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San Diego Social Security Disability Law Blog

Disabled young adults have options for benefits

Many people in the San Diego area and throughout Southern California may have struggled with an illness or injury for all of their lives. Oftentimes, as he or she approaches adulthood, a person suffering under this sort of condition, or the person's caregivers, will realize that the person will not be able to find meaningful work because of the condition.

In these sorts of situations, our law office can help families explore a number of options for obtaining financial support through the Social Security Administration. For instance, if the young adult is of limited means and has never worked, he or she may qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Without regard to a person's work history, SSI can provide an important source of monthly income.

How can you obtain benefits for an intellectual disability?

Experts estimate that one out of 100 people suffer from what the mental health community now refers to as an "intellectual" disability. In practice, this means that hundreds of thousands of California residents have limited intellectual functioning, to the point of having their professional and personal lives affected significantly. In many cases, someone with an intellectual disability may have a hard time holding a job or even performing basic life tasks.

The Social Security Administration recognizes intellectual disabilities as a condition which can qualify a San Diego resident for disability benefits. However, proving that an intellectual disability actually prevents a person from earning a living is not always easy, particularly in light of modern psychology's take on this condition. The modern mental health community, for instance, does not rely exclusively on an IQ test to determine whether a person has an intellectual disability. While an IQ score of under 75 is a potential flag, a doctor who is evaluating a patient for a possible intellectual disability will consider other questions.

How can you speed up the review of a denied claim?

Even if San Diego residents have an illness or injury that prevents them from working, there is still a possibility that a claim for Social Security Disability benefits will get denied, at least in the initial stages. What this means is that California residents who are applying for SSD benefits should be fully prepared for the possibility that they will need to ask for a review hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The problem with these hearings is that they get scheduled weeks or even months out. Some people may even need to wait over a year for a hearing.

There are ways in which a person can try to speed this process up. As a caveat, though, none of these methods is a guaranteed means of getting a decision faster. Moreover, there are legal risks involved.

Cost of living adjustment will mean higher benefit in 2020

For the second year in a row, recipients of Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income will receive a slightly larger monthly paycheck starting in 2020. This increase is automatic, since it is already provided for under federal law. Basically, the law sets out a formula under which Social Security benefits automatically increase with the rate of inflation.

The increase, called a cost-of-living adjustment, or "COLA," will be 1.6% for the upcoming year. Last year, the increase was higher, at 2.8%. However, in many recent years, there has been no cost-of-living adjustment at all.

Obtaining Social Security disability for fibromyalgia

Many residents of San Diego may suffer from a medical condition called fibromyalgia. Generally speaking, fibromyalgia causes a person to experience pain throughout the body, especially in one's joints and muscles, as well as other soft tissues.

The condition can affect those of working age, and the pain that results can be so severe that it prevents the patient from being able to work. In such cases, a Californian may need to resort to applying for SSD benefits in order to get the income he or she needs to continue to make ends meet.

How do adult child disability benefits work?

While many people might not realize this, there are special benefits for young adult children who may be suffering from a disability. These Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are in addition to whatever benefits the child may qualify for on his own by filing for SSDI or, more than likely, SSI benefits.

To be eligible for this benefit, the child must not be married and must have one parent who has died or has begun to draw Social Security benefits, including retirement or disability benefits. Moreover, the child must also not earn more than $1,220 a month through her own work. The child must also be over 18 years old, as there are separate rules for disabled minor children who require financial assistance.

Social Security still available after worker's comp

Many residents of San Diego first start considering their eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits after they suffer a life-altering injury in a work accident. After all, it usually does not take too long for the victim to realize that she will need to find another source of income so she can support herself and her family.

In most cases, after a workplace accident, the victim will also be able to get benefits through California's workers' compensation program. However, these payments, helpful though they are, will not always cover all of an injured worker's losses. In cases in which the worker is permanently disabled, workers' compensation benefits may fall well short of meeting the worker's financial needs.

Overview of SSI benefits

There are two actually two types of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. For those California residents who have a documented work history, SSD benefits may be available to them. Those who apply for these benefits are eligible for them, so long as they legally qualify as disabled.

However, many people in the greater San Diego area may have never been able to work due to a life-long disabling condition. In other cases, a person may require some extra financial help just because he is of limited means. After all, those who suffer from serious illnesses or injuries often find it hard to earn income and frequently have limited resources as well.

Hiring freeze imposed on Social Security Administration

The newly-appointed and confirmed Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a hiring freeze that will affect some quarters of the Administration. This affects Californians looking to work for the SSA or applying for benefits from the SSA.

The Commissioner indicated that the freeze will mostly affect the national headquarters and also will affect certain regional offices. While they perform important work that can affect those applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to a disability, the staff in these offices do not directly interact with constituents, including those applying for disability on a regular basis.

Measure may help Californians affected by ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a terminal condition that affects a victim's nervous system, specifically in the brain and around the spinal cord. This condition forced the famous baseball star, Lou Gehrig, in to retirement and ultimately killed him, which is why it is called Lou Gehrig's disease.

As the disease progresses, the brain will no longer be able to communicate with the rest of the body, meaning that a person will gradually lose all motion. It therefore is no surprise when those affected with ALS is no longer able to work at all or even take care of herself without help.