Online Insurance Guide


Social Security Disability

Social Security Basics

Social Security Disability (SSD) is essentially an insurance plan that helps to cover medical expenses when you are unable to work. Learn more

Applying for Disability

Applying for disability can seem like an intimidating process. Many people believe that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will turn you down a few times before you get approved, but this is not true. 30% of applicants get approved on their initial application and following these simple steps can increase your chances of being in this 30%. Learn more

Disability Determination

After you submit your application, the SSA will review your application to make sure you meet their basic program requirements. If you meet these requirements, the SSA will complete the disability decision by compiling your medical records and following a five-step process. Learn more

Disability Appeals

If you have been denied SSD or Supplement Security Income (SSI), you still have the right to make an appeal. In fact, you have the right to make several appeals if necessary. While many applicants get approved based on their initial applications, many others receive benefits only after going through the appeals process, so do not give up. Learn more

Working and Disability

One myth is you can’t work at all while drawing disability. This is false, both for SSD and SSI. Going back to work does not automatically stop benefits under either program. In fact, the SSA has many built-in incentives to encourage you to go back to work. Learn more

Understanding the Benefits and Your Rights

It is important that you know your rights if you are a recipient of any Social Security services, whether SSD or SSI. Learn more

PHA Teams Up with the SSA

Since 2008, PHA has been working with SSA to update the Listing of Impairments and ensure that qualified PH patients get onto disability as quickly as possible. Learn more

Contact us with insurance questions, success stories or suggestions.
PHA is proud to be able to make educational materials and programs like these available for free to everyone because of the generous support from members of the community just like you. Donations are welcome!

Helpful Disability Resources is the official U.S. Government site for the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Handbook on the Web includes the provisions of the Social Security Act, regulations issued under the Act, and precedential case decisions (rulings). It is a readable, easy to understand resource for the complex Social Security programs and services.

Caring Voice Coalition has free programs to help patients with insurance reimbursement, financial assistance, patient support services, public advocacy, and the SSD application and appeals process.

The Jennifer Jaff Center provides information, advice and advocacy regarding retrieval of medical information, obtaining and keeping health insurance, obtaining coverage for your treatment, applying for SSD and asserting your rights. Also publishes a Know Your Rights handbook.

National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) is an association of over 3,900 attorneys and other advocates who represent Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claimants.


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The information provided on the PHA website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal, medical or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with your individual needs.

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.