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 You Qualify for Social Security Disability with a Neurological Disorder

Social Security Disability is intended to provide benefits for people with long-term disabling conditions. Many different kinds of conditions can allow you to qualify for disability income from the Social Security Administration. Neurological conditions are among those conditions that can sometimes make you eligible for benefits.

If you have a neurological condition, you should reach out to a Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer to find out whether you can get benefits on the basis of your condition. Not being able to work can be frightening, but we will work with you to maximize the chances you'll get the benefits you need. 

Qualifying for Disability Benefits with a Neurological Disorder

The Social Security Administration restricts benefits only to people with very serious conditions. To qualify, you must have a condition listed in the Social Security's "blue book," which is what the Administration's listing of impairments is commonly called.

If your condition is listed, you also have to exhibit specific symptoms and have medical proof. If your condition is not listed, you need to show your ailment is equivalent in severity to those that are included. 

Neurological disorders that will entitle you to benefits are covered in Section 11.00 of Part A for adult conditions. Some of the conditions that are listed which could potentially entitle you to receive disability income include epilepsy, vascular insult to the brain, benign brain tumors and cerebral palsy. 

Having these conditions alone won't necessarily get you benefits- you'll still have to prove you meet the specific criteria including experiencing frequent symptoms and not being able to work in any job for which you are qualified. A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney will help you to prove the necessary proof so you can get the income you need. 

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Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability with a Endocrine Disorder

An endocrine disorder can make working impossible, leaving you worried about how to support your family. The good news is, there are many endocrine disorders that can qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security Disability can give you the peace of mind of knowing you have monthly income coming in. However, qualifying for benefits is difficult even when you have a covered disorder because the Social Security Administration is strict in which applications it approves and more than half of all claims for benefits are denied.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can provide you with help proving your endocrine disorder should make you eligible for disability income. Contact an attorney today to get the assistance you need to maximize your chances of a successful benefits application. 

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits With an Endocrine Disorder

To determine if you can qualify for Social Security Disability income on the basis of your endocrine disorder, you will first need to determine whether your condition is listed in the blue book, which is the informal name of a listing of impairments used by Social Security when determining benefits eligibility.

Endocrine disorders for adults are covered in Section 9.00 of Part A of the blue book. The Social Security Administration explains within the blue book the specific endocrine disorders which can potentially allow you to obtain benefits. This includes pituitary gland disorders, thyroid disorders, and adrenal gland disorders, among others. For each particular condition, the Social Security Administration also specifies the specific symptoms you must have for that particular disorder in order to make you eligible for coverage. 

Even when your condition should be covered, you can face challenges in getting your application approved because of the high denial rate in applying for benefits. A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help, so give us a call today. 


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How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if You're Disabled

When you are disabled and you apply for Social Security Disability insurance, the Social Security Administration will make an assessment regarding whether you are sufficiently disabled to qualify for benefits.

More than half of all applicants for benefits are denied, so it is important to understand how the Social Security Administration determines if you are considered disabled enough to be eligible for benefits. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to submit the strongest possible claim for benefits. 

How the Social Security Administration Determines if You're Disabled

When the Social Security Administration assesses whether or not you are disabled, the SSA looks at a number of factors including:

  • Whether you're currently engaged in substantial gainful employment. If you're earning too much, you won't be considered disabled. 
  • Whether you can do any job, including jobs your qualifications transfer to, despite your disabling condition. 
  • Whether your condition will last for a year, has lasted a year, or will be fatal. 
  • Whether your condition is listed on the Social Security Administration's listing of impairments and if you have the accompanying symptoms required for that condition.  If your condition isn't listed, the SSA looks at whether your condition is equivalent in severity to the listed conditions.

A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to prove you meet the key criteria to be considered disabled so you can maximize the chances of your benefits claim being approved. Contact an attorney for help as soon as you become disabled, as it takes time to put together a claim and get approved for benefits.

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Over 75% of Social Security Disability Claims Appealed to Appeals Council are Denied

The Social Security Disability Administration’s Appeals Council released their approval and denial numbers for the fiscal year 2013.  The numbers show that 76.87% of Social Security Disability claims appealed to the Appeals Council were denied. Only 17.11% were remanded back to the Administrative Law Judge and about 1.45% were overturned for a favorable decision.  These statistics demonstrate how vitally important it is for Social Security Disability claimants to ensure that they present their best case before the Social Security Administration and the Administrative Law Judge.  This can help Social Security Disability claimants win earlier in the process or, at the very least, establish the best case for any future appeals.  Hiring an attorney experienced in representing Social Security Disability claimants can help ensure that you win your Social Security Disability case.

“When you hire an attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability claim, they should make sure that your forms are completed properly and on time, that your medical records are ordered and properly submitted, and that you are completely prepared for your hearing,” said Michelle Shvarts, Managing Attorney at Disability Advocates Group.  “If your case is properly prepared, the chance of having your case remanded or receiving a favorable decision from the Appeals Council is much higher.”

Seeking representation from an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help ensure your chances for winning your Social Security Disability case.  An attorney should answer any questions you may have about the process of obtaining Social Security Disability, assist you with completing all Social Security documentation properly and timely, request and obtain all your medical documentation, properly prepare you for your hearing, and prepare the case for an appeal if one is necessary.

“Getting Social Security Disability takes time and persistence,” said Shvarts, “and at Disability Advocates Group we are with you at every step of the process.”

For more information on Social Security Disability benefits and what an experienced attorney can do for you, click here.

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How will drug and/or alcohol addiction affect my Social Security Disability case?

