Disability Lawyer Jenkintown | Young, Marr & Associates

We rely on our jobs to help us earn income and provide a good quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.  When a disability interferes with the ability to work, however, that financial stability can be weakened.  Unfortunately, whether an individual is earning income or not, the costs of living continue to accumulate: medical bills, utility bills, and other expenses do not cease because an individual is unable to work.

If you have been prevented from earning steady income due to a mental or physical disability, living expenses can rapidly become unmanageable.  Monthly benefits can help to cover these expenses, and to offer individuals a renewed sense of financial confidence. For individuals living with severe medical conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two forms of financial assistance: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), also known as disability benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Could you qualify for either?

To set up a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call Young, Marr & Associates today at (609) 557-3081 in New Jersey or (215) 515-2954 in Pennsylvania.

Man At Courthouse

Why Hire a Disability Benefits Attorney?

SSI and SSDI are very different programs, but share one trait in common: they are both notoriously difficult for claimants to be approved for.  On average, over two thirds of all social security applicants have their claims denied by the SSA on the first submission round, and for additional claims, the rejection statistics are even higher.  In Pennsylvania, the average approval rates for the 2008 fiscal year were:

  • 36.7% approval for initial claim (63.3% denial rate)
  • 27.9% approval at reconsideration (72.1% denial rate)

Successfully filing a claim for disability benefits in Pennsylvania is a challenge.  When you are coping with a painful or tiring medical condition, fighting a complicated and stringent application system can become even more of a battle.  Fortunately, you don’t have to contend with the SSA on your own.  At the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates, our Jenkintown, Pennsylvania disability attorneys have more than 25 years of experience representing thousands of clients with a wide range of medical and employment backgrounds.

How to Qualify for SSDI in Pennsylvania

A report issued by the SSA says that in 2012, a total of 2,660,380 Pennsylvanians were receiving some form of OASDI benefits.  Of these recipients, 403,388 were disabled workers, meaning that disabled individuals account for roughly 15.2% of Pennsylvania’s social security recipients.  In Montgomery County, there were 148,045 OASDI beneficiaries in 2012, including 15,385 individuals with a disability.  This means that disabled individuals accounted for 10.4% of people receiving social security benefits in Montgomery County in 2012.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, the applicant:

  1. Must have worked in a job covered by social security.
  2. Must have accumulated sufficient work credits, usually 40 credits with 20 being from the past 10 years.
  3. Must have a substantial physical or mental disability.

Furthermore, there is an additional set of five questions to determine candidate eligibility for benefits, stated on the SSA website as the following:

  1. Are you working?
  2. Is your condition severe?
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
  4. Can you do the work you did previously?
  5. Can you do any other type of work?

If you are currently working, if your disability is not listed and categorized as “severe,” or if you are able to perform either your previous job or a new job, your claim may be denied.

gavel and stethoscope, symbol photo for bungling doctors and err

How to Qualify for SSI in Pennsylvania

According to SSA statistics from 2011, in Pennsylvania, a total of 367,586 individuals received SSI benefits out of a state population of approximately 12.7 million.  This means that in 2011, just under 3% of the state population was receiving SSI.  Out of the total Pennsylvania SSI recipients, 8,239 were residents of Montgomery County.  Of all SSI recipients in Montgomery County, 7,207 people were categorized as blind or disabled, making up a considerable 87.5%.

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is very different from SSDI.  Unlike SSDI, which is based on a history of paying into the social security system, SSI is need-based and is granted to individuals who lack financial resources.  Nonetheless, SSI has its own requirements for eligibility.  To qualify for SSI, applicants:

  1. Must be either blind, disabled, or at least 65 years of age.
  2. Must have limited income.
  3. Must have limited resources.

Examples of “resources” include:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Cash
  • Property
  • Land
  • Vehicles
  • Life Insurance
  • Stocks and Bonds

A condition is counted as a disability when the following requirements are met:

  1. The condition prevents the individual from performing work (sometimes called SGA, or Substantial Gainful Activity).
  2. The condition either has or is expected to last for at least 12 months, or is expected to  cause death.

As the rules and statistics demonstrate, being approved for benefits can be a daunting task.  If you or a loved one is considering applying for disability, or if you need assistance submitting a claim or appealing for reconsideration, Young, Marr & Associates can help.

To arrange for a no-cost, confidential consultation with one of our Jenkintown, Pennsylvania disability lawyers, call our law offices today at 609 557-3081, or contact us online.

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