There is no way to guarantee that someone is eligible for disability benefits in Pennsylvania. Many people have presented compelling cases to the Social Security Administration and had their cases denied. The administration has made it increasingly difficult for people to receive benefits and a higher percentage of cases now get denied. Still, you may want to look into the standards for eligibility.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) processes 145,000 annual disability claims from Pennsylvania alone. To make its decisions, the BDD relies on the professional contributions of psychologists, case examiners and doctors. Two of the main factors they consider for qualification is what counts as a disability and whether or not a person meets those definitions.

What is considered a disability?

The government defines disabled people as those who have a medical condition that may either result in later death or is expected to last for at least a year or more. A disabled individual is also unable to work because of the medical conditions they have. Here are the qualifications the PA DLI outlines for SSDI:

  • Meet the criteria SSA sets for a medical disability
  • Not engage in any substantial work
  • Be an insured worker
  • Be the insured worker’s widow(er) or child

The irony of the high rates of claim denials is that applying is easily accessible. The SSA provides helpful resources on how to apply and encourages people to either call their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or fill out an application online.

Even if your initial claim is denied, a professional can help you appeal and have another chance at approval.