Los Angeles Social Security Application Lawyer
Whether it be for a physical or mental illness, individuals who are unable to work for medical reasons may have a valid claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits awarded by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Even if they may qualify for benefits, sufferers of physical or mental conditions may wonder how to apply for benefits and what kind of proof to submit with an application, or have questions about the social security application process. In this instance, you should speak with an experienced Los Angeles social security application lawyer.
If they have never filled out an SSD application before, sufferers of ailments might be full of questions on the process and types of questions asked. Instead of trying to fill out an application to the best of their abilities on their own and running the risk of filling out the application improperly or incompletely, those who are interested in obtaining coverage from the SSA should work with an SSD benefits attorney. Along with helping the applicant prove that a condition exists, an attorney can also help the applicant show that it is the condition which prevents him or her from working, or is expected to prevent him or her from working, for a period of at least 12 months.
APPLYING FOR BENEFITS
Obtaining disability benefits through Social Security is always a lengthy and complicated procedure with plenty of opportunities for mistakes, misunderstandings, and unnecessary delays. Here are several other recommendations for seeking disability benefits in southern California:
- Apply for benefits as soon as you know that you will be disabled.
- Ask your personal doctor to support your disability case. Have your doctor complete a detailed statement as to why you are disabled and unable to work.
- Know the deadlines and don’t miss them.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Don’t miss any medical appointments.
- Include copies of your updated medical records when you first apply for benefits and every time you appeal.
- Establish good relations with those working on your claim, including the claims rep at your local Social Security office, the disability claims examiner at the Disability Determination Service Division, and your attorney.
- Don’t take no for an answer. File an appeal promptly.
- If you miss an appeal deadline, re-apply immediately.
One of the first things you’ll need to do is to start gathering information about your disability right now. The documents you need to support your disability claim include medical records and any other medical paperwork regarding your disability: charts, test results, and a list of the medications you’ve been given and how they impacted your disabling illness or injury.
Additionally, you’ll have to provide a work history listing the jobs you’ve held over the last 15 years and details about the work. You’ll also need to provide records of your hours, pay rates, and a description of the basic tasks you performed. In fact, the more information you have, the more likely you are to be successful when seeking Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration requires particular records every time you apply for benefits or appeal the denial of an application for benefits; if there’s a subsequent dispute over your benefits or over the amount of your payments, they’ll want more information.
It can be a lengthy process, but a good disability lawyer can guide you through every step of the application procedure so that you can begin receiving your disability payments as quickly as possible. If you are disabled in southern California – now or in the future – and you need to obtain Social Security benefits, speak immediately to an experienced Los Angeles disability benefits attorney.
WHAT IS A RFC LEVEL?
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, your claim will be judged on the basis of your age, your work history, and your “RFC” or “Residual Functional Capacity.” Social Security guidelines define three RFC “exertional levels”: sedentary, light, and medium. New disability applicants will be assigned to one of those three categories. As defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the three RFC levels are:
- Sedentary: you have the ability to sit in one spot or position for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift up to ten pounds intermittently.
- Light: you have the ability to walk or stand for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift up to twenty pounds intermittently.
- Medium: you have the ability to walk or stand for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift twenty-five pounds frequently and fifty pounds intermittently.
When your RFC level is determined, it is entered by the SSA into a “vocational grid” to decide your claim’s legitimacy. For example, a claim for a 40-year-old applicant with a sedentary RFC level will probably be denied.
A LENGTHY PROCESS
The application and review process for social security disability benefits can take long enough without the additional time of putting off the application. The last thing that an applicant for SSD benefits wants to do is run into financial hardship between being unable to work and being approved for benefits. Unfortunately, this is often what happens when people don’t realize how long it can take to receive an application decision from the Social Security Administration. Things can turn especially bad if after waiting so long for a decision, the decision that is returned is a denial. While it is true that denials can be appealed, and that a large number of claims are initially denied due to simple application errors, having to wait an additional amount of time for an appeal decision can force the applicant into even deeper financial hardship.
Persons who suffer from certain conditions, like certain types of cancers, or certain degenerative conditions, may be eligible for quicker processing of their claims. That’s because these conditions are quickly progressing conditions, and a delay in claims processing could be devastating for the victim. The Social Security Administration has developed a Compassionate Allowances Initiative program that is meant to cover those conditions that are so serious that the condition automatically meets disability criteria. A number of conditions are listed under the Compassionate Allowances program. If you suffer from these conditions, your claim may be approved very quickly.
In southern California, if you need to receive SSDI benefits – or if your application is pending – get help at once from an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney.
AN EXPERIENCED LOS ANGELES SOCIAL SECURITY APPLICATION LAWYER
Professional and experienced Los Angeles social security application lawyer like Tony Adderley know exactly what their clients need to do and what they need to present to the SSA in order to get the coverage that they deserve. He and his team of benefits advocates can help applicants for disability benefits through the entire initial application process, and even beyond if a claim happens to be denied. However, one of the best things a person can do to ensure that a claim isn’t denied is to have a team of benefits professionals help with the application process from start to finish. If there are discrepancies in a person’s application package, those discrepancies can be addressed before the application is submitted.