The average working individual in Pennsylvania has paid into the Social Security system for a number of years. The original idea was that the individual would receive their Social Security upon retirement age. If an individual becomes disabled prior to retirement age, there is also the possibility of receiving Social Security benefits prior to this age. The process of qualifying for Social Security disability is often a long and drawn-out one.
Before applying for Social Security disability benefits, one will want to make sure that he or she meets the basic qualifications. First, the individual must be younger than retirement age. A second requirement is that the individual must have built-up enough work credits based upon their current age. Finally, the illness or injury must be serious enough that the individual is unable to work for more than a year.
The approval process for Social Security disability benefits is sometimes a time-consuming one. In addition, the majority of applications submitted are denied. In fact, in 2013, less than 35% of initial applications were approved. If the initial application is denied, this decision can be appealed. It appears that the chances of receiving benefits are greater on appeal.
Many Pennsylvania residents who are in need of Social Security disability benefits find that the application and approval process is an uncertain one. After spending months waiting for approval, notification of benefits being denied can be devastating. This can add more stress and uncertainty upon an already stressful situation. When this occurs, many applicants find it necessary to seek assistance in navigating the federal bureaucracy associated with this process.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits?“, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, June 24, 2014