submitted to the SSA.
The amount of the monthly benefit is a percentage of the average annual pay earned over the worker’s lifetime, but it varies depending on how high the average is.
Social Security Disability in Clintonville, PA
SSDI has already helped millions of individuals stay afloat when they can no longer support themselves, but like most government-run programs, it is not without its problems. Statistics show that about one in 19 U.S. residents are now receiving SSDI benefits, and hundreds of thousands of newly disabled workers apply each year. Because of this, the SSA holds stringent requirements on what constitutes a disability, and the backlog of applications is creating substantial delays.
Many disabled workers in Clintonville have a difficult time making ends meet while their applications are in queue to be reviewed, and the wait becomes even longer should an application be completed improperly or submitted without the required documentation.
Only about 35 percent of all applications are approved upon the first review, and only about 10 percent are approved after the appeals process. However, individuals retain the right to be represented by legal counsel, which can be very helpful for those in or near Clintonville, PA.
Getting Help From an Attorney
The most efficient way to navigate through the SSDI application process is to hire an attorney experienced in disability law. A knowledgeable attorney who understands the local administrative law system will be able to handle your case with care and take the pressure off you and your family. In addition, he or she will be able to represent you in the event you are asked to appear at a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). If you would like further information on starting an SSDI application or getting help on a case already pending, contact us today.