Social Security Disability Attorney In Los Angeles

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Social Security Disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration are an important lifeline for people who are unable to work. If you live in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, you know the cost of living is very expensive and you cannot afford to live in the area without a paycheck. Unfortunately, when a physical or mental condition makes it impossible for you to work, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be your only lifeline.  

While SSD benefits are an important safety net for people who are disabled, there have been efforts over the years to curtail benefits or cut programs because the federal government wants to save money. Some disabled people are also concerned about whether they should take benefits or not because they are worried that the benefits are paid for with tax dollars and are thus a form of welfare program--- which some are not comfortable relying on.  The truth is, however, that Social Security Disability Insurance is an earned benefit. 

Are Social Security Disability Benefits Funded with Tax Dollars?


Social Security Disability benefits, just like Social Security retirement benefits, are paid for through a separate funding stream. In addition to the general taxes that you pay, taxes are taken directly out of your paycheck to fund the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Because these benefits are funded through a dedicated payroll tax, you're paying for them with each hour that you work. This is why eligibility for SSDI benefits are restricted to people who have earned enough work credits. You must pay into the system to take money out of it. 

Since you are directly paying for Social Security Disability Insurance, you should definitely not hesitate to apply for this benefit because you have worked to pay into this program. You have earned the coverage and protections that SSDI provides, just the same as if you had paid for private insurance coverage by paying premiums. This is why it is so upsetting when applicants for SSDI do not get their benefits claims approved. You deserve to get the protections that you have paid for. If your claim is denied, you should reach out to a Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you can get the benefits that you have funded and that you deserve. 

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If you are self-employed and you suffer a disabling injury or get badly sick, you may be unable to continue to work. If your illness or injury is a long-term condition that will be stop you from working for more than a year or if it is a serious condition that will result in your death, you could potentially be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD). 

A Los Angles disability lawyer can help you to understand what the rules are for self-employed people who become disabled and want to obtain SSD benefits. Your attorney will also assist you with the process of applying for benefits so you can maximize the chances that your claim will be successful and you will get the income you need. 

When Can You Get Disability Benefits When You Are Self-Employed?


There are two different programs that provide disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Supplemental Security Income is means-tested, and you can get benefits through SSI if you have limited income, few assets, cannot work due to your disability, and meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disabled.  The other program, Social Security Disability Insurance, isn't means tested and you can get benefits through it if you meet the definition of disabled, cannot work, and have earned sufficient work credits by paying into the system.

If you are self-employed, you have to pay taxes to the Social Security Administration which support the SSD system. This means you will earn work credits that should make you eligible for benefits. The specific number of credits you need varies based on age, so talk with a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer as soon as you become disabled to find out if you can qualify for SSD due to what you paid in as a self-employed worker. 

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If you suffer an injury in a fall, you may become unable to work due to impairments caused by that injury. If you cannot work, you could potentially be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if your fall-related injuries will make you eligible for benefits or not. You should call an attorney as soon as you can following your fall to find out whether SSD benefits could be an option and to get help applying for benefits.

When Can You Get Disability Benefits After Getting Hurt in a Fall?

Social Security Disability benefits are available only in situations where you have some type of disabling injuries (or illness) that will last for no less than one year (or that will be fatal).  This means if you suffer injuries in your fall but will recover from them before a year, you won't be eligible for benefits.

Your injuries also have to stop you from working and be severe enough that you cannot do any job for which you would be qualified.  The Social Security Administration has a list of conditions, along with required accompanying symptoms, that are usually considered to cause sufficient impairment that benefits should be approved. If your fall-injuries aren't on the SSA's list, you have to prove medical equivalency by showing the injuries are just as severe and impairing. 

If you can prove all of this, you should be able to get SSD benefits after a fall, regardless of how the fall happened or who was at fault for it. Contact a Los Angeles disability benefits attorney to find out how you can make a claim for benefits and to get help submitting your application to the SSA. 

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When you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you'll likely hear the phase "Blue Book." The Blue Book is a tool that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses when determining whether or not to approve a claim for benefits.

You need to know what the Blue Book is and how it impacts your ability to get SSD income when you are disabled. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can provide you with assistance in understanding how the Blue Book works and in complying with all of the technical requirements of applying for benefits so you can do everything possible to get your claim approved. 

