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Social Security Disability (SSD)

If an illness or injury prevents you from returning to your job, you may qualify for monthly Social Security Disability payments. Social Security Disability (SSD) is a program of the federal government designed to provide monthly payments to disabled individuals. The income you received while you were able to work determines the amount you are able to earn through SSD. A yearly cost of living adjustment may also be awarded, depending on how long you collect Social Security Disability benefits. If you are completely disabled, you may collect Social Security Disability benefits until you reach age 65. Upon reaching that age, Social Security Disability converts to a Social Security Retirement benefit.

A person applying for disability benefits must have earned wages and paid into the Social Security system for at least five of the last ten years. Also, the applicant must be incapable of engaging in substantial gainful employment. If there is any job available in your area that you could perform, you do not qualify for Social Security Disability.

If your application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, you have the right to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge will take testimony from you and review your medical records. The judge may also hear medical or vocational evidence from the opposition. As with any legal action, if you must request a hearing in order to get your Social Security Disability benefits, you should seek the advice and counsel of a Scranton Social Security Disability lawyer.

If you are a member of a union shop, you can obtain additional health and safety information from your local chapter.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also provides information on SSD. There are six OSHA offices in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

Philadelphia (215) 596-1201
Allentown (610) 776-4220
Wilkes-Barre (570) 826-6538
Harrisburg (717) 782-3902
Pittsburgh (412) 644-2903
Erie (814) 453-4351

Social Security Disability benefits are paid under two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits program.

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability insurance benefits are available for individuals who have worked in recent years and are now disabled, as well as their disabled surviving spouses and children.

Disabled widow and widower’s benefits may be available to individuals who are at least 50 years old and become disabled within a certain time after the death of a qualified spouse.

For disabled adult children to receive SSD, they must be a child of an insured worker who is deceased or who is drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. Applicants must show their disability arose before the age of 22, and they must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Supplemental Security Income

Eligibility for disability benefit payments under SSI is based on financial need. Supplemental Security Income benefits do not consider whether the applicant has worked in the past. Supplemental Security Income provides a minimum monthly income for individuals who are disabled and poor, or over the age of 65 and poor.

If an adult child of an insured worker becomes disabled, he or she may be eligible for SSI benefits if they fall below a certain income and resource threshold. Child disability benefits are available under the SSI program for children less than 18 years of age who are also disabled and poor.

The various types of benefits as well as long-term and permanent disabilities are discussed in your Social Security Handbook. Any Social Security questions that are not answered by the Handbook should be referred to a Scranton Social Security attorney at Munley, Munley & Cartwright.

Contact the Social Security Disability lawyers of Munley, Munley & Cartwright with your questions about SSD. We have served the Pennsylvania area for more than 40 years and we have substantial experience and expertise in dealing with SSD claims. We can be reached for a free consultation by calling (800) 318-LAW1 or by submitting our online form.

For more information:
Social Security Disability FAQs
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