If you are unable to work due to an illness or injury, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Obtaining these benefits can be difficult for a number of reasons. The application process can be complicated and confusing, and the majority of initial claims are denied. The best way to protect your rights is to contact an experienced disability benefits attorney.
Attorney Angel Torres with the law offices of Nikolaus & Hohenadel provides informed representation and dependable service to disabled individuals and their loved ones throughout Central Pennsylvania. Attorney Torres has extensive knowledge of the strict eligibility requirements for Social Security disability benefits and a well-earned reputation as a compassionate, dedicated advocate of the disabled. In addition, attorney Torres is fully bilingual in Spanish, meaning that language will not be a barrier in communicating all details of your case if you are a Spanish-speaker.
With our office, you will have an experienced, highly-skilled and caring attorney guide you through each step of the disability claims process. This includes submitting the initial application, filing an appeal, representing you in disability hearings, and filing appeals to the Appeals Council, if necessary. We understand your concerns about not being able to work and finding the medical care you need. We will address those concerns by ensuring that your claim is properly handled and helping you obtain the disability benefits you deserve.
What Is a Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability as the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year, or to result in death. In addition, there are rules, which the SSA refers to as the Listings, which indicate medical conditions, with specific findings that are severe enough to warrant an “automatic” finding of disability. These Listings are not easy to meet. However, if you do not meet the Listings, you could still be approved for disability benefits, based on other rules and medical findings that experienced and knowledgeable Social Security representatives can help you with.
While you may be eligible for disability benefits if your medical condition is included in the Listings, the application process is complicated. If you do not meet the criteria, there are mistakes in the application, or the required medical information does not support your claim, your application for benefits will be denied. This is why it is crucial to work with the experienced Disability Benefits attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel.
What types of Social Security disability benefits are available in Pennsylvania?
There are two main types of disability benefits available to disabled adult individuals, which our office can help you receive — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) — Disability benefits under this program are available to individuals between the age of 18 and 65, who have paid into the Social Security system through income tax deductions. Generally, to be eligible for these benefits, you must have acquired enough work credits, which are based on the number of quarters you have worked each year. Because these benefits are not “means tested,” they are awarded regardless of your financial status.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — These benefits are only available if you are disabled, blind or over 65, regardless of whether or not you have paid into the Social Security system. In order to qualify for SSI benefits, there are financial limits, in addition to the medical requirements, however, which means that your assets and resources cannot exceed a certain limits. There are exceptions to these limit. For example, if you own a home that is your primary residence, its value is not included in this determination. There are other exceptions.
The point here is that there are other requirements besides your medical conditions that could affect one’s eligibility for benefits. Because of these challenges, working with the right disability benefits attorney can mean the difference between obtaining the benefits you need and having your claim denied.
How do I obtain Social Security disability benefits?
The process starts by submitting an application to your local SSA field office. The application must be completed correctly and the SSA will review your medical record to evaluate disability. The records reviewed by the SSA include:
- Doctor’s reports
- Treatment notes
- Lab tests
- Radiological exams
- Any other medical information that confirms the diagnosis and prognosis.
In short, the information must demonstrate that you are incapable of performing the job you did before the onset of your disability or any other work within your particular education, skills and physical and mental limitations.
Nikolaus & Hohenadel can assist you with the disability benefits application process. Our legal team will help you with the convoluted paperwork and help to collect and analyze the medical records and information needed to help the SSA see that you are unable to work. If your claim is denied, we can file an appeal on your behalf. Although the appeals process can be lengthy and complicated, you can count on us to stand by you every step of the way, fighting tirelessly to protect your rights.
Contact Our Lancaster Social Security Disability Attorney
At Nikolaus & Hohenadel, we have a proven history of helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve and need. We understand that applying for Social Security disability benefits can be challenging and frustrating while you are coping with a medical condition. Attorney Angel Torres will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the personal attention you deserve. When you become our client, you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we obtain disability benefits for you. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.
The Law firm of Nikolaus & Hohenadel serves clients throughout Central Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, York, Lebanon, and Dauphin Counties and the cities of Lewistown, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Chambersburg. Se habla Español.