The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC
Social Security Disability in California
The Social Security Administration considers people disabled if they have a condition that prevents them from doing substantial work, and the condition must last -- or be expected to last -- over a year in duration. When someone becomes disabled, the inability to work and the resulting income lost is a real concern. This type of situation is why Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance exist.
People who feel they meet the criteria for being disabled and wants to apply for disability should get help when doing so. An attorney can help initially file an application for Social Security Disability benefits, and they can help appeal an initial denial. A "non-attorney representative" could also do this, but there is no financial incentive in doing so since federal regulations specify that the fees are the same for all professionals performing this service.
Around two-thirds of initial applications for Social Security Disability are rejected. A request for reconsideration may be filed within 60 days of receiving the rejection. It usually takes about four months for a rejected case to be reconsidered. If the request is denied once again, the only recourse is to begin an appeal process with an administrative law judge. Some states do not have a reconsideration phase, in which case an applicant would skip straight to the appeal process. The time it takes to process an appeal can be years.
A Social Security disability attorney can evaluate an individual's case, whether an initial claim or one of the many denied SSI claims that make up the majority of decisions. An attorney can help clients file the initial application to the Social Security Administration for SSI or SSDI benefits. Attorneys can assist clients with filing for reconsideration if their application is rejected, and help file an appeal if the reconsideration is denied.