A common question I get asked by my clients is how alcohol or drug addiction can impact their application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Alcohol or drug dependence is a major issue facing millions of Americans. For some, alcohol or drug addiction, itself, can be debilitating to the point of creating a disability. For others, alcohol or drugs can lead to other medical problems (such as liver disease) which, in turn, can cause disability. For still others, alcohol or drug dependence can be a part of a disabling mental illness such as depression or anxiety. In this post I will review how the Social Security Administration (SSA) approaches drug addiction when evaluating claims for SSD benefits. I will do this by separately addressing three different scenarios in which alcohol or drug addiction may play a role in creating a disability.


Can you receive Social Security Disability benefits solely based on your addiction to drugs and/or alcohol?

No. While, alcohol or drug addiction, itself, can certainly disable people to the point of preventing normal functioning and the ability to work, the SSA will not grant SSD benefits solely based on an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. This policy is due to the Right To Work Act. Through this law, enacted in 1996, Congress eliminated alcoholism (and drug addiction) as a basis for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits. So does that mean that drug or alcohol addiction will prevent you from getting SSDI benefits? This is where things get a little more complicated.


If you are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, can you still receive Social Security Disability benefits?

The answer to this question is that it depends. While the Right to Work Act prevents the SSA from granting SSDI benefits specifically for alcohol or drug dependence, it does not necessarily disqualify people with other disabilities from receiving SSD benefits just because they are also addicted to drugs or alcohol. In other words, the SSA is not supposed to penalize you for being addicted to drugs or alcohol.


 If the Social Security Administration determines that you are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, they must determine whether the drug addiction or alcoholism significantly contributes to your disability. To determine this, SSA will first consider whether all of your other medical conditions qualify you as disabled per their guidelines. If SSA determines that you are, indeed, disabled based on your medical condition(s), the next step is to determine whether you would still be disabled if you stopped using drugs and/or alcohol. If SSA determines that you would not be disabled once you stopped using drugs or alcohol, then SSA will determine that you are not disabled and not eligible for SSD benefits. If SSA determines that you would still be disabled even if you stopped using drugs and/or alcohol, then they will award you Social Security Disability benefits. For example, lets suppose that you suffer from both depression and alcohol addiction. If you can demonstrate that you would be disabled from depression even if you overcame your alcohol dependence, the SSA would grant you SSDI benefits.


My use of alcohol and/or drugs caused a disabling medical condition. Can I receive Social Security Disability benefits for this condition?
If your disability was caused by alcohol and/or drugs, the SSA will first determine whether you are disabled per Social Security’s regulations using the same method as discussed above. That means if you would still be disabled if you stopped using drugs and/or alcohol then you will be considered disabled and would be awarded SSD benefits. For example, lets suppose that you developed alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver from an alcohol addiction and this condition has disabled you. When you apply for SSD benefits, SSA will first determine whether the cirrhosis is severe enough to classify you as disabled. If you are deemed disabled, SSA will then determine if the disability caused by the cirrhosis would persist if you were to stop drinking. If they determine that your cirrhosis is advanced to the point that the disability it causes cannot be reversed even if you stop drinking, you will be granted SSD benefits.


Take Home Message
While alcohol and drug dependence, in and of itself, does not qualify you for SSD benefits, it also does not preclude you from these benefits. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must demonstrate that your medical condition disables you independent of any concurrent drug or alcohol dependence. It is also important to note that while this is the process for determining whether a claimant is eligible for SSD benefits if he/she is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, in reality many judges do not like to see that a claimant is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol in the time period they are applying for SSD benefits. If you do have medical records which state that you are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, you should consult with an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability regarding your particular claim.

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Waiting for Social Security Disability….

There are so many stories in the news that focus and highlight the people who abuse the Social Security Disability system.  While I am confident that such abusers exist, the news should also show the other side of the story.  So many individuals face so many difficulties while waiting for their Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) to be awarded and paid to them.  They face foreclosure, bankruptcy, mounting medical bills.  These individuals are forced to take loans from family and friends, sell all their property, move into their cars just to feed themselves or their family.  This is the side of the story that we see in our offices so often but so rarely on the news.

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When will the Administrative Law Judge hearing my Social Security Disability case tell me that my case is approved?

One of the more frequently asked questions from my clients is – “Will the Administrative Law Judge tell me that my Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) case is approved at the hearing?”  Unfortunately, this is not a question I can answer until the end of the hearing for my client's Social Security Disability claim.  Some Administrative Law Judges will tell you at the end of your hearing that they are going to approve your Social Security Disability case.  Many will not.  If an Administrative Law Judge does not indicate that they are going to approve your case, you will have to wait to receive the decision.  In my practice this means waiting anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months.  It is important to note that just because the Judge does not approve you for Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing does not mean that he/she will deny your claim.  There are some Judges that never approve cases verbally at the hearing.  There are also some Judges that will approve some cases at the hearing and some cases after the hearing.

If you are represented by an attorney at the hearing that is experienced in handling Social Security Disability cases, they can often give you some indication as to how they believe the judge will rule.  This is however just an educated guess as it is impossible to predict with complete certainty the way a judge will rule on your particular case - unless, of course, they state their decision at the hearing on the record.


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Disabled Workers and Social Security Disability in 2012

The Social Security Administration has released a breakdown of the most common impairments for which disabled workers were awarded benefits in 2012.  The breakdown is as follows:

  • 35.4% of awardees suffer from Muskoloskeletal system and connective tissue disorders
  • 18.0% of awardees suffer from Mental disorders
  • 10.6% of awardees suffer from diseases of the circulatory system
  • 9.5% of awardees suffer from neoplasms (commonly referred to as Cancer)
  • 8.0% of awardees suffer from diseases of the nervous system and sense organs


The remaining 18.5% of awardees had other impairments.

For more information, click here:

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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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