Disability Advocates Group regularly assists clients who are applying for disability benefits throughout Los Angeles, Encino, Ventura County, Barbara County, and the greater Southern California area. If you or a loved one cannot work due to a medical impairment, we will fight to protect your rights. Our disability lawyers are well-versed in Social Security’s strict eligibility requirements and can help you avoid the common pitfalls of submitting a benefits claim. 

Although the application process is complicated and the majority of initial claims are denied, working with a skilled disability lawyer greatly improves your prospects of obtaining disability benefits. When you consult with us, we will handle all the details of your claim and remove the stress from the process. While dealing with the government can make you feel like a number, your claim will be our priority. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve.

What is the process of applying for disability benefits in Southern California?

To obtain disability benefits, you must submit an application with a local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office by mail, online, or in person. The application must include the following personal information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Birth certificate
  • Contact information of doctors
  • Names and dosages of prescription medications
  • Detailed work history

Additionally, the application contains questionnaires about your educational background and work experience, as well as the limitations your condition imposes on daily activities. Finally, your claim must include medical evidence demonstrating that (1) you have a qualifying medical condition and (2) your impairment is severe enough to prevent you from working.

It is critically important that your application be accurate and thorough. If there are mistakes or omissions, your claim will be denied. By working with our experienced disability lawyers, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your benefits claim will be properly handled. 

How is a disability claim evaluated?

Social Security disability examiners initially review claims based on a number of criteria. If you are seeking SSDI benefits, for example, you must have acquired sufficient work credits. Generally, you need a total of 40 work credits, half of which must have been earned in the last 10 years. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must have limited financial resources ($2000 for individuals, $3,000 for married couples). If you meet the work credit test for SSDI or the means test for SSI, then your claim will be reviewed by Disability Determination Services.

Young disabled woman in wheelchair at home, rear view.

The Disability Determination Services Review

Disability Determination Services (DDS) will conduct a review of your claim with an emphasis on medical records. In particular, DDS will consider whether you can do the same type of work you did before the onset of your impairment. If you are not capable of performing that job, DDS will then determine whether you can be retrained for another type of work.

While the SSA maintains a list of impairments that qualify for disability benefits, the DDS may need an independent medical opinion to make a final determination. In this situation, you will be required to participate in one or more consultative exams. Because such exams only indicate the status of your condition at that time, it is crucial to build a substantial medical record. That’s where Disability Advocates Group comes in. We will work to compile the necessary medical evidence to support your claim. This includes exam notes, lab tests, radiological exams, surgical history, rehabilitative care, and any other relevant medical data.

If your claim is approved, DDS will send you a letter indicating the monthly benefit amount and the date on which you can expect to start receiving payments. Because it may take 6 months or longer to process a claim, benefits may be awarded retroactively. If DDS denies your claim, however, the letter will provide a reason for the denial and inform you of your right to appeal.

While a denial can be disheartening, an experienced disability lawyer can help to file a disability appeal. At Disability Advocates Group, we are highly regarded for providing our clients with powerful representation when they need it most. Whether you need assistance applying for disability benefits or filing a disability appeal, our team will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the personal attention you deserve.

Contact Our Los Angeles Disability Attorney

At Disability Advocates Group, we know that applying for disability benefits can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Completing the required forms and questionnaires, compiling the necessary medical evidence, and following the SSA’s procedures takes patience and resolve. Our determined disability lawyers and staff will guide you through the process and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. When your well-being and future are on the line, Disability Advocates Group is the experienced choice in disability benefits. Please contact our office today for a free consultation. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win benefits for you.

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