How to Apply for SSDI
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SSDI Benefits in Pennsylvania
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that assists Pennsylvania residents who are unable to work due to a disability. It works like a form of insurance. The funds for this program come from Social Security taxes paid by workers and employers.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages SSDI, taking care of applications, determining who's eligible, calculating the benefit amounts, and distributing monthly payments. The SSA also ensures that the individuals receiving benefits continue to meet the qualifications, monitoring changes in their conditions and circumstances that might affect their eligibility.
How to Qualify for SSDI
To be eligible for SSDI in Pennsylvania, you must have a medical condition that meets the SSA's definition of a disability, and you must have worked long enough to earn the required work credits. These credits are earned through payroll deductions that pay into Social Security.
What Are Work Credits?
Work credits are used to measure how much you've worked and contributed to Social Security. According to federal guidelines, you can earn up to four credits per year. The exact number of credits required to qualify for SSDI depends on your age, though most applicants need 40 work credits to qualify.
What Is a Disability?
The SSA has specific guidelines about what constitutes a disability. The disability must be a severe condition that prevents you from working and significantly interferes with basic work activities.
The disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. The SSA uses a list of medical conditions called the Blue Book to guide their decisions on who qualifies for disability benefits.
Consultative Examination (CE)
A Consultative Examination (CE) is a medical exam that might be requested by the SSA if they need more information about your health condition. The exam can be performed by your own doctor or another medical professional assigned by the SSA. The CE helps the SSA better understand how your medical condition affects your ability to work. It's an essential part of the evaluation process that ensures a complete understanding of your disability.
How to Apply for SSDI in Pennsylvania
Applying for SSDI in Pennsylvania can be done online, by phone, or in person at a local Social Security office. The online option is the fastest and most convenient way to apply. If you prefer speaking with someone directly, you can call the SSA's toll-free number or visit an SSA office near you.
Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib
Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Before you apply you'll need to gather some essential information. This includes your Social Security Number, medical records and details about your condition, names and contact information of doctors and other medical professionals who have treated you, a list of medications, work history, and recent tax documents.
If your SSDI claim is denied in Pennsylvania, you can protest the decision and file an appeal. This process has four different levels, starting with reconsideration, then a hearing before an administrative law judge, followed by a review by the Appeals Council, and finally, if necessary, a federal court review.
Each stage of the appeal provides a new opportunity to present your case, and you can escalate your appeal to the next level if you disagree with a decision.
Do I Need a Disability Lawyer?
Hiring a disability lawyer for your SSDI application or appeal can be helpful. Pennsylvania lawyers specializing in disability law will understand the process. They can help gather evidence, complete paperwork, and represent you during hearings. While it's not required to have a lawyer, many people find that legal assistance increases their chances of success.
What Is a Disability Advocate?
A disability advocate is a certified professional who can also assist you with your SSDI application or appeal, much like a disability lawyer. In fact, many disability advocates are lawyers, though having a law degree is not required. They are trained in SSDI rules and can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Keep in mind that attorneys and advocates charge fees only if you win your case.
Supplemental Security Income in Pennsylvania
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed to help low-income PA residents who are either aged 65 and older, blind, or disabled. The program provides financial aid to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
SSI vs. SSDI
While both SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provide support for individuals with disabilities, they differ in key ways. SSI focuses on financial need, regardless of work history, while SSDI is based on a person's work credits and contributions to the Social Security system.
How to Qualify and Apply for SSI in Pennsylvania
To qualify for SSI in Pennsylvania, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.
SSI recipients must meet low-income guidelines and belong to one of the following groups:
- People who are blind
- Adults aged 65 and above
- People who are unable to work because of a disability
Applications can be submitted online, by phone, or at a local Social Security office. You will need to provide medical records, financial statements, tax returns, and information about your living situation.
Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html
Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213
Automatic Qualification for SNAP and Medicaid
In Pennsylvania, SSI recipients also automatically qualify for other aid programs, such as SNAP (food assistance) and Medicaid (healthcare coverage). This allows recipients to benefit from a comprehensive support system to manage their daily living expenses.
