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San Diego Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

May I work and receive Social Security benefits?

Many people in San Diego may think if they get disabled, then they are not allowed to ever work again, if they want to keep their benefits. There is some truth to this in that Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits typically get awarded once a Californian is unable to hold a job due to an illness or injury. However, this does not mean that a person can never work after receiving disability.

In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a number of options for people who wish to return to work that do not involve the loss of benefits. For example, for those drawing Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI, the SSA is able to offer a trial work period. What this means is that during any 5-year period, a person can in any 9 months earn more than $880 a month by working. Of course, the person will still have to continue to qualify as disabled in other respects.

Can you get SSD benefits for depression?

Many people suffer from the symptoms of clinical depression. Far from being just a rough patch in life, a person with clinical depression may not feel the same for weeks or even months. Depression can also cause physical problems, like headaches and stomach aches. Depression can also affect a person's sleeping and eating habits, as well as a person's ability to concentrate on a task.

Not all forms of depression are debilitating. Moreover, in many cases, the symptoms can at least be controlled with the appropriate treatment. However, in severe cases, depression can make it hard for a person to even get out of bed in the morning, much less go to work and hold a job.

Average wait time in San Diego well over a year for SSD benefits

Many people in San Diego who apply for disability benefits wind up having their applications denied, even when they do have an injury or illness that keeps them out of work. In these circumstances, an applicant who needs benefits may need to request to have a review hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

How long it takes to get in front of a judge depends to a large extent on where a person lives. For example, in San Diego, many people will wait for 17 months before getting a hearing. Compared to other sites in California, including Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco, the wait time in San Diego is relatively short. In North Los Angeles, for instance, the average wait time is 20 months, more than a year and a half.

Understanding eligibility for SSDI benefits

A number of studies have demonstrated that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming totally disabled before reaching full retirement age. That percentage is likely to grow as Congress increases the full retirement age from 65 to 67 and beyond. Total disability can be a financial disaster because it almost always causes a large drop in a person's earning capacity. Fortunately for disability victims, the Social Security Administration administers a program that provides significant financial support for permanently disabled persons: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

The eligibility requirements for these benefits can be simply stated. First, the applicant must suffer from an injury or illness that is permanent or is likely to result in death in 12 months. Second, the injury or illness must prevent the person from engaging in substantial gainful activity, which is defined as the ability to earn more than $1220 per month. Third, the applicant must have made sufficient "contributions" to the Social Security Trust fund while working.