Three Facts to Know About the Social Security Blue Book


There is a lot to know about the Blue Book, but three key facts include the following:

  • The Blue Book is also called the "Listing of Impairments." It's a list of conditions that usually- but not always- can make you eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. 
  • The Blue Book contains a list of symptoms. For the conditions that are listed within the Blue Book, there are usually specific symptoms that must accompany that particular ailment in order for it to make you eligible for benefits.
  • You can get benefits for a condition not listed in the Blue Book. It is more challenging to do so in most cases, because you must prove your condition is medically equivalent in severity and impairment. 

To find out more about how the Blue Book could affect your ability to get benefits, and for help proving you should be eligible for disability from the Social Security Administration, contact a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer today. 

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When you apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will carefully review your medical records in order to determine how severely impairing your illness or injury is. The SSA is also going to be interested in your work history. You need to understand what the SSA looks for when they review your past work. A Los Angeles disability lawyer can assist you with explaining your past work and can help with all steps in the disability benefits application process. 

Why Does Past Work Experience Matter When Applying for Disability Benefits?

Work experience is important when you apply for SSD benefits because the Social Security Administration wants to restrict access to benefits only to people who aren't able to work at all. If you can work at any position you have done in the past, or can work at any job which your transferrable skills make you qualify for, then the SSA does not want to give you benefits. Instead, they want you to find a job that you're qualified for despite your disability.

If you have a long and extensive work history with lots of transferrable skills, it is more likely that the SSA is going to find you should be able to do some type of work even with your medical condition. If, on the other hand, you've only had one job or a limited type of job and have few transferrable skills, the SSA should approve your benefits claim if your impairments prevent you from being able to do that job you could do before.

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer will help you to describe your work in an appropriate, specific way so you can try to maximize the chances the SSA will approve your benefits claim. Call today to find out how we can help. 

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If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you may wish to hire an attorney with experience in helping applicants to navigate the Social Security Disability benefits claim process. Many people who try to obtain benefits will end up having their claims denied. A Los Angeles disability lawyer can help you to reduce the chances of a denial and can assist you in responding to a denied claim by appealing to try to obtain benefits. 

Do You Always Need a Lawyer to Apply for Disability Benefits?


You may wish to involve a lawyer in your application process as early as possible so you can improve your chances of getting an initial claim approved. More than half of all applications are denied, and some are denied because the right types of information are not provided to the Social Security Administration (SSA) or because information is not presented in the proper way. 

If you are clearly very sick and you have a condition that allows for expedited benefits (called a Compassionate Allowance Condition), you may be able to just send in your application and medical records. However, when your health is bad enough that you can qualify more easily, dealing with the stress of an application process can be overwhelming. Having a lawyer could thus still make sense. 

If your disability is one that is not specifically listed on the Social Security's listing of impairments, or if your initial application is denied and you must appeal, then having a lawyer representing you becomes very important. You should contact a Los Angeles disability benefits attorney as soon as you can to find out how an attorney can help in your particular situation. 

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Many people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will have their initial claim denied. There is an appeals process that you can take advantage of if you are one of the applicants whose claim for benefits is not approved. Unfortunately, mistakes are common during the appeals process. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability appeals lawyer can provide you with assistance in moving through the appeals process so you can maximize the chances of a successful appeal that results in benefits for you. 

Top Mistakes in the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

Some common mistakes made in disability appeals include:

  • Not appealing a benefits denial. Many people assume their appeal will not be successful and so they don't go through the process. This is a mistake. The majority of initial applications are denied, and you could stand a good chance for success on appeal if you get the right legal help. 
  • Waiting too long to appeal. If you miss the deadline, you will lose the chance to appeal the denial unless you have good cause for not submitting your appeal on time. You don't want to give up the chance to try to get the denial of your application reversed. 
  • Not getting legal help during the appeals process. You want to be able to obtain convincing evidence and put together solid arguments in an appeal in order to increase the chances that you can successfully obtain benefits.  An experienced attorney who knows the Social Security Disability benefits system can provide you with advice on how to put together the strongest claim. 

