Social Security

Social Security Disability Attorneys in York, PA

Legal advocacy with appeals and denied SSDI claims in South Central Pennsylvania

If you’ve been injured or if you’ve developed an illness that has left you unable to work for at least 12 months, you may be eligible to recover either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both of these government programs, which provide financial assistance to those who have suffered disabilities.

It might sound like just the thing you have been looking for. But you need to prove that your disability has prevented, or will prevent, you from working for at least a year. Applying for SSDI or SSI benefits is often a long and laborious process — and in some cases, including appeals, it can last for several years. The good news is, the Social Security disability attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help. We can walk you through the process and answer all of your questions. Call us today.

What is the difference between SSDI and SSI benefits?

First, let us get our acronyms straight:

  • Social Security Administration - SSA
  • Social Security Disability Insurance - SSDI
  • Supplemental Security Income - SSI

The SSA will pay SSDI benefits to you, and sometimes to members of your family, if you qualify and have worked and paid Social Security taxes. You receive credit for your income, which in 2021 equaled one credit for every $1,470 earned (this amount changes every year). To qualify, you must earn 40 credits over the lifetime of your employment, 20 of which must have come in the past 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. However, younger disabled workers may require fewer credits.

SSI, on the other hand, works best for individuals or couples who have not paid Social Security taxes or have not earned enough wage credits to qualify for SSDI. SSI provides benefits based on financial need. There is also a means test involved, which states you cannot have countable resources worth more than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple.

The SSA will make allowances for one car and the house in which you live when totaling your resources. The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help you determine your assets.

Who qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits?

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must:

  • Have a medical condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor as terminal or will last at least one year and prevents you from working.
  • Have a qualifying illness or injury on the SSA list of impairments, which explains how severe your condition must be.
  • Have a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which evaluates your job ability if your illness or injury is not on the list.
  • Undergo a Medical Vocational Analysis, which determines whether you can perform your current job or another job in your condition.
  • Be younger than the age at which you qualify for retirement benefits from the SSA.

You cannot earn more than $1,350 a month (as of 2021) or the SSA will not consider you disabled. Please note that this amount changes from year to year.

Once approved, you are eligible for disability benefits until you reach retirement age. However, you will have to submit to a Continual Disability Review (CDR). The review can occur every three to seven years, but you will be notified when to complete yours. A CDR will determine if you still qualify for SSI benefits or the SSDI program. If your injury or illness improves or if you start earning enough money, you will no longer be eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits.

What injuries and conditions qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

The SSA maintains a list of medical criteria and conditions. To qualify, yours must be severe enough to prevent you from working. Evidence presented by your own doctor or by a specialist who treats your particular kind of disability gives your claim the best chance for success.

For the SSA to consider and accept your medical evidence, be sure that it:

  • Contains recent or updated information.
  • Is adequate and provided by a qualified medical professional.
  • Includes notes and analysis by a qualified doctor.
  • Includes treatment and exam notes.
  • Contains mental health records, if applicable.
  • Shows results of blood work, imaging and other tests, if applicable.
  • Contains evidence of rehabilitation, if applicable.

Some of the impairments that the SSA will consider when judging a benefits claim include:

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory disorders like severe asthma
  • Mental disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological conditions
  • Heart disease, especially if caused by stress in the workplace
  • Deep vein thrombosis, which may lead to a pulmonary embolism

For a complete look at what qualifies for Social Security disability, check the SSA’s list of adult impairments.

What if my Social Security Disability claim is denied?

If your claim for receiving Social Security benefits is denied, follow three key steps to appeal the decision:

  • Act immediately: You only have a 60-day window to appeal, so be sure to act within that time frame if your claim for Social Security disability is denied.
  • Contact an attorney: Reach out to one of our York, PA disability attorneys who has experience with the SSDI program and making appeals.
  • Consider why your claim was denied: If you understand why the SSA denied your claim, you have a better chance at a successful appeal. The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can answer your questions.

Our clients often ask how long it takes to get a decision about their Social Security disability application or appeal. Patience is the most important thing needed by people during this process, as it can last a long time. Remember that your chances of success improve at each stage of the appeals process. While you can pursue any appeal by yourself, without the assistance of an experienced attorney, your chances of success are limited.

A disability lawyer understands how to launch an appeal before the SSA and can help you with filing paperwork, collecting medical evidence, and helping you understand and navigate the difficulties you may face during the appeals process.

Can my spouse or child recover Social Security Disability benefits?

If you are receiving SSDI benefits, your husband or wife may also be eligible for benefits on your behalf. When a spouse applies, the SSA will always ask for proof of marriage. If eligible, your spouse may recover a benefit of up to 50% of your Social Security disability pay.

The SSA, however, places a limit on how much your family can recover in benefits. The Family Maximum is between 150 and 188 percent of the disabled person’s PIA, or primary insurance amount. Our disability lawyers can help you determine how much your spouse may be eligible to recover.

A child under 18 with disabilities can also apply for SSI benefits, and the SSA has prepared a list of childhood impairments to help you determine if your child’s illness or injury qualifies for Social Security benefits. The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can answer your questions.

How can a York, PA Social Security attorney help?

Working with an attorney can help improve your chances of winning disability. The Social Security disability benefits process is complicated and difficult even at the best of times. If you’ve suffered a severe disability, either physical or mental, this can make the application process that much more difficult.

The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can:

  • Help you prepare the necessary medical evidence that you will need for a successful claim.
  • Prepare you for the important Social Security disability interview.
  • Set up appointments with medical specialists who can properly evaluate your injuries or illness and can track down the doctors you saw in the past in other parts of Pennsylvania.
  • Interpret your medical report. The SSA requires that you submit all medical evidence about your disability.

These are only a few of the ways that a disability lawyer can help you. Perhaps even more important is knowing that there is someone on your side during this complicated process. Our lawyers will only charge a fee if your case is successful. If your case is not successful, it won’t cost you a penny.

Is there a Social Security disability attorney near me?

KBG Injury Law is located at 110 North George Street, in the heart of York. You’ll find our offices near Interstate 83 and Routes 30, 74 and 462.

Contact our York, PA SSDI and SSI lawyers today

If your Social Security disability or SSI claim was turned down and you want to appeal the denial, talk to the attorneys at KBG Injury Law. We have almost 40 years of helping clients prepare successful appeals. Our excellent and qualified team understands the ins and outs of the appeals process and how to present a case for the best chance of success. We want our clients to succeed because we understand the financial stress of a disability. Call us at 717-848-3838 or toll free at 800.509.1011 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg, and help clients and families throughout South Central Pennsylvania.

Meet Our Experts

Nancy MizerakNancy Mizerak

Nancy Mizerak, M.D., J.D., joined KBG in 2010 to expand their Social Security disability practice. Initially a solo family physician, she developed an interest in law after participating in medical malpractice cases. She earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and now uses her unique experience representing disabled claimants.

[More about Nancy Mizerak]