Choose A Firm With A History of Excellence


SSDI Attorney in Pennsylvania

Filing a Social Security Disability Insurance Claim

Although it is often confused with Social Security disability (SSD) in general, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of two SSD programs offered by the Social Security Administration. Generally speaking, SSDI is available to individuals who have earned enough “work credits” (by working at jobs covered by Social Security) and who have a disability or are blind, as defined by Social Security law.

Ostensibly, the purpose of SSDI is to provide people who are unable to work with necessary benefits to manage everyday expenses. Individuals who qualify for SSDI have earned these benefits over years of working and paying into the Social Security Fund. However, although you may be rightfully entitled to receive benefits, you may find that your initial SSDI application is denied. If this is the case, you should immediately seek the help of a skilled Social Security disability lawyer.

At Metzger Wickersham, our Pennsylvania SSDI attorneys are here to guide you every step of the way. We understand that the SSD process can be extremely confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming, which is why we are ready to handle every aspect of your claim. From your initial application to your denied claim appeal, our team can work to ensure your rights are protected and fight to recover the benefits you are owed.

Contact Metzger Wickersham online or call us at (888) 286-2850 to set up a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team. 

Who Is Eligible for SSDI?

First, to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, you must be “insured.” This means you have worked both recently enough and long enough to qualify, and you have paid sufficient Social Security taxes throughout your employment. Next, you must be blind (as defined by law) and/or have a medical condition that the Social Security Administration considers a “disability.”

By law, the Social Security Administration considers a “disability” to be a medical condition that:

  • Causes a medically determinable mental or physical impairment
  • Prevents an individual from engaging in any type of substantial gainful activity
  • Has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death

To be considered “medically determinable,” an impairment must arise from a mental or physical abnormality that can be demonstrated through accepted medical evaluation and/or diagnostic techniques. It is not enough for a medical provider to state that you have a disability; rather, the medical evidence must prove that your condition meets the legal requirements to be considered a “medically determinable impairment.”

There are many conditions which would qualify as a disability. There are also conditions which can present as a disability in some circumstances but not all. This is why simply reading a list of common disabilities is not going to tell you with certainty if you would qualify.

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits for 2021

The Social Security Administration calculates your SSDI benefits based on an overall average of your lifetime earnings. Your benefits are not calculated based on the severity of your disability or your total income/household income.

Several calculations are used to determine your SSDI benefits. These include your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) and your primary insurance amounts (PIA). These calculations are used to determine the minimum benefits you will receive, as well as adjust those benefits for past, current, and future changes in the overall standard of living.

As of 2021, the Social Security Administration approved a 1.3% increase in SSD benefits to accommodate for the cost of living. Additionally, it is important to note that, as of 2021, you cannot make $1,310 per month or more to be eligible for SSD benefits. If you are blind, you can earn up to $2,190 per month and retain eligibility. If you are already receiving SSDI benefits and try to go back to work, you may be allowed to earn more than these limits during your “trial work period” month.

For more information on SSDI benefits, contact Metzger Wickersham. Our Pennsylvania SSDI attorneys can help you understand your eligibility for SSDI, as well as which benefits you may be entitled to receive. We are happy to answer any questions you may have during a free and confidential consultation.

How to Apply for SSDI in Pennsylvania

You can apply for SSDI benefits online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. You will need to complete and submit an Application for Social Security Benefits, as well as a Disability Report. The Disability Report provides detailed information about your medical condition, which is used to determine whether you meet the legal requirements for being “disabled.”

Once you have filed your initial application, including all relevant information and documents, the Social Security Administration will determine whether you meet the basic eligibility requirements to receive SSDI benefits. If approved, your application will then be sent to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD). The BDD is the state agency that works with the Social Security Administration to determine whether SSD applicants are blind or disabled under the law.

How to Appeal a Denial

There is a chance your application may get denied. You must appeal within 60 days of the rejection to have a chance for a hearing. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review will schedule you for the hearing to present any new evidence or testimony or statements from witnesses. Having a social security disability lawyer to guide you through this process will be helpful.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation at one of our many offices located throughout the state: (888) 286-2850

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Appeal a Denied SSDI Claim?

