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My Real Question is Do I have to stop working to apply for disability? What are the steps to getting disability services in PA?

Philadelphia, PA |

I have been suffering with Extreme High Blood Pressure for many years, over the last six months I have been pushed to be admitted into the hospital straight from two of my most recent Doctor visits... I have received the disability health form from DPA, three times, with each one requesting 12 months of disability due to my HBP, with no help, in either health insurance, nor a real response... to keep bills up I still work but my doctor does not recommend it.

Attorney Answers 8

  1. You need a doctor, not an attorney. If you are otherwise healthy, there is no reason that high blood pressure cannot be medically managed. Please do not misunderstand that I am, in any way, minimizing the potentially devastating effects of long-term high blood pressure. Still, prior to exhausting your medical options, no one is going to seriously consider you a candidate for disability.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:

  2. I have changed your category to social security so that those attorneys acan assist you with what sounds like a SSDI claim. Any attorney that practices in this area will be able to advise you on how to get a claim going and what you need.

  3. I am not sure this is a Workers' Compensation question. Unless you can prove that your job is the cause of your high blood pressure, it is not Workers' Compensation. I suppose that you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. I would recommend that you obtain clarity from your doctors about the actual cause of your High Blood Pressure. If it is work related, seek a consultation with a Workers' Compensation attorney asap. If it is not work-related, you may want to consult with a SSD attorney.

  4. As stated by another attorney above, this is more of a Social Security Disability question in a Workers Compensation question.

    In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability, one must not be able to engage in "substantial gainful activity" which constitutes the ability to earn approximately $1100 per month. Accordingly, if you are earning less than said amount, you may still continue to work, however, if you are earning in excess of the threshold level for Substantial Gainful Activity, he would not be eligible for Social Security Disability.

    It is my recommendation that you contact an attorney experienced in handling Social Security Disability question so that you may discuss your case in greater detail to determine whether or not you may be eligible to apply at this time. Attorneys who handle Social Security Disability claims will not charge for an initial consultation and will accept your claim on a Contingent Fee Basis.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated. If you have further questions regarding your issue, or my answer you may contact me to discuss this issue further by calling 215-496-9607 or sending an email to

  5. Social Security defines disabled as having limitations that keep you from doing "substantial gainful activity" for at least 12 consecutive months. That generally means that your health problems cause limitations that are so severe you cannot do any type of work on a full time basis or, if you work part time, you are earning less that $1040/month (gross, not take home). You cannot apply for disability if you are working full time.

    This answer is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to be legal advice.

  6. Two things:
    1. No you don't need to stop working.
    2. People get disability benefits not because of their diagnosis, in your case high blood pressure, but because how the medical condition makes them feel and how it affects ability to maintain Substantial Gainful activity defined as making over $1,032/m in gross...

    Contact an attorney to help you navigate those issues...

  7. To get SS disability you must show you have been off work, or will be off work, for 12 months in a row. If you continue top work before you have been off 12 months in a row, the Supreme Court has indicated you may not be eligible for a trial work period - you cannot try to return to work without being off 12 months (Barnhart vs. Walton). Less clear is if you can have an unsuccessful work attempt - which generally lasts a few days to a few weeks.

    And while substantial gainful activity levels are at $1040, you need to be aware that SSA starts reviewing earnings at about $700-$800 for possible proof of ability to work.

    Hoe that helps.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  8. I note everyone comments about you needing to be out of work or unable to engage in substantial gainful activity for an expected 12 months, and they also discuss what amount you are allowed to earn each month and still apply, all information with which I agree. HOWEVER, I find even if a claimant does not make SGA each month and applies, the question is can you do more than you are doing, and/or is your limited work schedule for reasons unrelated to your alleged disability and related to other factors such as the economy, etc..

    This answer is being provided for educational purposes only, and does not constitute any legal relationship, or advice.

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