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Social Security Disability Attorney In Los Angeles


This is NOT legal advice. This blog provides general information about Social Security Disability cases. To discuss your particular

circumstances and claim, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please feel free to contact Disability Advocates Group at (800) 935-3170

or online if you have any questions regarding your Social Security Disability claim.


DAG Blog

Stay up to date on the latest news in social security disability law.

Applying for disability if you are under age 50

Disability benefits for aged under 50 Disability benefits for aged under 50

Applying for disability if you are under age 50

Just like retirement benefits, the disability benefits are also seen as giving maximized benefits after they have matured. Although the Social Security Administrations requires a person to have sufficient work credits (40 work hours) to be eligible to claim the disability benefits, it is very difficult but not impossible to claim the disability benefits at a younger age.

For people under the age of 50, it may be harder to get disability benefits than an older person. However, some exceptions may apply to the rule if the situation is dire enough for the claimant as determined by the Social Security Administration, SSA.

Blue Book medical impairments and eligibility

One of the essential conditions of winning a disability claim is being able to prove that your disability is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book of medical impairments. The Blue Book’s listings are a group of medical impairments that the SSA will approve automatically for disability as long as the requirements of the listing are fully met.

If you meet the requirements of a listing (for instance, you have childhood cancer or lost limbs), it doesn't matter what age you are -- you can get disability benefits. However, winning a claim based on the listing can be difficult because of the detailed requirements needed to meet the listings.

 Falling under the SSA ‘grids’

Grids are SSA’s criteria of determining if a person can be labeled as disabled due to physical impairments other than medical conditions. The SSA determines this by looking at the person’s age, education, prior work experience and skills sets through an RFC form. If these physical impairments or conditions limit a person’s ability to perform work then they may be considered eligible under disability claims regardless of their age.

However, even if a person is granted the status of completely fit through their RFC, they can still be considered under the level of education. If you are younger than 50 and have limited or no education or if you or your loved one is unable to speak or communicate in English then they may be granted the disability benefits depending on their situation.

Challenging the SSA ‘grids’

For individuals younger than 50 between the age 18-49, they would directly be labeled as not disabled under the ‘grids’ methods. However, this is not the final conclusion. You can still win your disability claims if your attorneys present your case well. If you have any of these impairments then you can appeal for reconsideration for your case through the help of an attorney:

Exertional impairments

Limitations such as these can signicantly limit your ability to learn new skills or perform sufficient work under substantial gainful activity:

  • lift
  • carry
  • push
  • pull
  • stand
  • walk, or
  • sit.

Non-Exertional impairments

Activities or mental activities, such as using your fingers, bending, stooping, following directions, or getting along with others are considered under non-exertional impairments. Although they are not necessarily physical, they do affect a person’s capabilities sufficiently. If you have a non-exertional impairment that relates to your mental function, the SSA will prepare a mental RFC.

If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s and think that you deserve to be granted disability benefits for your impairments, you may contact an attorney to help you on the case.

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How limited education or illiteracy may be considered as eligibility for disability claims

Levels of education and disability claims Levels of education and disability claims

Many people in America never consider of their education as a privilege. Although it is an ingrained right to every citizen, some people may not be educated due to many unavoidable circumstances such as insufficient resources, disease, sickness, family business such as farmers or abusive childhoods such as trafficking or parents not letting the child go to school.

Some disability applicants, although older come to us with no disease but an inability to get jobs to support themselves due to illiteracy or not enough education. Even when these people could perform some king of work in ‘undemanding jobs’, it may not be enough for them to run the household or care for a child (if any).

Most of these type of applicants do not possess high school diplomas, cannot read or write or cannot even communicate in English such as immigrants from urban towns of Europe since world war II.

When considering an applicant’s claim, the first step of the SSA examiner is to look for ‘medical disabilities’. If the claimant does not meet the list of impairments, the SSA would look further to see if the applicant’s physical health prohibits them from performing sufficient work. The SSA would calculate the claimant’s residual functional capacity to see whether they fit into the category of disabled.

Educational levels of claimants

These are the most common educational levels used by the SSA to decide a person’s capability in RFC:

  • Limited or little education;

If the claimant attended school up to the grades between 7th and 11th grade, the SSA labels their education as limited. A person with limited educational background will have some skills such as reasoning, math ability and language skills but do not possess the necessary qualifications to gain a full time job. For instance, a 54 year old man was granted disability benefits on his claims on arthritis and insufficient education. Though he worked prior to the arthritis in a marble factory, his disability and illiteracy now made it impossible to gain a standard job to fulfill his needs.

  • Mediocre or marginal;

If the claimant’s did not study further than grade 6, their education level is defined as marginal by the SSA. A person with marginal education can only perform in unskilled jobs.

  • Illiterate or no education;

A claimant with no education or an ability to read or write anything let alone their own name are considered as illiterate by the SSA. Although an illiterate person can find work in sedentary jobs or ‘undemanding fields’ such as coal mines, crane drivers etc, the illiteracy combined with some kind of minor disability such as lumbar pain makes it impossible for them to perform work.

  • Unable to speak or communicate in English;

Since English is the national and official language in the US, almost every job requires a person to be able to speak English to be able to perform at work. A claimant unable to read, write or speak in English may be considered for disability benefits by the SSA but it doesn’t guarantee that their claim would always be approved.

The SSA would look into how far the claimant went to school, their educational levels and high school grades, teacher’s remarks (if any) etc. If the claimant was a special child, it would be necessary to be able to provide documental proof to the SSA that the child attended a special education program.

This is just an overview of how a limited or no education may enable a person to claim disability benefits. You can consult a professional disability attorney for more guidance.

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What is your residual functional capacity, RFC and how is it determined

Determining residual functional capacity Determining residual functional capacity

What is your residual functional capacity, RFC and how is it determined

The Social Security Administration will not only determine disability benefits on your disability and medical evidence but also look into the details of your work functionalities – whether you are able to work or how much your disability prevents you from working – the SSA looks into all of this.

While determining whether the disability prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity, SGA, the SSA will calculate your Residual Functional Capacity, RFC. The SSA will also calculate how much work activity you can perform whether on a continuing or a regular basis i.e., if you are able to meet the 40 hour a week work requirement, in spite of your disability.

How is residual functional capacity determined?

If you are able to meet the minimum 40 hours a week work requirement and are mentally and physically fit enough to perform substantial gainful activity, SGA then your disability benefits claim will be denied. However, the SSA would determine if you are still capable of performing some sort of work to earn a living, depending on your age, education, physical fitness and prior work experience.

Unfortunately your social security disability claim would only be approved if you cannot perform work under substantial gainful activity, SGA.

How is level of capability determined?

Your physical residual functional capacity report determines if you are able to perform any kind of light, medium or hard work in spite your disability. Here are the various RFC levels that would appear in your RFC form to be evaluated by the SSA:

  • Sedentary work

This is the bare amount of work you could be doing to earn a living. This means that you cannot lift more than 10 pounds at one time but are able to lift or carry things such as files or small tools. A sedentary job does not require too much work standing or lifting heavy subject, it consists of activities that mostly require sitting and an ability to walk and stand occasionally, such as a clerk.

  • Light work

This is considered light work because it involves lifting up to 20 pounds of weight at one time or occasionally while also being able to lift 10 pounds or more frequently. Light work also requires frequent walking and standing, ability to push your arms and legs frequently. Also since you are able to perform light work you can also perform sedentary work.

  • Medium work

This is when you are able to lift up to 50 pounds at a time and you can frequently lift up or carry up to 25 pounds of weight. It would be obvious to state that if you can do medium work then you can also do light and sedentary work.

  • Heavy work

This is when you are able to lift up to 100 pounds at a time or occasionally, and that you can frequently lift or carry up to 50 pounds a week frequently. If you can perform heavy work then you are also able to perform sedentary, light and medium work.

  • Very heavy work

Any activity involving you to carry more than 100 pounds at one time and lift up or carry 50 pounds occasionally would be considered as very heavy work.

Apart from the levels of work, your RFC will also determine if you are able to stoop, bend your fingers and remember instructions given for a specific task.

If the disability examiner decides that you are unfit to continue work on your prior job they will look into whether you can perform work in another type of job depending on your current abilities and health status including age, education, skills and ability to learn new skills. If the disability examiner finds out that you are unfit to perform any kind of activity to gain substantial gainful work hours then you would be considered eligible for the disability benefits.

It can be a very difficult for you to think of and gather all the necessary points for your RFC. You can consult a disability attorney to provide you legal guidance specific to your situation.

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How does SSA determine your mental or physical ability to work

RFC forms by SSA RFC forms by SSA

How does SSA determine your mental or physical ability to work

To deem eligible for the disability benefits, the SSA would determine if you can perform substantial gainful activity, SGA through the Residual Functional Capacity, RFC.

Your RFC will be an assessment of your limitations and activities you can or cannot perform. You will have to prove to the SSA that you are unable to continue working or doing work without keeping up with work quality as in the past by filing and submitting the RFC form to the SSA.

To determine your capabilities, a disability claims examiner would analyze your roles in the past job and determine if you can still perform the same way. The disability examiner will work closely with a medical professional at the Disability Determination Services, DDS to analyze your capabilities.

How the RFC works?

For the vocational expert working together with a physician, it needs to be clear how your present impairments limit you from performing on your past jobs. For instance, if you worked at cargo and lifted 40 pounds of material daily, the exertion level of your past job is defined under medium difficulty. For your vocational expert or a physician to state that you are unable to continue that job, they would need medical evidence to prove that you can no longer lift more than 25 pounds on a regular basis let alone 40 pounds daily.

So, in addition to comparing your past and present capabilities regarding your job description the vocational expert or the administrative law judge, ALJ (in case of an ALJ hearing) would compare each capability function-to-function as stated in the RFC form.

How the job description or job title affects the RFC decision?

During your hearing, your disability attorney will ask you important details about your work, such as the job title, your main duties listed in the job description, and the physical exertion levels or requirements of the job, such as how much you were required to lift and how often, if the work involved pushing or pulling, how long you were on your feet, the number of hours you worked, and whether you were able to sit down or take a rest when needed.

So, it is imperative that the vocational expert uses the right titles for your job. The vocational expert would choose a title from the list of Dictionary of Occupational Titles, DOT that suits your job functionalities the best. However, similarly titled jobs may be having different descriptions from your work such as a clerk managing mails and notices in a company may be stated as secretary of mail duties in another. This will adversely affect your RFC application if the duties considered under a similarly titled job were never required of you at your workplace.

This situation is very common when claimants fail to understand the importance of communicating with their vocational experts openly and provide all the necessary details of their work place functionalities that they may consider trivial. It would matter a lot in your long-term application, so you should consider talking to a disability attorney to work closely with you and your vocational expert to make sure that your application is filed perfectly.

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Disability benefits for my parent with Dementia

disability benefits for my parent with dementia disability benefits for my parent with dementia

Seeing your parents not recognize you is bad enough emotionally – getting the disability benefits denied for them takes a lot of financial toll on the family too.

Although dementia patients develop the disability at a later stage in their lives, sometimes the disease can develop in your 50s as well. People with dementia slowly forget things and the worse thing is they don’t even remember that they are forgetting things.

Fortunately, patients with dementia who have learning, memory, concentration, or language problems can be granted the benefits if they meet the medical requirements in the Social Security Blue Book of medical eligibility requirements.

Dementia often affects a person’s integral mental functioning, including problems in taking care of oneself, memory loss, impaired judgment, language skills and more. The most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s, head injury or a brain hemorrhage. Most of these symptoms last longer than a year and even get worse since it is a progressive and irrevocable disease.

If the disease prevents you from going to or performing at work for more than 12 months then you may qualify for social security disability in the list of mental impairments. Although the disease mostly develops at later stages in life as stated above, you can also apply for disability benefits even if you are not in your retirement age when the disease strikes. Once you reach the retirement age (62 to 67) your disability benefits would automatically be converted to retirement benefits.

How to know if you qualify for disability on dementia

The Social Security Administration will analyze your disability application through a thorough check of your medical records, physician statements and any other documental evidence you submitted with the application. If your symptoms meet the official list of disability impairments in the SSA’s Blue Book of impairments then you would be eligible to receive the benefits.

The list of impairments most commonly associated with dementia are listed under neurocognitive disorders. To meet the eligibility criteria, you need medical evidence to show that your disability meets the following criteria:

  • Understand, remember, or apply information;
  • Interact with others;
  • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace;
  • Adapt or manage oneself;
  • Delusions or hallucinations;
  • Disorganized thinking (speech); or
  • Grossly disorganized behavior or catatonia
  • Planning and judgment;
  • Learning and remembering (it can significantly affect performance at work and social life);

If your records indicate that you have extreme limitations in any of the following areas, the SSA will determine whether these symptoms have an adverse or severe affect on your mental health or lifestyle.

  • understanding, remembering, or using information (understanding instructions, learning new things, applying new knowledge to practical tasks)
  • concentrating on tasks and being able to complete tasks (at a reasonable pace)
  • adapting or managing oneself (being aware of normal hazards and taking appropriate precautions, adapting to changes, having practical personal skills), and
  • interacting with others

You will need to provide sufficient medical evidence to prove that these symptoms are serious and persistent i.e., you must have a medically documented history of the disease, diagnosis, symptoms and affects for the past 2 years. If the disease has just been diagnosed you can state so.

You can consult a social security attorney for more detailed guidance or call us at

800-935-3170

 

 

 

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Survivor benefits of a spouse of disabled person

survivor benefits of a spouse survivor benefits of a spouse

Although social security benefits may be your largest bet in terms of insurance amount that you could receive if and when a disability strikes – what matters more is how and when you claim these benefits could make a huge difference.

The most important point to note is when you claim your benefits at your full retirement age you will get full benefits without any reduced payouts or cuts in your benefits.

Many individuals act on friend’s advice regarding their social security benefits. Thankfully, many seek to confirm the advice given by their friends from the social security attorneys. This prevents them from losing a lot in their benefits. That is why our attorneys have compiled information regarding survivor’s benefits in this piece of article.

Here is how much amount the widow(ers)  would be entitled to in survivor benefits under specific roles:

Spouse

If the spouse of a person was entitle to and was receiving the SSDI benefits on their disability, then the widow or widower may be entitled to the benefits under survivor benefits. That would be true only if the spouse receiving SSDI benefits had a ‘currently insured’ status.

Although the widow or widower would almost always be entitled to some benefits as survivors also called ‘auxiliary benefits’ there are many ways in which they can claim it.

Here is how the spouse would change benefits under each role:

  • The widow or widower care for a child under the age of 16 years old who receives survivor SSDI benefits from the deceased spouse.
    • The widow(ers) will receive 75% of your deceased spouse’s SSDI benefit.
  • The widow(ers) are at least 50 years old and disabled, and your disability started before your spouse died or within seven years of the spouse’s death (unless they were receiving mother's or father's benefits).
    • The widow(ers) will receive 71.5% of your deceased spouse’s SSDI benefit.
  • The widow(ers) are at least 60 years old but not yet full retirement age.
    • The widow(ers) will receive 71.5% - 99% of the deceased spouse’s SSDI benefit.
  • The widow(ers) are at least full retirement age.

 

Exceptions on surviving spouse’s benefits

  • The spouse remarried

If the spouse of the deceased person remarried before the age of 60 they would not be entitled to their ex-spouse’s benefits as widow(ers).

  • The spouse claimed his/her own social security benefits

In many cases, if the spouse of a deceased person may have 40 work credits on their own work record. Hence, they would be able to gain a much larger amount through their own benefits than through their spouse’s. The SSA administration or your attorney will automatically make sure that you receive larger benefits.

  • Working may reduce the benefits

If the surviving spouse is earning a living through a current job, then their survivor benefits from the deceased spouse’s social security may be reduced until they retire themselves.

  • Caring for a child affects the spouse’s benefits

If the surviving spouse was entitled to survivor benefits under child care such as in case of ex-spouses or widowers that remarried but are caring for the child of the deceased spouse, then they will only continue to receive the benefits until the child turns adult. If the child is disabled permanently then the spouse would continue to receive the benefits under child care until the child remains disabled.

  • The 9-month marriage condition

The SSA administration has made it a condition that in order to be eligible to receive benefits as survivors the marriage must have lasted at least 9 months in case of same citizenship of both spouses. In case of dual citizenship the surviving spouse would only be entitled if the marriage lasted to more than 10 years.

A few exceptions to this rule would be if the deceased spouse died in a sudden or violent accident.

It may be very complicated to know the right way to claim your benefits as survivors due to all the varying rules for each situation. You may talk to a social security attorney for a detailed guidance.

 

 

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Social security changes happening in 2019

Social Security changes in 2019 See what the year 2019 has brought to the social security

Social security changes happening in 2019

 The year 2019 will mark a lot of optimal changes for the social security beneficiaries. Good news is, even when some of the changes like an increase in taxable income seem doubtful as positive, most of the changes are in your favor!

Let’s dive in and learn what 2019 has brought to the social security beneficiaries:

  1. Beneficiaries are getting a raise!

Thanks to the cost-of-living, COLA adjustments, the Social Security Administration has decided to give beneficiaries a raise – the beneficiaries will be getting a 2.8% increase in the amount of the monthly disability benefits. The premium amount of an average person’s benefits will increase to almost $40 increasing from $1422 to $1461.

  1. Full retirement age will continue to rise

Sadly in many cases if you make the mistake of claiming your social security benefits before you reach the maximum age of retirement, you would lose a lot of amount in the process. Whereas, if you wait up till your retirement age (minimum 62 and maximum 67) you can get the maximum amount of benefits you could receive from the SSA.

  1. Social security disability thresholds are increasing

This is by far the best beneficiaries ever got. About 10 million Americans are on the receiving end of the Social Security benefits each year. The legally blind will now receive upto $2040 per month, a threshold raise of $70 per month since 2018. For the non-blind, the benefits threshold has raised to $1220 per month. The amount could be as great as $1461 in some cases.

  1. You can view your COLA notice details online

Previously many beneficiaries lost a lot of important notices from the SSA or were straight away denied benefits if the mail did not reach them. Although not responding to the SSA’s queries may still cancel the benefits, the beneficiaries may now view their notices and current benefit’s status online at mysocialsecurity.

*Note that notices would still be sent through mail for the year 2019, but beneficiaries will have the option to choose from online or mail notices from 2020.

  1. The $16,122 social security bonus

If you are still a few years ahead of your retirement and are working, then claiming your benefits before the retirement age i.e., 62 would cause you to lose $1 in benefits for every $2 your earn through work. Although in some cases you don’t have the option to delay claiming your benefits even at the cost of losing a substantial amount by claiming it before the age of retirement, this is for those who can still choose to wait before they claim their benefits.

Once you learn how to maximize your benefits, you would be able to earn that additional amount of up to $16,122 by choosing the right time to claim your benefits.

You can contact a professional social security attorney who can guide you to a lucrative strategy for claiming your benefits.

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Why SSDI Benefits are Earned Benefits

If you have become unable to work due to a severe long-term disability, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Provided that you have worked long enough to earn a sufficient number of work credits, you should apply through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

You should not hesitate to apply for these benefits and to fight vigorously if your claim for benefits is denied because SSDI benefits are earned benefits. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer will help you to do everything possible to make your case so you can obtain the benefits that you have worked hard to earn. 

SSDI Benefits are Earned Benefits -- And You Deserve to Receive Them

SSDI benefits are considered earned benefits because you earn eligibility for these benefits by paying into the Social Security Disability insurance system. This is very similar to the way in which you pay into the Social Security retirement system so you can get money from Social Security during your senior years. 

When you work, money is taken out of your paycheck specifically to fund the disability benefits program. This is different from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is funded through general funds rather than through dedicated payroll tax deductions.  The money you pay in for SSDI supports the program and is sort of like paying insurance premiums for which you get protection if you become disabled.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration denies many claims for SSDI benefits despite the fact you have earned eligibility by working. If you are severely disabled and you want help qualifying for the benefits that you earned, you should reach out to a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer as soon as you can. 

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Understanding the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

If you have had your claim for Social Security Disability benefits denied, it is important that you understand how the appeals process works. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can provide the help you need to navigate the process of appealing a benefits denial so you can maximize the chances of being able to obtain the income you need. 

How Does the Social Security Disability Appeals Process Work?

When you receive notification that your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, you have a limited amount of time to take action. There are multiple different stages of appeals that your claim can ultimately end up going through, but the first step is to submit your request for reconsideration by the deadline.

When you submit a request for reconsideration, a different disability claims examiner looks at your application. Hopefully, this review of your documentation and information will result in a different outcome so you will be approved for benefits after the first stage of appeals. 

If you receive another benefits denial, the next phase is a disability benefits hearing. It can take around a year for this hearing to actually take place, and you may have to attend in person or via video conference depending upon where you live. You'll have the chance to present evidence backing up your claim for benefits to an administrative law judge (ALJ), which is a judge that works for the Social Security Administration. 

If your benefits claim is still denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the appeals board that is part of the Social Security Administration and can ultimately appeal to federal court in the final stage of appeals.

A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you with every step in the process by assisting you in meeting deadlines and presenting evidence to maximize the chances of your claim being approved. Contact an attorney as soon as you can when your claim for benefits is denied. 

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What are Common Mistakes When Apply for Disability?

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is very important if you're not able to earn a living due to having a severe disabling condition. Unfortunately, many people are denied benefits when they submit an initial application. Often, this is because the Social Security Administration makes qualifying for benefits difficult. However, you can also be denied benefits because you make mistakes when you apply.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to avoid mistakes that could cause you to lose out on disability income you need. You should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to try to maximize the chances your claim for benefits will be approved.

Common Mistakes When Applying for Disability Benefits

Some of the most common mistakes that applicants make when applying for Social Security Disability income include:

  • Applying for the wrong program: One of the biggest mistakes made by candidates for Social Security disability benefits is applying for the wrong benefits program. You should apply for SSDI if you have earned a sufficient number of work credits to qualify, and apply for SSI if you have a limited household income, few assets, and haven't worked enough to qualify for SSDI.
  • Failing to submit necessary medical evidence: You need to provide clear documentation that you have a qualifying condition and associated symptoms if you want to be eligible for benefits.
  • Not appealing a benefits denial: More than half of all initial benefits applications are initially denied. Appealing allows you more chances to make your case that you need benefits. If you don't appeal by the deadline, you either won't get benefits or will need to start the process over. 

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to avoid these and other errors that could cost you your chance at obtaining disability benefits. Give us a call today to find out more about how an attorney can help you. 

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Can You Get Disability and Unemployment Benefits?

When you cannot work because of a disability, it is important to determine how to maximize the benefits that are available to you. When you are trying to figure out how to get as much income as possible, you may wonder whether you can get both disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time.

The law can be tricky regarding different ways to maximize your benefits when you are disabled so you should strongly consider reaching out to a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer to help you understand the types of income you can receive. An attorney can help you determine if you may be able to get both disability benefits and unemployment benefits.

Obtaining Disability Benefits and Unemployment Benefits

Technically, there are no express prohibitions in the law that would stop you from obtaining both disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time.

However, these different benefits programs are intended for different purposes. Unemployment benefits are supposed to provide income while you are out of work and looking for a job, while disability benefits are supposed to be available to you if you are too disabled to work at any job for which you are qualified.

You could, however, obtain unemployment benefits and disability income if you are too disabled to work at any job for which you are qualified but you are still actively searching for some type of job that you could do despite your disability.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if it is possible for you to obtain both disability and unemployment benefits given the specific circumstances of your situation. Contact an attorney for help as soon as possible to try to maximize the benefits you receive when you are disabled. 

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What’s the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Workers’ Comp Disability?

Becoming too disabled to work can be a frightening experience as you try to figure out how to ensure you have the income you need to support yourself. The good news is, there are options out there to receive disability income. However, navigating all your different options can be difficult.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine which benefits programs you are most likely to qualify for to provide you with monthly income when you cannot work. For example, two of your options include Social Security Disability and workers' compensation disability. 

Workers' Compensation Disability vs. Social Security Disability

Workers' compensation and Social Security both provide disability income but work differently. 

Workers' comp benefits are available for long-term and short-term disability, but only if the disability is directly caused by performance of work tasks. Partial disability benefits are also available if your disabling condition still allows you to work but for less compensation than you were receiving before becoming disabled. 

Social Security Disability, on the other hand is available only if you have a long-term disabling condition lasting twelve months or longer. Benefits are not available for any short-term conditions and you must be totally unable to work at any job for which you would be qualified. 

There are other important differences too, including in qualifying requirements and in the amount you receive in monthly income. If you are not certain which disability benefits program is the right one for you, or if you want help applying for disability income, contact a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer today. 

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How Do You Know If You Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability benefits provide a safety net for people who are too disabled to be able to work. Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration can provide you with monthly income -- but only if you are able to qualify.

Determining if you can qualify for benefits can be a challenge, but a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help. You should reach out to an attorney as soon as you think you may be eligible for benefits so you can get the assistance you need to apply and prove your claim. 

How to Determine if You Qualify for Social Security Disability

To determine if you can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, it's important to consider all the criteria to become eligible. For example, to be eligible for SSD benefits:

  • You need a long-term disabling condition that has lasted a year, that will last that long, or that will be fatal. 
  • You need to be unable to work because of your condition. You can't be engaged in substantial gainful activity, and your condition must prevent you from doing any job for which you're qualified. 
  • You need to have met requirements for earning work credits to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, or you need to have limited income and financial resources to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

You also need to meet very specific criteria regarding the type of condition you have and the associated symptoms. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer will help you to evaluate whether your current medical condition is sufficient to qualify you for benefits.

If you should be able to qualify, your lawyer will help you to prove it so you can maximize the chances of getting benefits. 

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What Should You Do After Getting a Social Security Benefits Denial?

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is not uncommon for your benefits application to be denied. In fact, more applicants get a denial initially than have their claim for disability income accepted.

The important thing is not to give up after your benefits are denied. Instead, the first thing you should do is to contact a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer who will help you to appeal the denial. 

What to Do After Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied

When your Social Security Disability benefits claim has been denied, contacting an attorney right away is important because:

  • Your attorney can help you to understand the reason for the denial. For example, perhaps you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) when you didn't have enough work credits to qualify and you should have instead applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 
  • Your attorney can help you to take action to appeal within the deadline. You can appeal your denial, but you must act quickly so the time limit for appealing does not pass. If you don't appeal in time, you may have to start the entire application process over.
  • Your attorney can represent you throughout the appeals process. There are actually four stages of appeals that you could go through after your Social Security Disability benefits claim is denied. 

An experienced Los Angeles disability benefits attorney will work hard to help you maximize the chances of getting your benefits claim approved even after an initial denial. Contact an attorney today to find out how a knowledgeable legal advocate can work to get you the benefits you deserve. 

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Why is it So Hard to Qualify for Social Security Disability?

If you've become too disabled to work and started to look into qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits, you'll likely be dismayed to see the statistics. You'll probably come across data showing that more than half of all applications are denied, which can be frightening if you're counting on Social Security to provide you with income. 

While it is undeniably hard to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a Los Angeles disability attorney can help you to take action to try to get the benefits you need. You should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to maximize your chances of success. 

Why is Qualifying for Social Security Disability so Difficult

Qualifying for Social Security benefits is difficult for several different reasons:

  • The Social Security Administration has a really strict definition of disabled. You need to have a long-term medical condition that will last a year or longer or that will end in death. The condition has to meet specific criteria, such as being listed on the Social Security's listing of impairments, and you need to have specific symptoms. If your condition isn't a listed one, you'll have to show it is as severe. 
  • The Social Security Administration is strict about fighting fraud. This is why you need to provide detailed medical records showing proof of your ailment. 

A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you to submit a detailed, comprehensive application that will maximize your chances of getting benefits. We can also help you to appeal if your initial claim is denied, so give us a call as soon as possible when you need assistance in trying to get Social Security benefits for your disability. 

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277 Hits

What Could Cause Your Social Security Disability Benefits to End

If you're counting on your Social Security Disability benefits to provide your household income because you are not able to work, it's imperative that you understand how to maintain continued eligibility for benefits.

A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you to ensure you remain eligible for the income you need by advising you on the types of things that could cause your Social Security Disability benefits to come to an end. You should contact an attorney if you are concerned you might do something to jeopardize your benefits so you can learn about your rights and obligations and protect the money you have coming in.

What Could Cause Your Social Security Disability Benefits to End?

Your Social Security Disability benefits could end for several different reasons including:

  • Failing to comply with Social Security requests. If the Social Security Administration conducts a continuing disability review and you are asked to undergo an exam or provide information, you could lose your disability benefits if you fail to follow through on what's required of you. 
  • Improvement in your medical condition. If you improve and you are no longer so disabled that you cannot work due to your medical issue, you may become ineligible for benefits.  
  • Returning to work. If you begin working again and earn too much income, you could lose your benefits. The rules for attempting to work will vary depending upon whether you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer will help you to understand these and other situations where you could potentially lose benefits you were counting on, so reach out to an attorney if you're concerned about the future of your disability benefits. 

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256 Hits

Should You Try Working While on Social Security Disability?

If you receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you likely qualified for these benefits because you have a very serious medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to work. 

While these benefits can provide you with monthly income that you need if you are disabled, you may become tired of not having a job and of having limited income come in. If you do, you may decide you want to try to branch out and find some type of work you can do. 

Trying to work while on disability benefits can sometimes make sense, but you could also jeopardize your benefits if you get a job and start earning income. Before you decide to attempt to return to the workforce, you should reach out to a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer for help. 

Should You Try to Work While Receiving Disability Benefits?

Whether you should attempt to work while receiving disability income will vary based on many factors, but one of the most important is whether you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

The rules for working while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance are different than rules for working while receiving SSI, and you may have more opportunity to try to return to work while getting SSDI benefits than SSI income.  There is, in fact, a lengthy trial work period that you can take advantage of when on SSDI without putting the future of your benefits at risk.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer will help you to understand when working could jeopardize your benefits and what your options are to attempt to return to the workforce, so contact an attorney before getting a job.

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267 Hits

Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability Because of Schizophrenia?

If you suffer from schizophrenia, chances are good that this condition significantly interferes with your ability to work and may make working impossible. If this is the case, it is imperative that you talk to a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer. 

You should be able to qualify for disability benefits on the basis of your schizophrenia but you will need to be able to prove that your condition is a long-term one that prevents you from doing any job for which you are qualified and that your condition meets the Social Security Administration's strict definition of disabled.  An attorney can help you to take the necessary steps to maximize your chances of getting benefits. 

Qualifying for Disability Benefits Because of Schizophrenia 

Schizophrenia is considered to be a type of mental disorder, which means it is listed in Section 12.00 of the Social Security Administration's "blue book." The "blue book" lists disorders or medical conditions that can typically be considered severe enough to allow a person to qualify for benefits, provided that individual has certain symptoms associated with the listed disorder. 

Schizophrenia is listed in section 12.03 of the blue book and the blue book indicates you should be able to qualify based on this condition if you have a medical diagnosis of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, or disorganized behavior or catatonia. If you have medical documentation of any one of those symptoms and you are also limited in understanding, remembering or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating; or adapting and managing yourself, you should be eligible for benefits. 

You can also qualify if you are diagnosed with schizophrenia that is considered serious and persistent, you have proof of ongoing medical treatment and you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your daily environment. 

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you prove you meet the criteria for being disabled based on schizophrenia, so give us a call for help as soon as possible if you want to qualify for disability income. 

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265 Hits

Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability After a Heart Attack?

Suffering a heart attack can be a life changing event. A heart attack may leave you out of commission during your recovery period and big lifestyle changes are typically necessary as a result of a heart attack. 

In many cases, you will be unable to work during your recovery period after the heart attack, which can add to your stress considerably. The good news is, you may potentially be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits to provide income to support you and your loved ones. However, you will not automatically receive these benefits just because you had a heart attack. 

A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you to determine if you should be eligible for disability income on the basis of your condition. You should give us a call to find out about getting benefits as soon as you can after your heart attack so we can work with you to prove your eligibility and maximize the chances your benefits claim will be approved. 

Qualifying for Disability Benefits After a Heart Attack

Although a heart attack is a very serious medical event, it's a one-time event and Social Security Disability benefits are available for people with a long-term disabling condition. A heart attack, therefore, is not what qualifies you for benefits.

Instead, you may have an underlying heart condition that could make you eligible to receive disability income. For example, coronary artery disease is one of the most common causes of a heart attack. Coronary artery disease could qualify you for disability income under the ischemic heart disease listing in section 4.00 of Social Security's "blue book." 

The blue book is a listing of impairments that typically make you eligible for benefits. Since ischemic heart disease is listed, if you have this condition and can prove you have the associated symptoms, you should be eligible for benefits. A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can assist you in proving eligibility so you can get income coming into your home during your recovery. 

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245 Hits

Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability with Back Problems?

Back problems affect millions of people and can be severely disabling. It is very common for back problems to interfere with your ability to work and it can be very stressful if you have a bad back and cannot earn income to support your family because of it. 

If you have back problems, you could potentially receive Social Security Disability benefits. However, because back problems are so common and many types of problems are hard to prove, actually qualifying for disability income can be difficult. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can assist you in submitting an application that maximizes the chances of getting benefits, so reach out to an attorney as soon as you have become too disabled to work.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Back Problems

If your back problems are listed on Social Security's list of impairments, then you should be able to get disability benefits based on those health issues as long as you cannot work and can prove you have the specific symptoms the Social Security Administration requires for your impairment. 

The list of impairments is commonly called the "blue book" and it is divided into sections. Most back problems would generally be found within Section 1.00, which is the part of the blue book that deals with disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Disorders of the spine are listed as a covered condition in Section 1.00 of the blue book, as are soft tissue injuries.  

You'll need solid medical proof to show you have a listed disorder and the necessary symptoms so you can get approved for benefits. If your back issues aren't listed, you have to prove that your health issues are medically equivalent in severity to listed conditions. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer will assist you in making a strong claim for benefits so get the help you need to maximize your chances of your claim being approved. 

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283 Hits

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Disability Advocates Group is a law firm dedicated to serving individuals who have become disabled and are seeking to obtain the benefits they need and deserve. At Disability Advocates Group, we specialize in representing disabled clients in their claims for Social Security Disability Benefits.

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