Unfortunately, many first-time SSDI claims are denied. This might happen because an application has errors or is missing critical information. Your claim could also be denied if the Social Security Administration decides that you do not meet the basic eligibility requirements for benefits or if the BDD decides that you are not “disabled” according to the legal definition.

In any case, you have the right to request a reconsideration determination. You must submit your request within 60 days of receiving the initial notice of claim denial if you wish to appeal a denied SSDI application or claim. If you fail to send your request within 60 days, you will likely lose your right to appeal and will need to reapply for benefits. In most cases, appealing a denied claim is more successful and faster than sending a new application.

If your Social Security Disability Insurance claim has been denied, we strongly urge you to contact our firm for help with your appeal. Our Pennsylvania SSDI appeals attorneys can gather applicable evidence and documents supporting your claim, assist you in filing necessary paperwork to request a reconsideration determination, and represent you at your hearing before an administrative law judge. We can also guide you through the next steps, if necessary, including requesting a review of the administrative law judge’s decision.

Why Hire an SSDI Attorney?

The process of applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits is a complex, time-consuming, and highly challenging one. It is absolutely critical that you thoroughly prepare your application to improve your chances of having your claim accepted. By working with an experienced attorney, like those at Metzger Wickersham, you put yourself in the best possible position to begin receiving benefits as soon as possible.

If, however, your claim is denied, your attorney will be able to help you take the next steps in appealing this decision. The appeals process is in itself a very complicated one, but an attorney not only understands the various steps involved but can also ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.

When you choose our team at Metzger Wickersham, we will fight for you and the rightful benefits you deserve. We work tirelessly when it comes to advocating for our clients and are here to guide you every step of the way. Our firm has been serving the people of Pennsylvania for more than 135 years, and we are proud of our hard-earned reputation for compassionate client service, personalized representation, and aggressive advocacy throughout the legal process.  

