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Social Security Disability FAQ


The Erie, PA Social Security Disability attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. answer questions about SSD benefits in Pennsylvania. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability.

Q: Can I get workers’ compensation and SSD benefits together?

A: Yes. However, you cannot exceed 8 percent of your previous wage.

Q: If I am receiving SSD benefits, what happens when I reach retirement age? Can I receive both?

A: The disability benefit you receive will likely be converted to Social Security retirement benefits when you reach retirement age.

Q: Can I receive disability benefits if I have another source of benefits, such as a private pension?

A: Yes, if you paid payroll taxes (FICA) on the money earned while working at the company with the pension.

Q: Can I receive VA disability benefits at the same time as SSD benefits?

A: Yes. The Veterans Administration (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are two different departments, and receiving benefits from one will not affect benefits from the other.

Q: Can I get both unemployment benefits and Social Security Disability benefits?

A: Not really. By applying for unemployment benefits, you are saying that you want to work again. When you apply for disability benefits, you are saying that you can no longer work. Moreover, having unemployment benefits could hurt your SSD claim. Although there is no law against “double dipping,” an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider this when ruling on your SSD application.

Q: Why do I have to wait for five full months before receiving SSD benefits?

A: The Social Security Administration wants to be sure that the disability is permanent rather than short term.

Q: If my pay was under the table, can I still receive disability benefits?

A: It depends. If you never paid FICA payroll taxes, you will probably not be eligible for SSD. However, if some of your income had FICA taxes deducted, you could be eligible. You should know that the calculation of your average weekly wage will not include your under-the-table income.

Q: Why does Social Security deny some requests for disability benefits?

A: There are any number of reasons that a claim for disability benefits might be turned down. The most common reasons include lack of medical evidence, a disability that is not severe enough to prevent you from working, and lack of work history. Being denied for these reasons does not mean that you are ineligible for benefits. It could mean only that you have not fully made the case yet.

Q: How long do I have to work to qualify for disability benefits?

A: It depends on your age. In general, you need 20 work credits, or quarter-years, of employment in the 10 years before applying for SSD and during which time you paid FICA payroll taxes. This work history does not need to be consecutive. For instance, if you have a total of five years of employment during the 10 years before applying for SSD, you should be eligible. If you became disabled before the age of 31, you do not need as many credits.

Questions About Social Security Disability? Contact Our Erie, Pennsylvania Law Firm for Answers

For more information about SSD in Pennsylvania, contact the attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. in Erie, PA. Call or use our website’s contact form. Find out how we can use our extensive knowledge of the Social Security Disability system to help you. get the SSD benefits you deserve.

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