If you cannot work in Pennsylvania because of injuries or medical problems, there are two federal government programs that may help you.


The moment you become injured at work, everything changes. You suddenly can't work. The paychecks stop.


Slips, trips and falls are a part of everyday living. But when your slip-and-fall was someone else's fault, it is an entirely different matter, especially if you are injured.


A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision from the end of 2013 sets some important rules that apply to something an employer can do to try to reduce the benefits of an injured worker.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is SSD?

SSD stands for Social Security Disability. It is a federal program that pays you a monthly income if you have been diagnosed with a mental or physical condition that limits your ability to earn a living.

What is SSI?

It is a federal program that pays you a monthly income if you have a mental or physical condition that limits your ability to earn a living and you have minimal assets; you do not have to have paid into the Social Security Disability program.

Both programs help the disabled. How do I tell which one is for me?

The rules governing both programs are very complex. An attorney who is experienced and skilled in both programs can tell which one you qualify for.

How do I qualify for SSD?

To qualify, you must comply with a very complex set of rules and regulations, guidelines that an experienced SSD/SSI attorney understands. But, generally speaking, you must have paid Social Security taxes. If you have never worked or have worked under the table, you don't qualify. And you must have a disease or condition that keeps you from working.

Some diseases and conditions that have qualified clients for SSD income:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Back problems, herniated disk, osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bipolar disorder, depression and schizoaffective disorders
  • Blindness or visual limitations
  • Brain injuries or nerve damage
  • Cancer
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cardiovascular impairments or pulmonary diseases
  • Chronic pain or fibromyalgia
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Lupus or multiple sclerosis
  • Migraine headaches
  • Neuropathies and other complications of diabetes
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Failed surgery
  • Scleroderma or CREST syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Seizure disorders

How do I qualify for SSI?

When it comes to your particular situation, only an experienced SSI attorney can tell you whether you have a chance of qualifying for SSI. However, generally speaking, here are some of the major requirements to qualify for SSI:

  • Age 65 or older, blind or with a disability that keeps you from earning a living for at least one year
  • Limited income and assets
  • Can also be a disabled child
  • Being a U.S. Citizen or a "qualified" alien
  • Resident of one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., or the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Not being recently absent from the United States for a particular period of time

What is the process to apply for SSD?

There is a very specific set of rules regarding the application process, all hinging on when you first became disabled. If you are dealing with a disability that prevents you from working, you have more than enough to deal with. It is in your best interest to talk to an experienced SSD attorney. Your initial consultation is free.

What is the process to apply for SSI?

As SSI is a government program, it has many rules and regulations. An experienced SSI attorney can make it easy for you to navigate the process. And your initial consultation is free.

How long does it take before I get my SSD or SSI?

It depends on many factors. In many cases, applicants are initially denied. We work with our clients to maximize their chance of approval at the initial level.

In cases that are initially denied, there is an appeal process where the applicant goes before an administrative law judge to prove his or her case. Especially since this is more the norm than the exception, it benefits you to find an experienced SSD/SSI attorney who knows how to prepare a case for litigation.

If you have questions that are not covered here, contact one of our attorneys at The Law Office of James R. Flandreau in Media, Pennsylvania. Our lawyers focus on SSD/SSI cases. You can reach us either online or by calling: 610-565-4750 for your free initial consultation.

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There are strict time limits in workers' compensation and in Social Security cases, so do not delay.

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