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.

Common Causes of Disability in Los Angeles

Anyone could become disabled at any time, as a sudden illness or injury could cause you to become unable to work or to do normal daily activities like dressing yourself or bathing. You should be protected from financial loss caused by a long-term disability because the Social Security Administration (SSA) should provide you with monthly income through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Unfortunately, many people who are disabled have a hard time getting their benefits claim approved. You need to know what kinds of disabilities can entitle you to benefits and should get help from a Los Angeles disability benefits attorney in case you become disabled. 

Common Causes of Disability

There are many different conditions that could leave you severely disabled, and many of those conditions should entitle you to receive Social Security Disability benefits. According to WebMd, some of the most common reasons why people become disabled include:

  • Arthritis
  • Pain in the back
  • Cardiac problems
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes

For some of these conditions, getting disability benefits is easier than others. For example, for many types of cancer, you can get expedited approval for a Social Security Disability benefits claim because many types of cancer are on a list of Compassionate Allowance conditions that entitle you to easier and quicker approval of your benefits application. For other conditions, like back pain, it can be harder to prove you are entitled to receive benefits. 

Whatever your specific condition, a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can provide the help you need to try to convince the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay you the benefits that you deserve. 

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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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How to Avoid Losing SSDI Benefits After You're Approved

Getting approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits can be a months-long process, which often requires the help of a Los Angeles Social Security Disability attorney.  More than half of all applications are denied, and many people need to go through a lengthy appeals process just to get the benefits that they need to provide for themselves and their families when a disability prevents them from working. 

If you have finally been successful at getting your disability claim approved, it is imperative that you do not do anything to risk your ability to continue getting benefits. As a result, you need to know what the rules are for continuing to receive disability income and must avoid taking actions which could result in a loss of benefits. If you have any concerns about whether something you may do could result in your benefits being stopped, talk with a SSD benefits lawyer in LA before you act. 

How to Avoid Losing Social Security Disability Benefits

There are a few key things you need to do to avoid losing access to Social Security Disability benefits:

  • Know the rules for earning income: Both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability benefits are intended to go to people who cannot work. While there are trial work programs, you could potentially face the loss of some of your income and even the permanent end of your benefits once you begin working and earning over a certain level. Your attorney can explain to you what the trial work rules are, based on whether you are receiving SSI or SSDI. 
  • Know the rules for continuing disability review: There are periodic reviews of your case to determine if you are still disabled. You will need to provide medical documentation and information about your disability as requested.  You may also need to undergo an exam to determine if your condition has improved enough you are no longer considered disabled. 
  • Understand the rules for inheritances and gifts. SSI is means-tested and limited to people with few household resources. If you are going to inherit or be given a gift, it may be important for the money or property to be placed into a special needs trust rather than given to you directly. 

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability attorney can help you to avoid losing access to important benefits. Call before you act if you are concerned about the possible loss of Social Security income. 

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Do You Have to Attend a Disability Appeal in Person?

If your initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits was denied, there are multiple steps you can go through to try to appeal. The first stage of appeals, a request for reconsideration, simply requires submitting paperwork asking the Social Security Administration to look again at your claim. The second stage, however, requires a hearing before an administrative law judge.  

The Social Security Administration is going to have a representative at the hearing to explain the agency's position on your application and to try to convince the judge the decision denying your benefits is appropriate. You do not want to be unrepresented.  However, it may sometimes be difficult for you to travel to the location where the appeals hearing will take place. As a result, you need to consider carefully whether to appear at your hearing in person or whether you should instead have a video hearing. 

Should You Attend a Disability Appeal In Person?

Video hearings have become a popular tool used by the Social Security Administration to try to deal with a backlog of cases.  You may be able to have a video hearing if you live far away from a location where the disability hearings take place and/or if it is difficult or impossible for you to attend a hearing in person. 

