San Diego Social Security Disability Law Blog | Law Office of Jennifer Zorrilla
Law Office of Jennifer Zorrilla
Personal Attention For Your SSDI Appeal
Free Consultation for Denial Claims 800-722-0718

San Diego Social Security Disability Law Blog

Are any SSD claims ever expedited?

Living with a disability is difficult and often prevents people from earning a living at the very time when they need the money to get the treatment to make them get better. The financial hardship of their disability also makes it difficult to make ends meet. Recognizing this issue, the Social Security Administration grants Social Security Disability to individuals whose disability prevents them from working and if they meet the medical and federal requirements. However, as mentioned previously, there is a backlog in the disability decision process, which leaves people without the very help that could possibly keep them alive. There are ways however to expedite the process.

If the claimant is suffering from a terminal disease, described as one that is untreatable, irreversible and expected to result in death, then the case is expedited. Just because something has been flagged however does not necessarily mean it will be considered a disability. It will still go through all the steps to determine if it is one or not.

Proving an anxiety disorder is difficult but not impossible

Not many California residents understand how anxiety can be debilitating for many people across the country. Being nervous about a couple of situations differs from a persistent feeling of uneasiness, tension or apprehension. Sufferers of anxiety can have feelings of terror triggered by ordinary events that would not even raise a hair on another person's head.

Additionally, many people are able to harness their feelings of apprehension into action. However, those suffering from anxiety disorders may find themselves unable to perform everyday tasks and even take extreme measures to avoid situations that could make them feel uneasy. For example, they could end up leaving their job or even leaving their house to avoid triggering events.

We help people understand the SSD process

It is a common fact of life that it is not easy for most people to ask for help. it can even be even harder if they were used to being financially independent and the breadwinner of their household, but an unexpected injury has left them unable to do that anymore. An adult who has worked their whole life, now suddenly unable to take care of themselves and unable to work, may find this new phase of their life frustrating and lonely, but it doesn't have to be.

As mentioned previously on this blog, the Social Security Administration provides this safety net to qualifying individuals and the SSD benefits they receive are often the lifeline they need to keep going. However, many people do not realize how SSD benefits can protect them from financial devastation and hesitate to file for them, because they do not want to ask for help and the process itself may be too complicated to undertake on one's own.

What qualifies you for SSD benefits?

No one expects it. A sudden accident causes one to suffer serious injuries. These injuries significantly impact the victim's ability to function and even care for him or herself. Additionally, this poses challenges when it comes to maintaining a job. When a person suffers a debilitating injury in an accident, he or she could be determined temporarily or permanently disabled. This could qualify the injured party for Social Security disability benefits.

What qualifies you for SSD benefits? According to the Social Security administration, an applicant could qualify for these benefits if he or she meets the terms required by the SSD program. To begin, an applicant must have worked long enough, obtaining enough work credits. This usually equate to working for 10 years. Additionally, the applicant must currently be suffering from a medical condition that meets the SSA's strict definition of disability.

How many work credits do I need to qualify for SSD benefits?

Social Security Disability benefits are based on a person's earnings and their work history. This year, in 2018, a person must have earned $1,320 to receive one credit and a person can earn a maximum of 4 work credits per year. So how many credits must one have earned in order to qualify for SSD benefits? This depends on the applicant's age and the type of benefit one is applying for.

To receive retirement benefits, a California resident who was born after 1929 must have worked for 10 years. Disability benefits depend on how old one was when they became disabled. So someone who got disabled before the age of 24, six credits are needed which means one and a half years of work and this should have been earned in the three years preceding the disability. Someone between the ages of 24 and 30 needs credits for half of the time between 21 years of age and the year they became disabled.

Can I appeal a denied claim?

One of the most common phrases repeated time after time regarding Social Security Disability benefits is the fact that most initial applications are denied. Less often repeated is the fact that when a Social Security Disability claim is denied, the applicant has the right to appeal the denial and there are various levels of appeal that can be utilized. Additionally, California residents may be surprised to hear that most appeals are successful.

There are four levels of appeal provided by the Social Security Administration. If one level gives an unsuccessful result, it is possible to go the next level as well. The appeal must be filed within 60 days and must be requested in writing.

Can my spouse receive my SSD benefits?

California residents may not be aware that a person can receive Social Security Disability benefits based on their spouse's or ex-spouse's work history. When are these benefits payable to the spouse?

According to the Social Security Administration, these SSD benefits can be payable to spouses if the receiving spouse is 62 years of age or older, unless they are receiving SSD benefits based on their own record. In order to qualify for these, the couple must have been married for a year or longer. It is important to keep in mind though that the spouse benefit amount will be permanently impacted by a percentage depending on the amount of time left until they hit the full-retirement age.

Experienced counsel can facilitate SSD application

Many times people feel that the system is working against them-paperwork for federal programs seems never-ending and complicated and it is commonly accepted that most people are rejected when they file for Social Security Disability benefits for the first time. When one already has limited financial resources and a disability preventing them from earning a stable income and enjoying life, it can seem even more frustrating and that the tiles are stacked against one.

California residents familiar with the SSD benefits process are probably aware that it takes a great deal of time and effort to collect one's documents for filing a claim and when a rejection results, people either feel highly disheartened and give up or end up sending the same documents all over again, without reviewing them for possible mistakes. This could be because a lay-person cannot recognize what mistakes they have made-if they could, they would have probably not made them in the first time.

A brain injury could qualify for SSD benefits

Most forms of injuries have a significant impact on the person suffering from the injury and often limit their ability to function normally as they recover. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be even more traumatic as it prevents a person from not only being unable to take care of himself or herself but it could also affect their ability to communicate with others. The symptoms depend largely on the type of injury sustained and the severity of the injury, but it could range from being unable to dress oneself to being unable to work.

There are many ways a traumatic brain injury could prevent someone from working. If a California resident is unable to communicate effectively, they cannot answer phones or even talk to their co-workers. If the injury has resulted in memory loss or loss in concentration, performing basic duties at work can become impossible and if the injured person is suffering from dizziness or visual problems, they are setting themselves up from getting hurt once again. If the injury is causing numbness or tingling in limbs, then simple tasks such as grasping items or even holding a pen can become physically impossible.

Will qualifying for SSD become more difficult in 2018?

For those receiving Social Security Disability benefits and those intending to apply for them in 2018, October is a month of reckoning. The Social Security Disability Administration often changes the federal regulations around SSD benefits around the middle of the month and whether it is advantageous or not, it represents a change in the laws that people have just begun to understand. Some of the anticipated changes for 2018 are explained below, but it is important to keep in mind that this is just an overview and not to be considered legal advice.

One of the most important changes is that beneficiaries will be getting a raise-the cost of living adjustment will be two percent in 2018, the highest seen in the last six years. In reality, this amounts to an extra $27 dollars a month. But that's not all-the maximum monthly payment also increased quite a bit-it will increase by $101 a month, to $2788 a month.