42+ Years of Serving Injury Victims in Pennsylvania
For Disabled Pennsylvanians
TRUSTED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY LAWYER IN PHILADELPHIA, PA
Advocating on Behalf of Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Clients for 42+ Years
No one ever plans on becoming disabled. If a debilitating injury or illness renders you unable to work, it is easy to feel like you are out of options. That is why the federal government offers Social Security benefits to people who can no longer work to support themselves or their family members if they are suffering from a disability.
At Larry Pitt & Associates, our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys have spent more than three decades securing financial assistance through the disability claims process. Your Social Security Disability lawyer will guide you through the complex Social Security Disability claim process and answer all your questions along the way so that you can regain control over your life and your finances.
If you have suffered a long-term, permanent, or even fatal disability anywhere in Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties, we want to hear your story and secure for you the Social Security benefits you are entitled to under the law.
GET A FREE CONSULTATION WITH LARRY PITT
Let the Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates Help You With Your Benefits
Living with a disability is hard; choosing the right lawyer for your needs doesn’t have to be. If you have become permanently disabled, or if your application for benefits has been denied, Larry Pitt & Associates is here to help. Please call 888-PITT-LAW or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of Philadelphia’s premier Social Security disability lawyers. We are proud to serve clients throughout:
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
This is an insurance program for workers who become unable to work due to a disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for the operation and administration of this fund. Money for this fund comes from the “FICA” tax withheld from workers’ pay and employer contributions. People who have worked and paid FICA tax for at least five of the ten years prior to the onset of their disability are usually covered. Depending upon age, others may be qualified to receive benefits with fewer years of work.
Eligibility in Pennsylvania is dependent upon three factors:
- You must be able to prove to the Social Security Administration that you cannot perform your job because of your disability.
- The SSA must decide that you cannot do another kind of work because of your disability.
- Your disability must be one that will last or is expected to last 12 months or longer.
The Social Security Administration uses a formula based on your average lifetime earnings and the total number of years you have worked to calculate the benefit amount. You can receive up to a maximum of approximately $1,500 per month, depending on your past earnings. If you have a family, you could receive additional benefits – up to 50 percent of your own monthly benefit amount.
At Larry Pitt & Associates, we help you and your family obtain the benefits you are entitled to under the law. Your Philadelphia disability lawyer will handle all aspects of your case. They will collect your medical evidence, file your initial claim for long-term disability, provide legal representation at any SSD hearings throughout the process, and if necessary handle the appeals process.
Our goal is to handle your Social Security Disability needs. This is not a process you want to manage on your own. Social Security disability claims can be complex and take time, and it’s in your best interest to have by your side a Social Security Disability attorney with years of experience.
What Our Clients Say
Social Security Benefits FAQs
The Social Security Administration recognizes certain physical impairments as acceptable injuries or conditions for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. However, having a physical condition on the list does not guarantee that you will automatically receive benefits. You must still follow the proper procedure for filing, and provide ample medical proof from a doctor that you have the disability and that your ability to work is impeded by it.
A physical disability can be acquired (like breaking your back in a fall or developing a disease or condition like Multiple Sclerosis), congenital (where you are born with a condition, like a heart defect) or hereditary (where a condition, like hemophilia for example, is passed through the genes). Certain mental or “impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity” according to the SSA. Those physical impairments include:
- Cardiovascular system conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes
- Digestive system conditions, such as those caused by liver disease or by conditions like IBS
- Endocrine disorders affecting the adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid, pituitary, and thyroid glands
- Genitourinary disorders, chronic kidney disease or disorders
- Hematological disorders such as hemophilia
- Immune system disorders like HIV/AIDS
- Malignant neoplastic disorders like cancer
- Musculoskeletal system conditions like arthritis or a spinal cord injury
- Neurological conditions including Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, cerebral palsy, MS, muscular dystrophy, ALS or a traumatic brain injury
- Respiratory system conditions like mesothelioma
- Skin disorders, such as those resulting from burns or presenting with lesions
- Special senses and speech problems, such as vision or hearing loss
Acceptable physical impairments can range from visible amputations to a less clear – but just as medically acceptable – diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The SSA’s list of acceptable conditions is comprehensive, but that does not mean that you are ineligible if your condition is not on their list.
