NJ & PA Social Security Disability FAQs
Our lawyers at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano frequently have clients ask us about Social Security Disability (SSD). Here are some common questions we answer:
- What are Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
- How long do you have to be disabled before applying?
- What if you are receiving other benefits, such as Workers’ Compensation, will they be affected?
- What is the SSD process for determining whether you are disabled?
- How long does it take for you to start collecting benefits?
- How can you afford to pay a lawyer to help with SSDI when you are applying for SSDI because of financial problems?
Speak with a disability lawyer about an SSDI claim
To find out more about Social Security Disability Insurance, schedule a free consultation with a Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano disability lawyer today. Call 215-568-7500 or contact us online.
What are Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
Both SSD and SSI are disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSD is a benefit for those who had a relatively steady work history for a period of time prior to becoming disabled. SSI is a benefit for those who may have only worked for a brief period of time, or not worked at all, prior to becoming disabled. To be eligible for SSI, you must meet financial guidelines for Public Assistance.
How long do you have to be disabled before applying?
You should apply right away, because there are delays between applying and actually receiving benefits. There are certain requirements regarding the expected length of disability and certain waiting periods during which benefits are not payable. Our attorneys can explain these to you.
What if you are receiving other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, will they be affected?
In some cases, there are offsets (reductions) against your Social Security Disability benefits as a result of workers’ compensation benefits you may have received during the same period of disability. This is something that must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and we can advise you on an individual basis. Generally, Veterans Administration benefits and private pension benefits do not offset (reduce) SSA’s disability benefits.
What is the SSD process for determining whether you are disabled?
The Social Security definition of disability may be different than other programs. It is based on your inability to work at all for a long period of time.You are considered disabled and eligible for SSD benefits if you meet these conditions:
- You are not working—if you earn more than $1,000 a month, you are not considered disabled
- Your condition must be so severe that it interferes with work-related activities you must perform to do your job
- Social Security maintains a list of medical conditions used to determine if applicants are eligible to receive SSD benefits—if your impairment is not on the list, you are not disabled
- You are unable to do the work you did before you were disabled
- You are not able to perform other types of work that your background may have prepared you to do
It is important to understand that this is a simple explanation that does not take into account special situations that may make you eligible for disability benefits even it you have not fulfilled all the above conditions. Disability attorneys at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano can advise you regarding your eligibility and then help you apply.
How long does it take for you to start collecting benefits?
The process of obtaining disability benefits from SSA can be a long, confusing and tedious process. It typically takes anywhere from four months to a year and a half to get an award of benefits. At Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, we can guide you through the process as quickly and effectively as possible. Social Security has adopted fast-track processing for certain disabilities. Our objective is to assist you in obtaining the benefits that you deserve as quickly as possible.
How can you afford to pay a lawyer to help with SSDI when you are applying for SSDI because of financial problems?
You owe no fees unless we are successful and then, as regulated by the Social Security Act, we get a percentage of the recovered benefits.