You should contact a Los Angeles disability lawyer as soon as you get a denial of your initial application so your attorney can get right to work on appealing the denial of benefits and helping you to get the benefits you deserve. 

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When you apply for Social Security Disability, one criteria that can impact your benefits eligibility is whether there is any work that you can do even despite your disabling condition. If the Social Security Administration believes that you should be able to do some type of job, your benefits claim will not be approved. A Los Angeles Social Security disability benefits lawyer will help you to try to provide proof to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that there is no work you are qualified for that you could do based on your medical situation.

How Can You Prove You Can't Do Other Work?

When determining if you are able to do work or not, the Social Security Administration will consider the limitations imposed by your medical condition as well as your transferable job skills. If you cannot do the job you were doing before, the SSA wants to determine if you have skills or abilities that could allow you to work in another field or position despite your condition.

The key to proving you cannot do other work is to convince the SSA that whatever transferable skills you have are limited and prevent you from doing the kinds of work you could potentially do.  A vocational expert may testify that you have various transferable skills, but you can challenge this testimony and argue that you are not actually equipped with those skills. You also want to avoid glamorizing your previous job, and be detailed about the specific job functions you had so you can showcase how those job skills were useful only or primarily in the past position that you can no longer do.

Proving you cannot do other do other work can be difficult. Talk with a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer to help you make your case to the SSA that you deserve benefits. 

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When your Social Security Disability claim is denied, you can appeal the denial in order to try to get approved for benefits. However, there are strict deadlines you must comply with in order to move forward with an appeal. One key reason why it is so important to make sure you hire a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer is to make sure you comply with the appeals deadline and the formal process of submitting your appeal. 

The question is, what happens if you missed this deadline? Is it ever possible for you to successful appeal or have you lost your chance so you're now forced to start over with the entire process of applying for disability benefits?

What Happens if You Miss a Social Security Disability Appeals Deadline?


If you miss the deadline for appealing a denial of your Social Security Disability benefits, you are sometimes able to move forward with the appeals process anyway. You can move forward with an appeal despite missing the prior deadline if you are able to show good cause for why the deadline was missed. 

If you did not know about the denial because you were somehow not provided notice of it, this is an example of a situation where there is good cause to miss a deadline. If physical or mental illness made it impossible for you to submit a timely appeal (for example if you were deathly ill and in the hospital undergoing emergency care), this would also be an example of a situation where you have good cause and could be allowed to move forward with your appeal. 

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if you have cause and can assist you in arguing why you should be allowed to appeal. Contact an attorney for help as soon as you realize you have missed the deadline to fight for your disability benefits. 

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If your initial claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is denied, this denial can be both frustrating and frightening. You may have been counting on SSD benefits to provide you with vital income that you need because your disability stops you from being able to work. When you are denied the income you need, it is scary to wonder whether you will actually be able to get approved on appeal or not. 

The good news is, people do get benefits claims approved by the Social Security Administration when they appeal. The appeals process can be difficult, but a Los Angeles Social Security Disability attorney can help you to make a convincing case so you can maximize the chances of a successful appeal. 

Can You Win a Social Security Disability Appeal?

There are multiple different stages of Social Security Disability appeals, including a Request for Reconsideration, an appeals hearing, an internal SSA review of the decision at the hearing, and finally an appeal to the federal court. People get their claims approved at all of these different stages of appeal, despite earlier denials.

The key to a successful appeal is to identify the problems that prevented your initial claim from being approved and to provide convincing evidence that your claim should be approved. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits attorney can help you with each phase of appeals so you can make the strongest possible case and maximize the chance of a benefits approval. Contact an attorney as soon as you decide to appeal to get legal advice from a knowledgeable advocate who knows the SSA appeals system. 

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There are many different factors that can make a big difference in determining whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) will approve an application for disability benefits or not. A Los Angeles disability lawyer can provide you with assistance understanding the criteria that the SSA uses and can help you to make the most convincing case possible for why you need benefits.

One criteria that is important: the level of education you have. The more highly educated you are, the less likely it is that you will be able to get benefits when you have most types of medical conditions. 

How Does Education Affect Your Ability to Get Benefits? 


