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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.

The other program is Supplemental Security Income. This program was designed to help those with financial needs. This means that a person must meet the income guidelines to apply for this type of financial assistance if he or she is disabled.

A troubling component with the application process is the idea that it could be denied. While many initial applications are denied, this is often because the application is not complete or is missing evidence. Thus, many eligible applicants are denied each year. When this occurs, these applicants have the ability to appeal the decision. Taking this step could help them recover these necessary benefits.

Whether you seek to file an initial application or start an appeal, it is important to become familiar with the process and how best to collect all necessary information and documentation for your application. Taking the time to apply and understand your rights could help you in the application or appeals process.

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