A variety of circumstances, such as a terrible injury, progressive disease or debilitating mental health condition, could qualify someone in Pennsylvania for Social Security Disability benefits. Almost all severe physical or mental conditions that significantly limit people’s ability to engage in normal daily activities could meet the standards to award SSD benefits.
The duration of the disabling condition matters. An individual must have suffered disability for at least 12 months or expect it to continue for at least 12 months. During this 12-month period, an adult must experience disability that prevents or limits working. For children to qualify, they must lose the ability to engage in activities normal for their age.
Disability examiners will scrutinize medical and employment records before making a decision on a disability application. They might ask for additional records during their review. They will want evidence that the medical condition is genuinely severe and has halted or curtailed an applicant’s earning ability defined as substantial gainful activity, or SGA. A person might remain employed in some capacity and still qualify for benefits as long as earnings remain below the SGA threshold. For an applicant to succeed in winning benefits, documentation that illustrates how the applicant met the disability criteria must be supplied by the applicant.
Tracking down contact information for medical providers and employers represents one of the services that an attorney might provide an SSD applicant. With legal support, an applicant might avoid problems caused by missing deadlines or failing to supply requested documents. In addition to aiding someone with the preparation of application materials, an attorney may guide a person through the process of appealing a disability denial. During a hearing with an administrative law judge, an attorney may be able to answer questions about the person’s medical condition and explain how it has negatively impacted employment.