When the Social Security Administration determines whether or not you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA's first priority is making sure you actually have a severe long-term disabling condition.  If the SSA determines that you have a medical condition, then the next major step the SSA will take is to determine if your condition actually affects your ability to work or not. 

The SSA looks at your past work history and transferable skills to determine if there are any jobs that you are going to be able to do despite your medical condition. The more highly educated you are, and the more transferable skills you have, the more likely it is that the Social Security Administration is going to determine that there is some type of work you can still do even with the limitations caused by your disability.

 A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can help you try to convince the SSA that you are not able to do any work you're qualified for so you can maximize the chances of getting a benefits claim approved. Call an attorney as soon as you become disabled so you can get help. 

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When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, many things can impact whether or not your claim for benefits will be approved. Age is not one of the key criteria that determines if you can get approved or not, but it indirectly can make an impact in how your claim is viewed by the Social Security Administration. A Los Angeles Disability benefits attorney can help you to determine whether you should be able to obtain benefits based on your age, work history, and disability status. 

How Does Age Impact Your Disability Benefits?


When determining if you are eligible for benefits or not, the Social Security Administration considers the severity of your disabling condition. If your condition is listed in the "Blue Book," which is a listing of impairments that qualify you for benefits, and you have the appropriate symptoms, then this means your claim is most likely to be approved. 

The SSA will also consider whether or not your condition prevents you from doing your current or most recent job, or from doing any other jobs for which you are qualified. The medical-vocational grid is used to help the SSA to determine if your medical condition is severe enough to prevent you from doing work that your work history makes you qualified for. 

If you are older, this impacts the type of work that the SSA believes you may be able to do. For example, if you are a younger worker with little formal education who can do sedentary work only, you may not be approved for benefits as long as you are literate because you should be able to find some position. However, if you are older with little formal education who is limited to sedentary work, you may be more likely to get benefits since it would be more difficult for you to adopt you skills to a new position.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if you can get benefits based on your age, work history, and disability status. Contact an attorney for help today. 

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Many people have heard that the majority of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits claims are denied. One of the top questions that is asked of Los Angeles disability benefits attorneys is whether the stories about the high denial rate are true and whether this means getting benefits is impossible. 

The reality is that, the vast majority of claims are not approved, especially in the initial application phase.  Although the approval rates differ by location, in some cases as many as 70 percent of initial claims for Social Security Disability result in application denials. This does not mean that you cannot get benefits or that you shouldn't try, though. 

Most Social Security Disability Claims are Denied, But Getting Benefits is Possible


There are many reasons why the majority of SSD claims are denied. One issue is that applicants apply when they don't meet the criteria. If your income is too high for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or you haven't worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), then your claim for benefits won't be approved. Your claim also won't be approved if you don't provide sufficient proof of a long-term and severe disabling condition. 

However, there are also lots of claims that are initially denied even though the applicants should be eligible. In these cases, the problem is often corrected with a successful appeal and the applicant gets the benefits he or she deserves. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can provide assistance in fighting for benefits if you believe your claim should have been approved but the SSA denied you. Call an attorney for help as soon as your application was denied so you can begin moving through the appeals process. 

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If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied both initially and after a Request for Reconsideration, you have the opportunity to appeal your benefits denial at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You should be represented by an experienced disability benefits lawyer in Los Angeles who can help you to prepare for this hearing and present the types of evidence likely to convince the ALJ to find for you. 

One type of evidence that is often presented at a hearing is letters from witnesses who can shed light on your disabling condition. Letters can help to bolster your case in the right circumstances, but you need to know what types of letters can be helpful in convincing the ALJ that your claim for Social Security Disability benefits should not have been denied. 

What Types of Letters Can Help Your Case at a Social Security Disability Appeals Hearing?


In general, the letters that are going to have the most impact as far as helping you to make a convincing case at a Social Security disability appeals hearing include letters from employers and letters from caregivers. Employers can attest to the reasons why you are not able to do your job because of your disabling condition.  Caregivers can provide insight into the ways in which your disabling condition interferes with your ability to do routine life activities.

Letters from family and friends, on the other hand, tend to be less helpful in a Social Security Disability appeals hearing. Your family and friends do not have the qualifications or expertise to explain why your condition impacts your working ability and daily life.