Pennsylvania - Social Security Disability Office Locations
|Office Code||Name||Address||Weekday Hours||Phone Number|
|200||PHILA-DOWNTOWN||2 Penn Ctr Ste 2000a, 1500 Jfk Blvd 20th Fl, Philadelphia, PA 19102||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-613-3969|
|201||PITTS DT PA||Rm 1204, 700 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-770-2965|
|202||SCRANTON PA||The Marketplace At Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave Suite 117, Scranton, PA 18503||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-635-0767|
|203||READING PA||Ste 200, 201 Penn St, Reading, PA 19601||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-274-5960|
|204||HARRISBURG PA||Ste 810, 555 Walnut St, Harrisburg, PA 17101||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-327-1176|
|205||ERIE PA||Highmark Bldg Ste 500, 717 State St, Erie, PA 16501||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-2887|
|207||ALTOONA PA||303 Cayuga Ave, Altoona, PA 16602||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-245-5368|
|208||LANCASTER PA||1808 Colonial Village Ln, Suite 101, Lancaster, PA 17601||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-384-9919|
|209||ALLENTOWN PA||41 N 4th St, Allentown, PA 18102||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-6746|
|213||WILKES-BARRE PA||Stegmaier Bldg St 102, 7 N Wilkes Barre Blvd, Wilkes Barre, PA 18702||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-686-9505|
|216||YORK PA||Ste 2, 2670 Industrial Hwy, York, PA 17402||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-329-5732|
|217||CHESTER PA||807 Crosby St, Chester, PA 19013||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-398-1456|
|218||PHILA GERMANTOWN PA||701 East Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-495-0255|
|219||PHILA NORTHEAST PA||9300 Ashton Rd Unit 4, Philadelphia, PA 19114||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-7840|
|222||AMBRIDGE PA||350 Logan Ln, Baden, PA 15005||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-6401|
|223||GREENSBURG PA||122 W 3rd St, Greensburg, PA 15601||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-748-9768|
|226||WASHINGTON PA||Ste 515, 95 W Beau St, Washington, PA 15301||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||855-829-8917|
|227||NORRISTOWN PA||1700 Markley St, Suite 120, Norristown, PA 19401||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-6305|
|229||EASTON PA||134 S Fourth St, Easton, PA 18042||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-5056|
|230||PHILA UNIVERSITY CITY||4240 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-445-9977|
|231||PITTS EAST LIBERTY PA||6117 Station St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-3575|
|234||FAIRLESS HILLS PA||444 Lincoln Hwy, Fairless Hills, PA 19030||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-7318|
|237||WEST CHESTER PA||1101 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-306-3216|
|245||PHILA-NICETOWN||2929 North Brd St, Philadelphia, PA 19132||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-319-0727|
|007||MEADVILLE PA||19063 Park Ave Plz, Meadville, PA 16335||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-347-9276|
|009||PHILA SOUTH PA||Stadium Plz, 3336 S Brd St, Philadelphia, PA 19145||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-575-5191|
|192||BLOOMSBURG PA||700 Market St, Bloomsburg, PA 17815||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-526-9847|
|194||PHILA ARAMINGO PA||Imperial Plz, 3400 Aramingo Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||855-248-0233|
|206||HAZLETON PA||88 S Laurel St, Hazleton, PA 18201||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-388-9878|
|210||NEW CASTLE PA||1708 Wilmington Rd, New Castle, PA 16105||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-5286|
|211||CRANBERRY PA||80 Regina Dr, Cranberry, PA 16319||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-848-6464|
|212||UNIONTOWN PA||Ste 1, 627 Pittsburgh Rd, Uniontown, PA 15401||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-320-7459|
|214||JOHNSTOWN PA||Ste 225, 334 Washington St, Johnstown, PA 15901||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-331-7128|
|215||WILLIAMSPORT PA||Ste 100, 240 West 3rd St, Williamsport, PA 17701||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-558-2572|
|220||POTTSVILLE PA||Ste 200, 2221 W Market St, Pottsville, PA 17901||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-269-0880|
|221||MCKEESPORT PA||540 5th Ave, Mckeesport, PA 15132||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-2037|
|225||NEW KENSINGTON||707 5th Ave, New Kensington, PA 15068||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-377-4710|
|228||DU BOIS PA||302 Liberty Blvd, Dubois, PA 15801||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-491-1884|
|232||SHARON PA||2380 Garden Way, Hermitage, PA 16148||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-467-1702|
|233||SELINSGROVE PA||150 Susq Vly Mall Dr, Selinsgrove, PA 17870||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-593-3796|
|235||CHAMBERSBURG PA||50 N Third St, Chambersburg, PA 17201||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-656-5367|
|236||STATE COLLEGE PA||Ste 2, 901 University Dr, State College, PA 16801||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-864-1516|
|238||INDIANA PA||Ste 310 Prof Center, 1265 Wayne Ave, Indiana, PA 15701||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-405-7679|
|239||BUTLER PA||102 Woody Dr, Butler, PA 16001||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-583-4102|
|240||LEBANON PA||924 Russell Dr, Lebanon, PA 17042||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-716-9635|
|241||ROSTRAVER PA||Ste 320, 800 Plz Dr, Rostraver Twp, PA 15012||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-931-4826|
|243||UPPER DARBY PA||8645 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-0780|
|A34||MT LEBANON PA||Ste 120, 650 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-717-1525|
|A35||CARLISLE PA||200 S Spring Garden St, Carlisle, PA 17013||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-635-0507|
|A94||LEWISTOWN PA||208 West 3rd St, Lewistown, PA 17044||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-306-4336|
|A97||EAST STROUDSBURG PA||9090 Franklin Hill Rd Ste 101, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-835-6169|
|C10||BETHLEHEM PA||555 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-783-7458|
|C11||MONROEVILLE PA||Ste 210, 400 Oxford Dr, Monroeville, PA 15146||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-527-9339|
|C14||POTTSTOWN PA||80 Robinson St, Pottstown, PA 19464||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||866-964-7415|
|C85||TOWANDA PA||Ste 1, 1 Elizabeth St, Towanda, PA 18848||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||888-841-6546|
|C86||KITTANNING PA||Highland Busctr Ste 1, 159 Butler Rd, Kittanning, PA 16201||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM||877-255-1372|