Success Stories

A History of Happy Clients
  • "I used Metzger Wickersham for a personal injury dog bite case. Attorney Love was great to work with and made the whole process smooth and painless. Everything was explained with detail, the team was ..."
    Jessica B.
  • "I thank you, Mr. Craig Love. You are a very honest person and explained every detail of my case."
    Elsie J.
  • "You all did a great job for me. You kept in contact with me through everything. I would recommend you to everyone."
    Ruth M.
  • "Thank you card from HHS KeyClub."
    HHS KeyClub
  • "I was involved in a car accident (not at fault), that seemed like it would be straightforward. The at-fault driver accepted fault and so did their insurance company. The problem was that they wanted ..."
  • "I worked with [Attorney] Zachary Campbell & [Paralegal] Tammy Dagrosa & they were AMAZING! They helped me win my case & handle my medical debt from my accident! Thanks to them, my daughter & I will be ..."
    Former Client
  • "I had never dealt with a personal injury firm before, but my neighbor recommended that I contact Metzger Wickersham because they used that firm and were happy with the results. I talked to them and ..."
    Erik R.
  • "Scholarship thank you card."
  • "Thank you note from a former client."
    Brenda R.
  • "Thank you card from the Golf Classic event."
  • "They did wonderful thank you so much."
    Dan C.
  • "Thank you note from a former client."
    Previous Client
  • "Thank you card from a former client."
    Former Client
  • "Thank you note from the Food Pantry."
    Food Pantry
  • "I am absolutely and completely impressed with this firm. Them adding attorney, Lori Painter, to the team was a smart decision. Lori went above and beyond for me during my SS disability appeal process ..."
    Kimberly B. D.
  • "I worked with Troy and he was wonderful. Thoughtful, caring, always was there when I needed explaining or answers. Thanks, Troy."
    Jeremy L.
  • "Our goal was accomplished!"
    Debbie K.
  • "Was a slow process because of the insurance company. They did a great job for me and got a good settlement! Better than I was expecting."
    Jerry C.
  • "I was beyond pleased with the way my case was handled. Each time I either called or emailed the office either [Attorney] Lori or [Paralegal] Kara responded quickly. I had many questions and I also ..."
    Matthew R.
  • "Based upon my experience with the intake associate and especially with Attorney Andrea Staub, I strongly recommend this business. I was recently the victim of a devastating automobile accident that ..."
    Donna S.
  • "When I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle in Nov, of 2021, I learned that having a lawyer would be important to making sure all of my expenses would be compensated by the driver’s insurance. I ..."
    Leonard Z.
  • "This firm goes above above and beyond for their clients. The process was unbelievably simple on my end and my atty kept me updated the entire time. Will use them again in future if ever necessary and ..."
    Alli G.
  • "[Attorney] Craig Love did a Great job for me"
    Jordan F.
  • "They kept me up to date on everything that was goin on with my case. Answered all my questions."
    Lori D.
  • "Very courtesy and understanding and helps you to the fullest therefore you anytime of the day to talk to you and answer your questions and I will use them again."
    Cindy R.
  • "Very happy with our experience would highly recommend them Thank you Zack Campbell"
    Diana B.
  • "They were great with communication and very helpful. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone and everyone!"
    Cheena W.
  • "[Paralegal] Emily kept up to date emailing and getting information and [Attorney] Cat did a wonderful job representing me and explained everything perfectly."
    Debra G.
  • "Troy was a pleasure to work with from the first day of meeting him to our last meeting. Troy always kept in touch even if it was just to say hello and see how I was. best lawyer!"
    Roxanne F.
  • "Metzger Wickersham’s [Attorney] Zach was so easy to work with. His professionalism is unmatched to any other attorney I have ever had to deal with. He always kept me informed on any new information ..."
  • "It is hard to express in words how grateful I am that I chose Metzger Wickersham to help me with my case. [Attorney] Andrea, [Paralegal] Shawn (Wilkes Barre Pa), [Attorney] Zach, [Paralegal] Melanie, ..."
    Patricia L.
  • "[Attorney] Zach and [Paralegal] Amber were beyond helpful. The attention to detail, constant communication and customer service is beyond appreciated. Would recommend to anyone that needs their help ..."
    Denise S.
  • "“My attorney and her team were wonderful. Very knowledgeable, understanding, and caring towards my needs during such a lengthy process. Would use again."
    Tracy O.
  • "Metzger firm was very professional, kind, courteous and knowledgeable. Also, they were very pleasant to work with. I will definitely recommend this firm for your case. I would use them again if I ..."
    Les M.
  • "[Attorney] Craig and his team were absolutely wonderful to work with. Communication was stellar, everything was explained thoroughly, and the case was handled in a very timely manner. I was able to ..."
    Leah V.
  • "The team at MWKE is absolutely wonderful! They represented me in a car accident when I was injured. I was very leery to trust and hire any attorney. It is an understatement to say the entire team ..."
    Dr. S
  • "Excellent to do business with.Very caring and thoughtful. Extremely helpful and very happy with the outcome. Highly recommend. [Attorney] Andrea M. Staub is very caring and respectful. AAA+++"
    Betty M.
  • "Incredible people who did everything to help me"
    Si S.
  • "[Attorney] Andrea, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all your help during my mishap of injury to my left ankle. I know you went above and beyond to get the best settlement that was ..."
    Patricia L.
  • "Attorney Painter, I want to thank you for everything that you did for me. I’ve never dealt with anything like this before. You and [Paralegal] Cherri made it a good experience for me. Thank you again."
    Alan L.
  • Client-Focused & Results Driven
    You are more than just a case number. At our firm, we treat our clients like family and ensure you get the recovery you deserve.
  • 24/7 Representation
    The minute you need us, we are here to help. When you can't visit us, we'll visit you, and when you need answers, we'll give you solutions.
  • Dedicated Team
    When you trust us with your case, you get a FULL team of dedicated and experienced attorneys working to solve your case.
  • Decades of Experience
    Our team has had our doors open for over 135 years and we have roots dating back to 1888.

Demand the Justice You Deserve

We Are Here to Help
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.