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can provide help in obtaining convincing letters that will help you and can assist you in taking all of the necessary steps to put together the strongest possible case to present at a disability appeals hearing. Contact a lawyer as soon as you decide to appeal. 

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Social Security Disability (SSD) is a vitally important safety net program that provides income for people whose disabilities prevent them from working. If you have a serious long-term disabling condition, you should be receiving Social Security Disability benefits. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to go through the application process to try to obtain benefits. 

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the SSD program that could prevent qualified disabled applicants from getting the income they need. You should learn the truths about the myths and misconceptions so you can make informed choices about trying to get disability income when you cannot work. 

Myths and Misconceptions about Social Security Disability

Three common misconceptions many people have about the disability system include:

  • Getting disability benefits is impossible: It is true that it can be very difficult to get approved for benefits, since more than half of all initial applications are denied. However, there is an appeals process and many people ultimately do end up getting a benefits claim approved with help from an attorney. Those with certain conditions on the Compassionate Allowances List can also typically get benefits approved more quickly and easily. 
  • You can only get disability benefits if you are low income: While Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are means-tested and needs-based, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits are not. You should be eligible for SSDI as long as you've earned enough work credits. 
  • Getting disability benefits means you must give up work forever: There are programs that allow you to try to return to work when receiving SSDI which do not cause you to lose your benefits as you attempt to re-join the workforce. 

You need to find out the truth about Social Security Disability if you are disabled. A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you to understand how the SSD program works and can assist you in getting benefits if you are qualified to be covered. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you. 

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When you are applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you need to provide Disability Determination Services (DDS) with as much medical information as possible. Many benefits applicants are not sure what type of information must be in their medical records or what details they should include about their condition. A Los Angeles disability lawyer can provide advice on how to ensure you submit complete medical records aimed at maximizing your chances for getting your claim for SSD benefits approved.

Some of the information that can be most important during your application process: details about the medical symptoms that you experience. 

Why are Details about Your Symptoms Important When Applying for Social Security Disability?


It is essential that your records and information submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) provide details about the symptoms that your medical condition causes you to endure.

You need this information because your ability to get benefits is dependent upon showing that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working in any job for which you are qualified. The more serious your symptoms and the more those symptoms interfere with your life, the greater the chances your claim will be approved.

The Social Security Administration has a Blue Book, or Listing of Impairments, that lists medical conditions that can typically make you eligible for benefits. Simply having these conditions is not enough, though. There is also a list of symptoms that the SSA requires you to have for each condition to entitle you to benefits. The Blue Book sometimes specifies the severity and frequency of the symptoms as well. 

If your medical records and the information you submit doesn't demonstrate you have the particular symptoms the SSA requires, your claim is likely to be denied. A Los Angeles Social Security disability lawyer can help you to provide the kind of proof you need to convince the SSA that your symptoms are severe enough that you should qualify for SSD income. 

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If your initial claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is denied and your request for reconsideration is not successful, you must move on to the next stage of appealing a denial of disability benefits. This stage will require you to attend (in person or via video) a Social Security Disability hearing. At the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) considers whether denial of your benefits application was improper.  

It can take a long time (around a year or so) for this hearing to take place.  That is a long time to wait for disability benefits when you have no income coming in. A Los Angeles Social Security disability benefits lawyer can assist you in taking steps to try to expedite the process so you can hopefully get benefits as quickly as possible. One option: sending a Dire Need Letter. 

Will a Dire Need Letter Help you Expedite Your Social Security Disability Benefits Hearing?


A Dire Need Letter is a letter that you submit explaining why your terrible financial circumstances necessitate an expedited Social Security Disability hearing. You will need to provide details on those financial circumstances, such as an imminent threat of foreclosure or eviction because you are not able to pay rent or mortgage due to your lack if income. 

There is no guarantee that your letter will have any impact at all. Hundreds of these types of letters are sent monthly to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review and it is not possible for every person who is financially struggling to have their hearing expedited. Still, if your letter is convincing and if the right person reads it and is feeling sympathetic, it is possible that you will get your hearing pushed up. In many cases where you have a dire need, it doesn't hurt to try. 