Larry Pitt & Associates has successfully represented clients whose medical conditions were unlisted but still serious enough to prevent them from working. Whether you need help with your initial application or your previous attempt to claim Social Security Disability benefits was denied, our Philadelphia law firm can help.
The Social Security Administration recognizes a number of mental impairments and disabilities that can make it impossible for a person to support him or herself – psychologically, emotionally, or financially. If the person has developed or acquired such an impairment and has contributed to the Social Security fund for at least five years, then he or she should be eligible for disability benefits.
The SSA has a list of specific mental and physical impairments that are automatically considered for benefits – but this is no guarantee that you will be granted those benefits. That is why experienced Social Security Disability lawyers like those at Larry Pitt & Associates are a crucial part of the application process. We represent the best interests of people who suffer from:
- Anxiety disorders, such as manic depression/bi-polar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders
- Congenital disorders affecting multiple bodily systems, like Down Syndrome
- Intellectual disabilities, usually indicated by a low IQ
- Personality disorders, such as sociopathic tendencies
- Psychosis-related disorders such as schizophrenia or paranoia
- Organic mental disorders that affect the brain but are not related to other types of disorders. Organic disorders may present with memory loss, could be brought on by an illness or a traumatic brain injury, or could be caused by any number of reasons
- Somatoform disorders, which present with physical symptoms but lack any “proof” of why those symptoms exist
- Substance addiction
In order to prove that your mental impairment makes it impossible for you to work and support yourself, you must have documentation from a doctor that supports the diagnosis. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we work with your doctors to ensure that all of the paperwork is in order. We want you to start collecting your benefits as quickly as possible, but we will never substitute thoroughness for speed. That is why so many people in and around Philadelphia, including people whose initial application for benefits was denied before they came to see us, trust our firm to help and protect them.
- Your medical records, including the names of your doctors and your medications
- Your birth certificate and marriage license (if you are married), as well as the birth certificates of any minor children you have
- A list of all the employers you worked for in the last 15 years, and contact information for any employer you have worked for in the last two years (plus your current employer)
- Your bank name and account numbers
- What type of education and job training you have had
- Proof of any military service
- Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge
- Review of the decision by the Social Security Appeals Council
The main difference comes with your work history and income: if you put money into Social Security, then you may be eligible for SSD benefits. But there are other differences too, such as:
- Age restrictions. Adults and children may be eligible for SSI, but only working adults can apply for SSD.
- Benefit amounts. SSI is based on laws passed by the Pennsylvania and federal governments. SSD payments are based on how much money you contributed.
- Family benefits. These are available for people on SSD but not for people who collect SSI.
- Income limits. There is no income or asset limit when you apply for Social Security Disability, but there are limits to both for SSI. With SSI, all other forms of income may affect your benefits, whereas that is not necessarily the case with SSD.
- Living arrangements. If someone new moves into your household, you must report it to the SSA if you receive Supplemental Security Income, whereas you do not have to report it if you collect disability benefits. Where you live also affects your SSI payments.
- Medicare is available to eligible individuals collecting disability, but those collecting Supplemental Security Incomes in Philadelphia are eligible for Medicaid.
What the two programs do have in common, though, is that both are designed to help the ill and injured protect themselves. A long-term or permanent disability can make it impossible for you to stay financially secure; these packages make sure that you can take care of yourself. The list of mental and physical impairments is very similar for both programs, though some exceptions do apply.
If you have a mental or physical disability that makes it impossible for you to work and support yourself and your family, there are benefits supplied by the government for which you can apply. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits or for Supplemental Security Income. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we can help you apply for either one. We have been a trusted name in Philadelphia Social Security Disability law firms for the last 40 years, and we have the skills and the resources you want on your side. If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for SSD or SSI, we want to hear from you.