Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability in Pennsylvania?

May 26, 2017

The first element required to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) is evidence of a medical disability. That doesn’t mean only people with physical issues are eligible for SSD; what they mean is that the level of disability, either from medical, psychological, or psychiatric issues, prevents you from getting or keeping a job at the level needed to support yourself. The Social Security office will usually ask you to include documentation of your disability, with recent statements from your doctors, supporting your claim that you cannot work enough to feed, house, and care for yourself.

The most common question people ask us is whether their specific illness or issue qualifies them for SSD. Social Security uses a manual to help them determine which health problems qualify and which don’t. Below are some common “accepted” conditions; however, each is still judged based on the severity of your individual symptoms:

  • Back injuries
  • Heart problems
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Breathing problems
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychological issues like depression and anxiety
  • Autism
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Various syndromes (Sjorgen’s, Marfan, etc.)
  • Skin problems
  • IBS or Crohn’s disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Blood disorders or bone marrow issues

Even if your health problem is not listed, that doesn’t mean you will automatically be denied. Social Security also accepts people for SSD who have conditions that are “medically equivalent” in terms of limiting what you can do, or severity of symptoms.

The second important element to get SSD is the financial requirements for disability. In 2017, the financial self-support cut off was $1,170 per month. If you earn more than this amount, your claim for Social Security Disability will be denied immediately. For SSD, the amount you are eligible for is based on the number of years you worked, paying into the social security system. If you have not worked recently, or earned enough, you will not qualify for SSD.

If you or someone you know is has been denied SSD, or needs help with his or her application, speak to a Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer to discuss the claims and eligibility processes in getting the benefits that you deserve. When you’re disabled, paperwork and phone calls can feel impossible.  When you do need help, an experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates can help make sure you get the assistance, support, and benefits you need. Please contact us or call 888.PITT.LAW for further information, discussion, or representation in these matters. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.