How Pennsylvania Residents Can Receive Social Security Disability Benefits Without a Strong Work History
In order to secure Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration requires that applicants show they are disabled, based on the Administration’s definition of “disability.” In earlier blog posts, we have written about the importance of meeting all of the criteria in order to successfully secure benefits. The disability requirement essentially rests on demonstrating an inability to engage in work, or gainful activity, for at least 12 months. In addition to making clear that a physical or mental disability hinders an ability to work, the duration requirement must be met.
Next, it must be determined that claimants qualify for Social Security programs. There are different requirements depending on whether individuals seek Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Pennsylvania Social Security attorneys can help claimants file for Social Security disability benefits. Generally, applicants will be required to present a strong work history. The work history report is a form, available online through the Social Security Administration website. While it is more difficult to apply for Social Security disability benefits if you do not present a strong work history, it is not impossible. In essence, it may be more difficult to prove what you have earned and show that you qualify for Social Security benefits.
Generally, for the work requirement, individuals must have worked one “quarter” each year over the past decade. The requirement is a sliding scale. For those workers who are not yet old enough to have worked 10 years, or who are nearing retirement, the requirement is lessened. To calculate the duration you have worked in terms of quarters, individuals receive credits that count toward their benefit coverage.
Earning a quarter of coverage does not require working a full quarter of the year. As a result, the term “quarter” is a bit misleading. If an individual earns enough money, they may in fact earn four quarters of coverage in the first few months of the year. Each year, the amount of income that the Social Security Administration requires to earn a quarter of coverage may be adjusted, but generally, wage earners will earn one quarter of coverage per year easily.
In the situation that an individual does not have enough quarters of coverage to qualify for SSDI, they can still apply for SSI. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income is not based on work history. It is instead determined based on financial need and disability. Reporting earnings and assets is critical to qualify.
By relying on the skills and services of an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability lawyer, individuals will understand how to put together a strong claim for benefits. At Needle Law, skilled Pennsylvania attorneys will assist those seeking Social Security benefits, even those individuals without a work history. To set up a complimentary consultation, contact our office by calling (570) 344-1266 or reach us online.