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Wait times for disability benefits decisions

Pennsylvania residents who have submitted claims for Social Security disability benefits should know that their wait times will depend on many factors. Applicants who have been denied disability benefits should expect to receive their notices rather quickly as there is a 65-day deadline they will have to maintain when submitting an appeal.

The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits under two programs, including the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Individuals who apply for the benefits are required to show that because of their mental or physical impairment, they cannot earn the monthly substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount.

However, there are cases in which individuals do not have enough of a work history to be eligible for SSDI. Those individuals will also have to demonstrate that the assets they own have a total value of less than $2,000 in order to qualify for SSI; this excludes a single place of residence and a single vehicle.

Disability benefits applications are immediately reviewed by the Social Security office to determine if the applicants qualify for the benefits offered by either program. Applicants could qualify for SSI, SSDI or have a concurrent disability claim in which they qualify for both. No matter which disability program an applicant may be eligible for, they will still have to submit medical documentation to verify their mental or physical disability. The documentation should include medical records from a licensed psychologist or physician.

An attorney could guide a client through the application process. Assistance may be provided in regard to obtaining any necessary medical documentation. If an initial application is denied, the attorney could help the client through the appeals process.

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