First, I am sorry that you are having these health issues.
As to your questions concerning disability, you may file for SSDI if you have enough of a work history or you can file for SSI. SSI is a needs based program for those who do not have enough work quarters to meet the eligibility requirements of SSDI.
If you file, you must be able to demonstrate with sufficient medical evidence that your impairments have caused you to be disabled for at least twelve months or that your impairments will cause you to be disabled for at least 12 months. You must also demonstrate that, based on your age, education and ast work experience your impairments will prevent you from performing any job available in the national economy.
You should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. You may use the "Find a Lawyer" feature, above, or you may visit www.nosscr.org.
I wish you well.
Andrew W. Norfleet, Esquire Helping disabled individuals throughout Pennsylvania. firstname.lastname@example.org www.norlaflaw.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality
I agree with my colleague. A diagnosis isn't enough to make an accurate assessment of the likelihood of getting approved. The Social Security Administration requires evidence showing that you will be disabled or have been disabled for at least twelve months and that you can't work in any job that you have done in the past and any job available today.
I suggest that you contact an attorney for more direction and assistance with the process because this process can be very complex and lengthy.
You certainly have some serious issues based on what you described. The first question in my mind is if you worked long enough to be eligible for SSDI which is based on the taxes you paid and, if not, whether you meet the financial eligibility requirements of SSI, which is based on being disabled AND financial need.
You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. If you do not have an attorney, there are a number of good attorneys in your area, some of whom you can find here on Avvo. Use the “Attorney Finder” feature of Avvo for help with that.
Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney.
You may also contact the NOSSCR for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
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.
I agree with the other practitioners who have taken the time to answer your questions. In addition to the information they gave you, I can give you some additional information that you will need when deciding to apply for benefits:
First, you mentioned that you were injured at work. You may have a valid claim for workers compensation benefits. If you have not looked into this, I would suggest you contact a workers compensation attorney in your location and discuss your potential case, as there may be both health and time-loss (cash) benefits available to you.
Second, you mentioned you were under the care of a neurologist. An opinion from your neurologist in regard to your functional abilities will be very valuable to your chances of obtaining benefits. Speak to a local social security disability attorney about the type of information you should obtain from your doctor. You will surely need his/her opinion on lifting/carrying weight restrictions and your tolerance to sitting, standing, and walking.
Third, you asked about the types of benefits you can obtain. Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) include a cash benefit based on your work and earnings history, along with medicare. Supplemental Security Income (if you have not worked enough for SSDI benefits) will give you a set cash benefit with medicaid. Every case is different and you will need to speak to the SSA or an attorney in your area to get more specific information. Food stamps are typically a program run by your state health and social services department, not the Social Security Administration. i hope this helps!