Lawyers Helping Clients Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in San Diego
While disability benefits are available through the Social Security Administration (SSA), the application process is complicated. The application contains a number of questions, and also requires completing a number of forms and submitting a significant amount of medical information.
To be eligible, you must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA) as that term is defined by the Social Security Administration. Given the complexities associated with filing and applying for disability benefits, it helps to work with an experienced Californian disability benefits attorney.
The lawyers of Roeschke Law, LLC work with disabled individuals and their families throughout the state of California. We are knowledgeable in the eligibility requirements for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) programs.
When you consult us, we will explain all of your rights, assist you with the Social Security disability application process, and represent you in all dealings with the SSA. Above all, we are committed to helping you obtain the benefits you deserve.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income?
Generally, there are three ways to apply for disability benefits — online, by phone, or by visiting a local Social Security Administration field office. First, the application must be completed accurately. This includes answering a series of questions about your disability and your work history, with all necessary medical evidence. There will also be a questionnaire about how your disability interferes with your daily activities, such as walking, bending, lifting.
The initial claim must be accompanied by certain personal information, such as:
- Social Security Number
- Birth certificate
- Contact information of doctors
- Names and dosages of prescription medications
- Detailed work history
In short, applying for disability benefits is a lengthy and complicated process. Additionally, if there are any errors or omissions in the application, the claim will likely be denied. When you work with the disability benefits attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC, you will have peace of mind knowing that your application will be thoroughly prepared and properly filed.
What is a Consultative Exam?
In addition to the medical records that your treating physician needs to provide to support your benefits claim, you will also be required to attend a consultative exam with a physician selected by the Social Security Administration.
Both the provided medical information and medical evidence which resulted from the consultative exam must demonstrate that your medical condition has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 months or longer, or result in your death.
How Does the SSA Evaluate a Disability Benefits Claim in San Diego, California?
When you submit the initial claim, the first thing the government’s disability examiner considers is whether you have acquired the necessary work credits (up to four credits per year), based on your total annual wages or self-employment income.
Generally, it is necessary to acquire a total of 40 credits, half of which must have been earned in the last 10 years. As per the rules of modern disability law, the older you are, the more credits you need, while younger workers with fewer credits may still be eligible.
If you have acquired the requisite number of credits, your claim will be sent to the department of Disability Determination Services (DDS) for a complete review.
What is the Disability Determination Services Review?
Disability Determination Services (DDS) is responsible for approving or denying the initial claim after conducting a thorough review of all the information and medical records contained in the application. While your medical condition must be listed in the Blue Book, your claim may still be approved if the condition is medically equivalent to a listed impairment.
The DDS will also consider whether or not you are capable of performing the same type of work you were doing before becoming disabled or are capable of another type of work in San Diego, CA or other areas across the state. If the medical information does not support the claim, DDS will require you to attend one or more consultative exams. The findings of these exams will factor greatly into the final determination on your Social Security disability benefits claim.
Once a decision is made, the DDS will send you a letter. If the Social Security disability claim is approved, the letter will include information about the monthly benefit amount, the date the benefits will start, and whether the benefits are retroactive.
Given that a benefits claim can take several months, the award may also cover the period of time during which your application was being considered. If the claim is denied, however, then the letter will include an explanation and also notify you of your right to appeal the decision. To appeal, it is highly recommended that you acquire the legal services of an experience Social Security disability lawyer.
Is it Necessary and Essential to Hire the Legal Services of a Social Security Disability Attorney?
It is not a legally required necessity for you to hire disability lawyers if you are applying for SSDI or SSI benefits in San Diego or anywhere else across the state of California. Even the SSA says that you or your loved ones may fill out and file your Social Security disability application without the need for a lawyer.
However, while it is true that a disability attorney is not required, the involvement and oversight of a trained professional in disability law can be vital filing a successful claim. For while it is true that you may be required to pay legal fees to the law office that aids you in your Social Security disability application, that law office’s involvement may very well end up being the deciding factor in whether or not you receive SSI benefits in the first place.
The help of an attorney can not only help you during later arguments and appeals, but could also be of use in the early stages of the application process, including making sure that you have all the necessary medical records and are, in fact, eligible based on your age and disabilities.
There are so many reasons why the San Diego Social Security Administration may choose to deny your claims and refuse you SSI benefits or access to any SSDI program. Under disability law, the attorney representing the SSA may argue that you do not take proper care of your body or your disabilities by seeing regular medical attention. Or, they may claim that your disability is the result of injuries or illness caused by drug abuse and other poor personal decisions.
The process for applying for benefits is complex and the reasons for why you may be denied those benefits is seemingly infinite. This is not an application and appeals process where just anyone with the most basic knowledge of what the law is can expect to make it very far. It is true that you do not legally need an attorney. However, if you wish for success and the benefits that will make living more comfortable, then yes, you do need to consider hiring the legal services of an experienced disability attorney in your city and state.
Speak to an Applying for Disability Benefits Lawyer in San Diego at Our Law Firm
At Roeschke Law, LLC, our Social Security disability lawyers know that applying for benefits while coping with a medical condition can be overwhelming. Our legal team is here to help by providing you with informed representation and caring efficient process. We will work with you through all levels of the claims process, collaborate with your treating physician, and enlist the services of medical and vocational professionals to provide legal and medical evidence that supports your claim.
If you or a loved one is seeking SSI benefits or help from a SSDI program, don’t go it alone. Please contact our office today to set up a free evaluation of your case. You can call our law office to schedule your free consultation at: (310) 906-2556.