Why Your Neighbor's Sister's Son Is Getting 'Disability' And You're Not

By Barbara J. Artuso, Esq.

If it seems to you that the Social Security Administration's process for determining who is disabled is unpredictable and complicated, you're correct. Sometimes a client, stung by initial denial of a claim, protests that "my neighbor's sister's son is getting disability benefits, and he's in really good shape compared to me." And that may be a true statement!

There are many factors that affect the decision of whether someone is disabled for purposes of receiving Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, such as:

(a) Financial eligibility - The federal government administers two disability programs. Work history, income and resources affect financial eligibility for each of them. You must establish financial eligibility for one of the two programs before your medical condition is even considered. Individuals with no work history may still be eligible for SSI benefits, while some people who are very ill may not be financially eligible for either program.

(b) Age and education - The system for awarding disability benefits is structured so that the older a person is, the easier it is for him or her to receive disability benefits. On the other hand, people with more education are often less likely to receive disability benefits.

(c) Work history - A person's past work history has an enormous effect on the process of determining whether he or she is entitled to disability benefits. A history of working at a skilled job, or at one that was not very physically demanding, can prevent even someone with significant limitations from collecting disability benefits.

Keep in mind when thinking about your neighbor's sister's son that you may not be seeing the full picture, including details of all of the factors listed above. Many of those factors, especially education and work history, are difficult to see but may have a significant impact on the decision in your neighbor's sister's son's case. Furthermore, there are many limitations that cannot be seen, such as heart disease, lung disease or mental illness.

For all of these reasons, it's best not to make assumptions about who is entitled to Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. If you would like to discuss whether you might be eligible, please contact a Pennsylvania Social Security Disability benefits Lawyer via email or phone us at 724-837-0080 in Greensburg or toll free at 888-534-6016 and we will review your individual circumstances with you in detail.

For more information on Social Security, please visit our expansive Social Security Information Center or our Social Security Frequently Asked Questions.

Related articles about Social Security Disability and long-term disability:

What's the Connection between Social Security Disability and Private Disability Insurance?

Get In Touch Today

Get In Touch Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

map-img

Our Practice Range

Serving Southwestern Pennsylvania with offices in Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Blair Counties.

  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • WILG
  • NOVA
  • NOSSCR
address-1

Greensburg Office:
550 East Pittsburgh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Toll Free: 888-534-6016
Phone: 724-221-3191
Fax: 724-837-1348
Greensburg Law Office Map

Pittsburgh Office:
941 Penn Avenue
Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 412-391-2800
Pittsburgh Law Office Map

Latrobe Office:
816 Ligonier Street
First Floor
Latrobe, PA 15650

Phone: 724-539-2841
Latrobe Law Office Map

Altoona Office:
615 Howard Avenue
Suite 210
Altoona, PA 16601

Phone: 814-656-0065
Fax: 814-656-0066
Altoona Law Office Map

address-2
address-3
address-4
  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • WILG
  • NOVA
  • NOSSCR