Disabled Orange County Residents May Be Entitled to Benefits
Orange County residents with a disabling injury or medical diagnosis may qualify for monthly cash benefits from the Social Security Administration. These benefits provide income to those who are unable to work due to their medical disabilities. Taking the time to apply for benefits could greatly benefit you and your family. At Disability Advocates Group, our legal team can fight for you throughout the entire disability benefits process, including:
- During the initial application
- During the reconsideration process
- At hearings before the Office of Hearings and Appeals
- Before the Appeals Council on request for review
- Before the United States District Court
- Before the United States Court of Appeals
Many residents of Orange County have turned to Disability Advocates Group for assistance with applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Orange County is one of the larger counties in California with over 3 million residents. The county includes cities such as Anaheim, Santa Ana, Brea, and the City of Orange. Over 40,000 residents of Orange County receive disability benefits.
Applying for Social Security Benefits in Orange County
Applying for disability benefits in Orange County can be a long process. Most applicants for SSDI and SSI benefits are denied at the initial application stage. This denial requires to request a hearing. At the hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) reviews the request for disability as well as supporting medical records. In Orange County, the average wait time for a hearing is approximately 19 months. Disability hearings in Orange County are carried out at the local Office of Hearing Operations (OHO):
Every year, millions of people throughout the United States apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Orange County residents who are disabled and unable to work can submit their Social Security Disability benefits application online. Typically, it takes between three to four months for the Social Security Administration to determine whether to grant or deny the application.
The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Orange County can quickly become overwhelming and complicated. You will need to provide medical records and your detailed work history. You’ll need to answer specific questions about how your disability affects your daily life and activities. The most important part of your application will be demonstrating that you have a qualifying medical condition and that your medical condition is severe enough to prevent you from working.
If you are unable to work and need benefits to help pay for your bills, hiring an attorney to guide you through the process can be essential. At the Disability Advocates Group, we stand side by side with our clients and ensure that they complete their application accurately and thoroughly. When you work with the Disability Advocates Group, you can rest easy knowing that we are fighting for your rights.
Orange County Social Security Disability Appeals
The Social Security Administration denies most initial applications. When you receive notice that your claim has been rejected, you have a right to appeal the decision. You can appeal denials of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Social Security Income benefits. Disability Advocates Group has a proven track record of getting results in SSI and SSDI appeals. We will put our experience in the area of Orange County disability benefits to work for your appeal.
The disability appeal process often takes a significant amount of time. First, you will need to wait for your Social Security Disability hearing. Then, 45-90 days after the hearing, you will receive a decision from an administrative law judge.
Many Orange County Social Security Disability applicants need to wait between one to two years to begin receiving benefit payments from the Social Security Administration.
Hiring a lawyer can help you ensure that your time applying for Social Security Disability benefits is not in vain. If you happen to make a mistake or you don’t include all of the necessary paperwork in your initial application, you could experience serious delays in processing your application. You are more likely to avoid the time-consuming appeal process by working with an experienced Orange County Social Security Disability lawyer.
Disability Hearings Lawyers in Orange County
After the Social Security Administration denies an applicant’s claim, they will send a notice stating the reason for the denial. The notice will also inform the applicant about his right to an appeal. Disability hearings are part of the process of appealing a denial of your claim. In a disability hearing, you will experience an informal meeting held in a Social Security Administration conference room.
You, your attorney, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and any witnesses will be at your hearing. Hearings are closed to the public. The ALJ will ask you questions regarding your work history, medical condition, and how your disability limits your day to day life. Your attorney will be able to speak to the ALJ and present more evidence about the severity of your medical condition. Calling medical and vocational experts can be an essential part of succeeding in a disability hearing. You or your attorney will often have the chance to make a closing statement.
You won’t learn whether or not you have succeeded at the end of the disability hearing. Instead, the ALJ will mail you a written notice of his or her decision between 60 and 90 days after your hearing. The ALJ is not bound by earlier decisions and can make his or her own decision based on the evidence presented at the hearing. If the ALJ judge denies your claim after the hearing, you may request a review from the Appeals Court. Should the Appeals Court deny your claim, you may need to take your case to federal court.
What Happens After the Hearing?
Applicants for SSDI or SSI are generally informed of the outcome of their hearing via mail. In Orange County, approximately 39% of applicants are successfully granted disability benefits at the time of the hearing. This means that over 60% of applicants in Orange County do not receive benefits at the hearing stage. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney could mean the difference between approval and denial at a disability hearing. Those applicants denied benefits at a hearing then need to file an appeal.
Social Security Disability Insurance Statistics
Each Regional Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) has its own distinct group of administrative law judges (ALJ). Similarly, the time to wait for a hearing to be scheduled and the chance of winning a hearing and receiving benefits varies between hearing offices. For example, applicants for SSDI or SSI face typically wait an average of 15 months for a hearing at Downtown Los Angeles or Long Beach but wait over 20 months for a hearing in West Los Angeles. Similarly, while 45-48% of applicants win their hearings at Pasadena and Norwalk, only 37-39% of applicants win their hearings at Downtown and West Los Angeles.
Wait times to receive a final decision about disability benefits also vary between hearing offices, ranging from 461 days in Norwalk to 601 days in West Los Angeles. Applying for disability benefits can be a long and complicated process, particularly in Los Angeles. Understanding the right steps to take and having the correct medical records are critical to a successful outcome. An already long process could be made even longer due to applicant errors, leading to the need to file an appeal and possibly delaying benefits by months or even years.
Having an experienced, knowledgeable disability attorney to help applicants navigate the process and maximize the chances of successfully earning much needed SSI or SSDI benefits in the shortest time period possible.
Contact Our Orange County
Disability Hearing Attorney
If you or a loved one are unable to work due to a disability, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The best way to find out whether you might qualify is to speak with an experienced Orange County disability lawyer. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to schedule your initial consultation.
1120 West La Veta Avenue, Suite 600
Orange, CA 92868
Office Hours:8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.