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Philadelphia Social Security Disability Law Blog

Common causes of disabling TBIs

Much like individuals do not expect to be involved in a serious accident, accident victims do not expect to deal with the severe aftermath of these accidents. Whether it is an automobile accident, work incident or a slip-and-fall, when a person injuries his or her head, this can cause one to endure a life time of complications related to their health and the ability to lead a normal life.

According to current statistics, 138 people die every day from serious injuries that include a traumatic brain injury. And for those lucky to survive from such an injury, they likely do not escape unscathed. For those suffering from a moderate-to-severe TBI, it will likely be deemed a lifelong disabling condition.

Declining SSD applicants helps program longevity

Individuals in Pennsylvania and other states have their apprehensions and concerns when it comes to applying for disability benefits. It is not only heavily reported that the process can be lengthy, even causing some to wait years because of the backlog, but it is also known that the funds in the Social Security disability program will be depleted in the near future. Both of these situations can make it hard for one to initiate this process no matter how challenging his or her disability might be for them.

According to recent reports, it was found that the number of Americans applying for SSD benefits is decreasing. The decade long trend of increasing number of applicants has started to reverse. This is promising, as the ongoing trend was threatening the solvency of the program.

Helping you through the SSD application process

Hearing news about Social Security disability and the process one must go through is upsetting. One might feel bad about those waiting for a hearing. However, the situation can hit a person in a whole new way when they are the one having to apply for benefits or wait for a hearing after being denied benefits. Individuals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere might feel helpless and unsure how to proceed. One is not only faced by the challenges that a disability brings to their life but also the difficulties the SSD application process has brought them.

At Jeffrey S. Lichtman, our legal team understands the frustrations disabled individuals face when they are in the application and appeals process. However, it is our goal to help our clients move through the process well informed, helping them obtain a favorable outcome. We are dedicated to helping individuals in the Philadelphia area explore their options and how to get through this sometimes lengthy process.

Applying for SSD benefits

Living with a disability can be just that - debilitating. While disabilities can present challenges, it does not mean a person is unable to live a happy life. Accommodations are used to help individuals with disabilities remain in the workplace; however, when these modifications no longer help, it might be time to stop working. Disabilities can be so severe that they cause one to be unable to work. When this occurs, it is possible to take steps to recover financial assistance from specific government programs.

The Social Security Administration has two main programs to help those living with disabilities. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. This program is available to those with enough earned work credits. Work credits are based on the number of years a person has worked and their age. Essentially, this program says you are eligible to apply for these benefits if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough.

Helping you secure SSD benefits

Living with a disability is tough whether a person was born with a disabling condition or acquired one later in life. It can be a growing struggle to go through medical treatments and attempt to accommodate one's life so they can live a normal life. In some cases, it is extremely challenging to live a normal life, as they cannot care for him or herself and even hold down a job. This is not only mentally and emotionally difficult but also creates financial struggles because they do not have the income to pay for their basic needs. This is where Social Security disability benefits can be extremely valuable.

Because every disability case is different, every one views the application process differently. For some, it can seem like an excellent opportunity and they are happy and excited to initiate the process. Others are intimidated, hearing that many are initially denied and the backlog for appeals is tremendous. The lawyers at Jeffery S. Lichtman don't want this information to deter them from applying for SSD benefits. In fact, our legal team is devoted to helping those in the Philadelphia area better understand the process and how they can successfully secure disability benefits.

What are work credits for disability benefits?

When a Philadelphia resident takes a new job, they may earn employment benefits over time. For example, they may not be able to take vacation time during their first few months, or not be able to participate in certain retirement benefits. And, individuals are often required to qualify for certain benefits through work by demonstrating that they are going to stay in their jobs.

Similarly, individuals who wish to apply for Social Security Disability benefits generally must earn work credits to qualify. A person earns work credits by holding down a job and paying, through their paychecks, to the Social Security Administration. The longer a person works, the more credits they acquire.

Vision problems and blindness may be recognized as disabilities

Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through what people see and witness. Watching a baby take its first steps or observing a child walk across the stage on their graduation day can be some of the best things a person ever sees with their own eyes. Unfortunately, though, some Pennsylvanians struggle with vision problems and blindness and cannot share in these memorable and defining events.

Vision limitations and blindness are serious medical issues that can impact individuals' abilities to work and provide for themselves. As such, the Social Security Administration recognizes visual impairments as disabilities that may qualify individuals for disability benefits. There is a specific definition that the agency provides for blindness that will be discussed next.

Will an amputation qualify for disability benefits?

When the Social Security Administration evaluates an applicant's claim of disability, it looks for whether that applicant may be able to do work in their general field of experience or other possible employment paths. Depending on an applicant's type of amputation, their loss may allow them to qualify for disability benefits. This post will discuss how amputation may qualify a Pennsylvania resident for disability benefits, but as always, readers are reminded that their disability benefits' claims will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration on a case-by-case basis.

One type of amputation that may qualify a person for disability benefits is hand amputation. If a person needs their hands removed, then it is possible for them to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. Additionally, hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation can also qualify individuals for help under the disability benefits program.

A debilitating injury may cause a permanent disability

Good fortune and health befall many Philadelphia residents who manage to live their entire lives without ever suffering serious injuries. While some may endure minor sprains and strains, or even broken bones, few suffer the debilitating harm of brain injuries, spinal trauma or other significant ordeals. Those who do suffer serious physical harm quickly learn how fast their financial lives may be impacted, and how their futures may be affected, if they need their incomes to support their families.

When disabling injuries prevent Pennsylvanians from holding down jobs and earning their own wages, they may be able to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security Disability benefits for injuries are available to men and women who cannot work and who suffer from qualifying disabilities that are expected to last for at least a year. Obtaining disability benefits for injuries is a process, though, and requires a person to submit a detailed application that outlines their condition and provides adequate support.

Evidence is necessary to prove need for disability benefits

Securing disability benefits from the Social Security Administration is an important part of maintaining one's self-sufficiency in the world. Philadelphia residents receive these benefits based on a number of different disabling conditions and ailments that affect their mental and physical capacities to work. In order to secure these benefits, though, individuals must apply for them and in their applications must provide the Social Security Administration with evidence of their disabilities.

Evidence is proof and there are a number of different types of evidence that applicants can submit to demonstrate their disabilities. First, they can submit medical documentation of their disability, and that documentation should show both the presence of the disability and the severity of the disability affecting the applicant. Medical documentation can be provided by the applicant's doctors for the purposes of securing disability benefits.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee