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.

Can I Get Disability Benefits with Cancer

Cancer can affect different body systems and often the disease, as well as the treatment, make it impossible for you to continue to work and support your family. After a cancer diagnosis, you will need to determine if you can qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. If you believe you are eligible, you'll need to submit an application to the Social Security Administration demonstrating that you have a qualifying medical condition.

In some cases, patients with cancer will be eligible for expedited approval of their benefits claim through the Compassionate Allowances program. However, not every cancer patient is eligible for benefits and not every application for benefits will be approved. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability attorney can assist you in understanding the rules for getting disability income and in submitting the strongest application possible.

Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer

The Social Security Administration has added Section 13 to its Listing of Impairments to specifically set forth the rules for when someone with cancer may be eligible for disability benefits. The SSA lists different types of cancer which could result in you becoming eligible to receive disability income including but not limited to:

  • Soft tissue cancers affecting the head and the neck
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Cancer of the salivary glands
  • Cancer of the thyroid glands
  • Breast cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Cancer of the nervous system
  • Cancer of the esophagus or stomach
  • Cancer of the small or large intestine
  • Liver or gallbladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Testicular cancer

If you have these or other types of cancers, you will need to determine if you have the specific symptoms or diagnostic test results outlined in the SSA's Listing of Impairments. You'll also need to submit your medical records to prove eligibility for benefits.

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can assist you in determining eligibility, applying for benefits, and appealing if your application is denied. Call today to learn more.

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Can I Get Disability Benefits with a Mental Disorder?

There are many severe mental disorders which can affect your ability to work. Some of these disorders are easier to diagnose than others and some have a more profound impact on your life than others. If you have detailed medical records showing you have a condition that is severe enough to prevent you from working, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Unfortunately, many people with legitimate claims for SSD benefits have their claims denied. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can provide you with assistance in fighting for benefits or in appealing if you have sought benefits on the basis of your mental disorder and been refused.

Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for a Mental Disorder?

Not everyone with a mental disorder qualifies for Social Security Disability. Your disorder must have lasted a year, be likely to last that long, or be expected to be terminal. Your disorder must also be considered severe enough to substantially impact your life and ability to do any job you're qualified for.

The Social Security Administration has listed certain mental disorders which, when they cause specified symptoms, are usually going to make you eligible for benefits. This list, which is found in Section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments, includes:

  • Certain organic mental disorders 
  • Schizophrenia
  • Affective disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Addiction disorders
  • Autism and other developmental disorders

You will need to provide proof you not only have one or more of these specific mental health issues, but also that you exhibit symptoms associated with the disorder with the frequency required by the SSA. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can offer you assistance in determining if you can qualify for benefits and can help you to provide proof of the severity of your mental problems. Call today to get an attorney working for you to help you get the benefits you deserve.

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Can I Get Disability Benefits with a Neurological Disorder?

Neurological disorders frequently make it difficult or impossible to work in any position. Depending upon the type and severity of your neurological disorder, you may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits. However, the definition of disabled set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a narrow one and the process for applying for benefits can be challenging.

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if your neurological condition is likely to be considered severe enough that you could make a successful benefits claim. If your condition is sufficiently severe, your attorney will help you try to put together a solid application reducing the possibility benefits will be denied to you.

Can Your Neurological Disorder Qualify You for Social Security Disability?

The SSA defines "disabled" to include severe conditions lasting 12 months, or likely to be terminal. There are specific listed conditions which are usually severe enough to make someone eligible for benefits, provided the disabling condition is sufficiently long-term and the patient exhibits a defined set of symptoms that go along with that medical problem.

Neurological disorders which can qualify you for benefits are listed in Section 11.00 of the SSA's Listing of Impairments. Some of the disorders and health issues which can result in you qualifying for benefits include:

  • Epilepsy, including both convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy
  • Accidents affecting the central nervous system. 
  • Brain tumors
  • Parkinson's syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal cord lesions or nerve root lesions
  • Multiple sclerosis or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anterior poliomyelitis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Subacute combined cord degeneration causing disorganization of motor function
  • Cerebral trauma
  • Syringomyelia 
  • Other degenerative diseases not otherwise listed

If you have these conditions, you will need to prove your diagnosis and associated symptoms to receive disability benefits. A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer can provide you with help in trying to apply for benefits and in appealing in case your benefits are denied. Call today to get your application process started.

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Can I Get Disability Benefits with an Endocrine Disorder?

Endocrine disorders can cause hormone imbalances, which can in turn cause complications throughout the body. In many cases, endocrine disorders cause symptoms which are severe enough that the symptoms interfere with the ability to earn a living. When this happens, the sufferer of the endocrine disorder should be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) income.

Unfortunately, actually qualifying for SSD benefits is very difficult, even for people with legitimate claims. A Los Angeles disability attorney can help those who believe they are eligible to fight for the benefits they deserve. If you have an endocrine disorder, call an attorney today for help putting in a benefits application or appealing the denial of a legitimate claim.

Qualifying for SSD Income With an Endocrine Disorder

The Social Security Administration has a “blue book” or Listing of Impairments, which includes medical conditions that usually are severe enough to make you eligible for disability benefits. Each listed condition has certain symptoms which must accompany it in order for a patient with that condition to get benefits.

Section 9.00 provides information on endocrine disorders. The SSA does not specifically list endocrine conditions that can qualify you for benefits, but rather considers the effects of the hormone condition in determining if your medical problems are severe enough to entitle you to disability income. For example:

  • If you have a pituitary gland disorder causing recurrent dehydration, eligibility for benefits could be determined under Section 6.00.
  • If you have thyroid gland disorders, the SSA would consider whether the disorder has called cardiac dysfunction, weight loss, strokes, cognitive limitations, anxiety, or mood disorders. 
  • If you have a parathyroid gland disorder, the SSA would consider whether you have osteoporosis, kidney failure, or muscle spasms
  • If you have adrenal gland disorders, the SSA may consider whether you qualify for benefits on the basis of osteoporosis, repeated bone fractures, recurrent arrhythmias, weight loss, or mood disorders.

Because the endocrine disorder itself is not usually the specific reason for your eligibility for disability benefits, determining if you can qualify for SSD income due to a hormonal problem can be complicated. A Los Angeles disability income lawyer can help. Call an attorney for advice today to get your application started or to get help appealing a denial of a benefits claim. 

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Can I Get Disability Benefits with a Skin Disorder?

Skin disorders may sometimes interfere with your ability to get a job and earn a living. If you have a hereditary, congenital, or acquired skin disorder that affects your working ability, you should determine if you can qualify for disability income from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

A Los Angeles disability income lawyer can help you to determine if your skin disorder is severely disabling enough to make you eligible for monthly income from the SSA. If you have a severe skin condition and want to try to get benefits, we can also assist you in putting together a strong claim so you reduce the chances of an application denial.

Can You Qualify for Disability Income Because of a Skin Disorder

The SSA limits eligibility for disability benefits to people with severely disabling long-term conditions. As a shortcut to help determine eligibility, a Listing of Impairments has been created identifying some of the conditions which commonly entitle an applicant to benefits. Section 8.00 identifies the types of skin disorders which can make you eligible for disability income. These conditions include:

  • Ichthyosis
  • Bullous disease
  • Chronic skin infections or chronic infections of the mucous membranes
  • Dermatitis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
  • Genetic disorders causing photosensitivity
  • Severe burns

When you have one of these skin disorders, you will need to check the Listing of Impairments to see if you have accompanying symptoms which SSA has indicated must accompany the particular medical problem. If you have the required symptoms and can prove it, you should be eligible to get benefits. Unfortunately, more than half of all claims for disability benefits are denied and many of those claims are legitimate ones.

A Los Angeles disability income lawyer can help you to reduce the chances of a denial by putting together a strong application, and can assist with the appeals process if your claim is denied. Call today to find out how we can assist you if you need disability income due to your skin disorder.

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Is Social Security Disability Back Pay Paid in a Lump Sum?

The Social Security Administration may take a long time approving your claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).  When you are eligible for disability benefits through either of these two programs, you may be entitled to back pay as a result of the delay in having your application processed. The back pay may total hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  This money may be necessary to help you pay off past due balances and get caught up on bills that were hard for you to pay as you waited for benefits to be approved. b2ap3_thumbnail_money.jpg

The back pay may be awarded to you in one large lump sum for the total amount due, or it may be awarded to you in installment payments. The method of payment depends upon whether you are approved for SSI or SSDI. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to make the determination of whether SSI or SSDI is the best choice for you and will work to try to expedite the processing of your application so you can get paid as quickly as possible. Your lawyer will also help you to understand what to expect when it comes to receiving back pay. 

How Will your Social Security Disability Back Payments be Made?

When you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you are entitled to payments based on your disability onset date. The benefits start to be paid five months after the onset of your qualifying disability.  If your application took longer than this to process and you are owed back payments, you will receive the money that is due to you in one large lump-sum payment. 

If you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead of SSDI, you may receive a lump sum payment or you may receive smaller installment payments. The method by which you receive your payments depends upon whether the back pay owed to you is more than three times the maximum monthly SSI benefits available under federal law. If the back pay exceeds this amount, you are paid partial installment payments. These payments are made at six month intervals and a total of three payments are made. The first and second payment cannot exceed three times the maximum monthly benefit. The remainder of the back pay is paid in the third installment payment, regardless of the amount. 

A disability benefits lawyer will help you to determine which of these two different payment methods applies to you.  Call an attorney as soon as possible for help moving your benefits claim forward.

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Should You Appeal an Established Onset Date for Disability Benefits?

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the established onset date (EOD) must be determined. The EOD is the date at which you officially developed a qualifying disability that the SSA believes makes you eligible for benefits.  The EOD is sometimes very clear: for example, it may be the date when you suffer a debilitating accident that causes severe impairment. In other cases, like when you have a progressive physical or mental illness, the question of when you became too severely disabled to work may be a subjective one since it can be difficult to determine exactly when your condition became bad enough to get benefits.  b2ap3_thumbnail_2010-1244710-m.jpg

You will need to provide information on your condition when you apply for benefits so the SSA can determine your established onset date. The date that you determine you are eligible for benefits is called the Alleged Onset Date (AOD).  In some cases, the SSA may determine that your EOD occurred at a very different time than you believe you became disabled (the EOD differs from your AOD). When this happens, you can appeal your established onset date. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to determine if you should appeal and, if so, can assist in making arguments to convince the SSA that you became disabled at a different time than the agency has determined. 

Appealing an established onset date can make sense because you can get benefits sooner (and more back pay) if your established onset date was earlier. When you are receiving SSDI benefits, you may also be eligible for Medicare coverage after 24 months.  The sooner the SSA determines you were eligible for benefits, the sooner this coverage can begin. 

There are a number of reasons why an EOD may be incorrect. For example, the SSA generally considers whether you were were engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA) when determining your EOD. If you were engaged in SGA, you are not eligible for benefits during that time period. SGA is defined as earning above a set amount (which, as of 2015, is set at $1,090 per month).  There may be situations in which you received income when you were not actually working (such as when you are paid on a contract basis) and the SSA may set your EOD incorrectly based on this type of discrepancy. 

A Social Security Disability lawyer can help to challenge your EOD, so call as soon as possible if you believe the SSA has made a mistake in determining when you were disabled.

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How Does an Administrative Law Judge Impact Your Disability Claim?

The vast majority of people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will have their initial benefits application denied. This means that you will not be entitled to receive monthly income when you are too disabled to work for a living.  Most people are relying on getting Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits approved to provide necessary funds to live on when they cannot have a job. Not only do you need the money, but you also deserve it for working and paying your income taxes into the system.   b2ap3_thumbnail_business-signing.jpg

Fortunately, there is an appeals process that can make it possible for you to receive benefits even if your initial application was denied. An administrative law judge (ALJ) is a part of that appeals process. A Social Security Disability lawyer understands the role of an SSD administrative law judge and will work hard to help you make compelling arguments to the judge for why your benefits claim should be approved. You do not want to try to handle your disability hearing on your own, as the outcome of your case could depend upon your understanding of the law and the strength of the evidence you present. You deserve to have an advocate on your side. 

What is the Role of an Administrative Law Judge?

You will encounter an Administrative Law Judge during the second phase of appealing your SSD benefits claim.  The first step after having your initial application denied is to file a request for reconsideration. This simply involves having your initial application reviewed again by a disability claims examiner. If this reconsideration of your application is denied, you will need to request a hearing before an ALJ. 

The ALJ is not a federal or a state court judge. An administrative law judge works for the Social Security Administration and the hearing rules are determined by SSA guidelines. This does not mean that the judge is going to be biased against you and in favor of the SSA. The judge will listen to the arguments made and the evidence presented in order to make a fair and impartial decision about whether your application was properly handled and the decision to deny you benefits was appropriate. If you are able to make a compelling argument for why benefits are necessary, the administrative law judge may grant you the right to receive disability income.

A disability benefits lawyer will work hard to help you convince the ALJ to side with you in your hearing. Call an attorney as soon as possible if you have had an initial application or request for review denied so you can begin preparing your case. 

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Should You Reapply if Your Social Security Disability Claim was Denied?

When your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim is denied, you should not give up on your effort to try to receive benefits. You pay into the Social Security system with your tax dollars and you deserve to be taken care of when you are not able to work.  However, simply closing out your existing application and reapplying is not necessarily the best option. Instead, it is a better choice to appeal your denial and try again to get the benefits you need.  b2ap3_thumbnail_sad-silhouette-1080946-m.jpg

Appealing can be better than simply reapplying for many different reasons.  For SSI, the date of your application affects the date at which benefits begin so you do not want to submit a new application and get a later start date.  You will also go back to the beginning of the line in terms of having your application reviewed. Because many disability benefits applications are not actually approved until the second stage of appeals (the disability benefits hearing), this means you will be starting the entire process all over again. 

The appeals process gives you a better way to try again to get benefits after your claim has been denied initially. The appeals process begins with a request for reconsideration. This essentially means you ask for a new disability claims examiner to review the application you submitted.  A Social Security Disability lawyer can provide assistance in making the request for reconsideration. 

If your claim is denied again, you still do not want to just reapply but want to continue through the next phase of appeals: the disability benefits hearing. This is when your case comes before an administrative law judge (ALJ) who can hear testimony and make a decision about whether you should receive benefits or not.  The third stage of appeals following this one is a review of the ALJ's decision and the final stage is to appeal to an appellate court outside the Social Security Administration. 

This appeals process may be your best hope of getting benefits when you are not initially approved, and you want to move through the process rather than just abandoning your existing application and reapplying. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help guide you through every phase of appeal and can provide you with insight on how best to maximize the chances of getting a benefits claim approved. Call an attorney as soon as possible if your claim is denied so you can get help fighting for benefits. 

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Why Would My Disability Benefits Claim be Denied?

If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and you received a denial letter, you are likely wondering what happened. The application process can be time-consuming and complicated and getting a denial letter is devastating. You know you cannot work because of your condition and it may seem hard to believe that the Social Security Administration is denying you the money that you need to support yourself and your family. b2ap3_thumbnail_rejected-865417-m.jpg

The reality is, there are a lot of reasons why Social Security Disability benefits are denied. In far too many cases, the reason is because a mistake was made in the application or because insufficient proof of a disabling condition was provided. You want to make sure you get the benefits that you need, which means doing everything possible to understand the reason for the denial and taking the necessary steps to appeal it. A Social Security disability lawyer can provide assistance in trying to get your benefits approved after an initial rejection of your application. 

Why Is a Disability Benefits Claim Denied?

Your Social Security Disability benefits claim may have been denied due to:

  • Not having a qualifying disability. The SSA limits the types of disabilities that can qualify. Your condition must be long-term and severe. There is a list of qualifying conditions in the SSA's Blue Book. If your condition is listed, you must have certain specific symptoms that go with it. If your condition isn't listed, it must be medically equivalent in severity. 
  • Not providing the correct type of medical evidence. You need medical evidence from a treating and licensed physician. Ideally, the doctor should be a specialist in the particular area of your medical problems (for example, a cardiologist should provide medical records if you claim a heart condition is preventing you from working).  If you do not release your medical records or if the medical records don't show you were impaired, you will not get a claim approved. 
  • Not qualifying on the basis of income or work history. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is needs-based and you must have few resources and a low income. Social Security Disability requires you to have a long enough work history based on age at the time of disability. 

These are just a few of many possible problems with your SSD application. Contact a Social Security Disability lawyer to understand why your claim may not have been approved and to get help with the appeals process. 


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Why should I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?

SSDI provides a regular monthly payment for individuals who have become disabled.  There are also other benefits that you can receive along with this monthly payment.

· Medicare Benefits: Regardless of your age, you are eligible to receive Medicare benefits 24 months after your date of entitlement of SSDI benefits.
· COBRA Extension: If you receive SSDI benefits, the length of your COBRA benefits may be extended an additional 11 months.
· Dependent Benefits: If you receive SSDI benefits any dependents under the age of 18 may also be eligible for benefits.

If you have become disabled and are no longer able to work, you should apply for SSDI benefits immediately.  As the process can be long and complicated, you should consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability benefits.  If you have any questions regarding your current or potential Social Security Disability claim, please contact us.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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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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