Find the Answers to Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits Questions

Most people navigating the workers’ compensation and disability benefits application processes come to us with questions and confusion. Here, we share some of the questions that we answer most about the disability and workers’ compensation application and appeals processes. If you have a question for us, check out this page to see if we have answered this question for others! 

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  • What is a trial work period?

    A trial work period allows beneficiaries to ease back into working again. The trial work period is for 9 non-consecutive months within the first 60 months in which you are unable to work. During the trial work period, beneficiaries are allowed a monthly income of up to seven hundred, twenty dollars while still receiving disability benefits.

  • How do I apply for Social Security benefits?

    You can apply directly with the Social Security Administration or seek the help of an advocate, including a Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney.

  • Can I work and receive SSD benefits at the same time?

    You can work while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance during a trial work period. You can work for 9 non-consecutive months within the first 60 months and earn a monthly income of up to $720.00 and still receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. When the trial work period has ended, and you are working, you will no longer receive disability benefits for any month in which you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Allowance.

    However, if your income drops below the Substantial Gainful Allowance, or if your disability causes you to stop working within 5 years, you may receive benefits again. After that, you will have to re-apply, but you may get temporary disability and Medicare benefits up to 6 months while your case is being reviewed. You also get to keep your Medicare benefits for at least 8 ½ years after returning to work.

  • What type of Social Security benefits will I receive?

    Once you have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance, you are eligible to receive the following benefits: Cash Benefits. You will begin receiving cash benefits approximately 6 months after becoming disabled. Payments are made monthly. The Social Security Administration prefers to direct-deposit payments so, if you do not have a bank account, the Social Security Administration will strongly recommend that you establish one.

    The amount you receive is based on your earnings history and will continue for as long as you are unable to work and your medical condition has not improved. The Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews of all Social Security Disability Insurance cases to determine continued eligibility of disability benefits. Medicare. You will be eligible for Medicare 24 months after receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. However, if you have a serious illness such as kidney failure and you require dialysis, you may qualify immediately.

    Social Security Retirement Insurance (Protection of Social Security cash benefit. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits automatically convert into retirement benefits when you reach retirement age. By establishing that your absence from the workforce is due to a disability, you are assured that the Social Security Administration will not reduce your future retirement benefits.

  • If my medical condition gets worse can I receive more Social Security benefits?

    No. The cash benefits you receive are based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began, not the severity of your medical condition.

  • What if the Social Security Administration decides I’m not disabled, but I feel I deserve benefits?

    If the Social Security Administration denies your first time Social Security Disability Insurance application because they feel you do not meet their disability criteria, you can appeal that decision.

    You have sixty days from the date of your denial letter to request an appeal. The appeals process can be long and complicated. However, it does provide you with the best opportunity to prove eligibility of disability benefits, especially at the hearing level.

  • How do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

    The Social Security Administration follows strict medical and work history guidelines to determine eligibility Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You must have paid into the Social Security system through FICA taxes and have a recent enough work history. You also must have a disabling medical condition that is expected to prevent you from working for twelve months and earning above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

  • How long must I be unable to work to qualify for Social Security benefits?

    Your medical condition must have kept you from working for at least twelve months. If you have been unable to work for at least a year, or believe your condition will prevent you from working that long, you should consider applying for disability benefits.

  • How does the Social Security Administration decide if I am disabled?

    The Social Security Administration follows a five step disability determination process. Your medical condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. The Social Security Administration will also view your current work history, skills, age, education, and ability to adapt to different work.

  • Can I receive compensation for more than medical expenses and wages?

    Yes, a personal injury claim can include damages for a wide range of issues. While injuries are physical, claims can be made for numerous emotional and relational damages. You may pursue compensation for loss of companionship, emotional distress or mental anguish, or wrongful death (loss of a loved one).