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Pennsylvania disability benefits guide

How Much Are Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania?

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 24, 2024
2 min read
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Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

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You're not alone if you’re a Pennsylvania resident who can’t return to work due to an injury or medical reason. More than 420,000 Pennsylvanians receive federal disability benefits, including health insurance and monthly checks from programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You may be eligible to apply for these benefits programs. 

Keep reading and learn how much money you can get in monthly disability payments in Pennsylvania. 


How much money do you get on disability in Pennsylvania?

As of 2024, disabled American workers can receive a maximum disability payment of $3,822 a month for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or $943 per month for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

However, people don’t typically receive the maximum amounts. The average monthly SSDI payment for Pennsylvanians is $1,777.47. SSI recipients in Pennsylvania receive an average of $631.22.

Calculating SSDI Payments in Pennsylvania

To determine your monthly payment, the Social Security Administration evaluates your work history, average monthly earnings, and how much you regularly paid into Social Security taxes during the time you worked. Your medical condition does not determine how much you will receive. 

The quickest way to figure out your monthly SSDI benefit payments is by creating a free SSA account on SSA.gov. The math is tricky, but you can calculate it yourself. You’ll need the following two amounts to get your monthly number: 

  1. Your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME): This is the average of your highest-earning years, typically within 35 years. 

  2. Your primary insurance amounts (PIA): The SSA breaks up your AIME into three segments. In 2024, the first slice accounts for your first $1,174 in earnings, the second is earnings between $1,174 to $7078, and the third is for anything you earn over $7,078.

To figure out your monthly benefit payments, calculate 90% of the first slice, 32% of the second slice, and 15% of your last slice. Add those totals together and round down to the nearest $0.10. Learn more about this process here.

Calculating SSI Payments in Pennsylvania

SSI is a need-based federal program that covers people with disabilities who have limited income, savings, and resources. The SSA calculates your monthly SSI benefit amount based on the difference between the monthly maximum amount minus your countable income.

Countable income falls under four categories: 

  • Earned income: This is Income you earned from a job or your own business. 

  • Unearned income: This encompasses income you’ve received from being out of work, such as unemployment benefits, state program payments, and pensions.

  • In-kind income:  The value of food, housing and housing maintenance you get for free or under the market level. Examples include if someone pays your electric bill or you receive free food from a meal program.  

  • Deemed income: This is income you share with someone else. For example, if you’re married, the SSA considers your spouse's income to determine your SSI amount. 

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

Average
monthly check

$1,489


How much does a disability lawyer cost in Pennsylvania?

If you decide to hire a disability lawyer, you won’t have to pay upfront. You only pay if you win your case. If so, your disability lawyer will collect a contingency fee—typically 25% of your first check. By law, the most a disability lawyer can receive is $7,200 from your back pay

The amount of back pay you receive includes what the government owes you for the time between your disability application to approval.


SSA offices in Pennsylvania

You can visit your local SSA office to apply for disability benefits. A SSA claims representative can answer specific instructions about your application. We’ve compiled a list of SSA offices in Pennsylvania that can help you out: 

Allentown

41 N 4th St 

Allentown, PA 18102

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-6746

Fax Number: (833) 950-3185

Altoona

303 Cayuga Ave

Altoona, PA 16602

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 245-5368

Fax Number: (833) 950-3181

Baden

350 Logan Ln 

Baden, PA 15005

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 331-6401

Fax Number: (833) 950-3527

Bethlehem

555 Main St 

Bethlehem, PA 18018

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 783-7458

Fax Number: (833) 950-2584

Bloomsburg

700 Market St 

Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 526-9847

Fax Number: (833) 950-2878

Butler

102 Woody Dr 

Butler, PA 16001

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 583-4102

Fax Number: (833) 603-0365

Carlisle

200 S Spring Garden St 

Carlisle, PA 17013

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 635-0507

Fax Number: (833) 950-2578

Chambersburg

50 N Third St 

Chambersburg, PA 17201

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 656-5367

Fax Number: (833) 515-0403

Click here to see all the SSA offices in Pennsylvania.

Hire a trustworthy disability lawyer in Pennsylvania

Get help applying for benefits in PA

If you're considering applying for benefits, take our 2-minute quiz to determine your eligibility. A member of our team will follow up to learn more about your situation and offer personalized advice about your options.

If you'd like, we can introduce you to a qualified disability lawyer who will simplify the application process. Atticus does not charge upfront fees — you only pay your lawyer when they secure your benefits.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Pennsylvania

What qualifies you for disability in Pennsylvania?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Pennsylvania?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Pennsylvania?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Pennsylvania. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes just over two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Pennsylvania?

The average SSDI payment in Pennsylvania is $1,777.47 per month. The average SSI payment is $631.22. What you’ll earn depends on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Pennsylvania?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Pennsylvania have a state disability program?

No, Pennsylvania doesn't have its own state disability program. Only five states have a state program (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island). Residents of Pennsylvania can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.


Related resources for disability applicants in Pennsylvania:

Disability in Pennsylvania: How to Qualify, Apply, and Get Approved

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By Jackie Jakab

Disability lawyers in Pennsylvania

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

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How long has your condition made it hard to work?

Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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