A video hearing generally requires you to go to a designated location (usually your local Social Security Administration office) where you will then present your case to the administrative law judge over video conferencing. While this can save you time and travel, however, you may not be able to make the same level of personal connection as you would if you attended the hearing in person. 

A Los Angeles Social Security Disability lawyer should be consulted to represent you in your appeals hearing, regardless of whether you have a video hearing or whether you appear in person or not.  Your attorney can provide you with assistance in determining whether a video hearing is a good option for you or whether you would be better off actually going to your disability benefits hearing in person. Call your lawyer as soon as your claim is denied for assistance with this choice and with other strategic decisions throughout the process of appealing a disability benefits denial. 

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Can I Get SSD Benefits for an Illness?

Many things can cause disability.  An injury like a motor vehicle accident or a workplace accident can be possible causes of permanent and disabling injury.  If you sustain an accident, you may receive workers' compensation coverage if the accident happened on the job or you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim if someone was responsible for harming you. b2ap3_thumbnail_headache-705116-m.jpg

An illness can also cause you to become permanently disabled and can affect your ability to work or do routine life activities. Unlike with an accident, a severe illness is usually no one's fault and just happens because of heredity or bad luck or any number of other factors. When an illness causes you to be unable to hold a job and earn a living, you may have only one option for getting the money you need to live on: Social Security Disability (SSD). 

Can You Get SSD Benefits for Illness?

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to provide necessary income for anyone who is severely disabled, regardless of whether an illness or an accident was the cause of the disabling condition.  This means that as long as your illness qualifies and the Social Security Administration determines that your condition makes work impossible, you should be taken care of. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does have strict limits about the types of illnesses that can make it possible for you to qualify for benefits. Severe illnesses, like metastatic cancers, are considered compassionate allowance conditions, which means you can get your claim for benefits approved quickly. Other types of illnesses are not necessarily always going to cause a severe medical problem that qualifies you for SSD. 

The Social Security Administration has a list of qualifying conditions in the Blue Book. If your illness is listed, then you will need to check and determine if you are showing all of the symptoms that the Blue Book requires people with that medical problem to have. If you are showing the symptoms and your illness has lasted for a period of at least 12 months (or is expected to last that long), you should be able to get SSD benefits for your medical issues. 

It is up to you to prove that your illness is bad enough to qualify you for benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer will provide you with assistance in obtaining your medical records, showing how severe your illness is, and fighting for the benefits that you need. Call an attorney as soon as possible when you are diagnosed with a disabling condition as it can take time to submit an application and get your benefits claim approved. 

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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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Could Your Child Get More Benefits as an Adult Disabled Child?

Disability benefits are available through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Generally, you can qualify for SSDI only if you have worked for a minimum number of years. The amount of work you must have done depends upon how old you are when you are disabled. Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income does not require you to have any work record, but it is needs-based so you must have a limited income and few assets or financial resources. SSDI benefits are based on wages earned while working and are usually higher than SSI benefits. b2ap3_thumbnail_helping-the-elderly-548822-m.jpg

If your child is severely disabled and cannot work, then he obviously won't qualify for SSI based on his own work record. This could mean he is limited to receiving the lower SSI payments for the rest of his life. However, you may be able to get more benefits if you can qualify your child as an Adult Disabled Child. 

An Adult Disabled child can get SSDI benefits based on a parent's work record. Once your child turns 18, he can qualify for Adult Disabled Child benefits if:

  • He becomes disabled before the age of 22. He must meet the Social Security Administration's strict definition of what "disability" means. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to prove your child should be considered disabled. 
  • His parent is deceased or is receiving retirement or disability benefits through Social Security. 

Qualifying for benefits as an adult child can mean your child is not subject to the strict limits on resources and that he gets more monthly benefits. If you think your child may qualify, our Social Security disability lawyers will help you to show the SSA that your child is entitled to these benefits. Contact us to learn more. 

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SSDI: The truth behind the mischaracterizations

This is a great article discussing how important SSDI is to disabled people and how the recent media stories have painted a highly inaccurate picture of the program:

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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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