To find out more about how to prepare for your Social Security Disability hearing and to get help with the process of preparing for the hearing and making a convincing case for benefits, contact a Los Angeles disability benefits attorney as soon as possible after your request for review results in a denial of SSD benefits. 

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If you are involved in a car accident and your injuries preclude you from working, you may be concerned about how you will bring income into your household. One thing to consider is whether or not the nature of your injuries has caused you to become disabled enough to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD).  A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can assist you in understanding how SSD works and whether benefits may be available to you. 

Eligibility for Social Security Disability After a Car Accident


Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available only for people with long-term disabling conditions. If your car accident injuries are permanent, will last for at least 12-months, and/or are likely to be fatal, you may be eligible to receive SSD benefits. You will also need to meet the technical requirements for SSD benefits, which vary based on whether you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (which requires you to have limited assets and a low income) or applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (which requires you to have worked long enough to earn required work credits). 

It does not matter who caused your car accident, if you were at fault, or if the collision happened while you were working or on personal time. The key factors in determining whether car accident victims can get SSD benefits or not include meeting the basic eligibility requirements and having a long-term condition that is considered sufficiently severe.

The Social Security Administration has a list of conditions that can make you eligible for benefits if you have certain accompanying systems. If the nature of your injuries is addressed in the Blue Book, then you should get benefits by proving you have the requisite symptoms. If your condition isn't addressed, you will need to demonstrate your car accident injuries are medically equivalent in severity and prevent you from working. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can assist you in providing the proof you need to maximize your chances of getting approved for benefits. 

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The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a lengthy process with multiple steps. It is helpful to know what to expect at each step in this process. A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you to be prepared for the different phases of applying for benefits and can assist you in maximizing your chances of approval at each step in the process.

The first step that you must take is to submit your initial benefits application and have an interview with a Social Security claims representative. You should know what this representative does and what to expect during your interview. 

What is a Social Security Claims Representative? 


A Social Security claims representative is the person who works for your local Social Security Administration office and who does the initial screening to determine if you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The claims representative does not assess the nature of your disability or the extent of your medical condition. That is the job of Disability Determination Services. Instead, the claims representative will find out if you meet the preliminary eligibility requirements. 

To be eligible for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits. To be eligible for SSI, you must have a low enough income and limited resources. Whether or not you are currently working or earning any income will also affect your eligibility for benefits. A Social Security claims representative will obtain background information on your work history and current work status to determine if your claim can move forward.

In an in-person or phone interview, the claims representative will gather all the background info necessary to decide whether your case will move on to DDS. You may wish to talk with a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer to prepare for the types of questions you will be asked by the claims representative and to find out what kinds of evidence you will need to provide for your claim to move forward. 

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When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important that you understand how the process works in terms of the ways in which benefit applications are reviewed. The majority of initial applications for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are denied.  You may have to go through a multi-step process, including appeals, to ultimately get the Social Security Administration to provide the income you need. 

You should talk with a Los Angeles Social Security disability benefits lawyer as early as you can in this process so your attorney can advise you on the steps that are involved and can help you to understand who is making the decisions that affect your benefits eligibility.  One of the most important agencies that will impact whether or not you get benefits is Disability Determination Services. 

What is Disability Determination Services?


Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the agency that reviews the substance of your disability claim to determine if you will be approved for benefits or not. Your claim is first reviewed to make sure you meet the technical requirements, like having enough work credits for SSDI. Once it is determined that you could be eligible if you have a qualifying disability, your case goes to Disability Determination Services. 

It is DDS that will take a look at your medical records to assess whether you have a covered long-term disabling condition that should make you eligible for benefits. If your initial claim is denied, DDS will also be the agency that presides over the first stage of appeals. When you initially appeal your denial of benefits, you make a Request for Reconsideration. This means your claim goes back to DDS where it is reviewed by a different disability claims examiner than the initial person who looked at your records. Only if the second person at DDS denies your application will you need to move on to the next phase of appeals. 

A Los Angeles Social Security disability benefits attorney understands what DDS looks for when you submit a benefits application. Contact a lawyer to get help putting together the strongest possible application to fight for benefits. 

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