Law Office of Jennifer Zorrilla

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Californians facing disability are not alone

Californians who have been rendered unable to work due to a disabling injury or illness can find themselves is a tough position. On one hand, they need money to survive. On the other hand, they may feel uneasy about turning to what many consider an entitlement program for the assistance they need. Yet, those individuals who are suffering from a disability shouldn’t feel like they are going through the process alone.

In fact, a recent study from the Institute on Disability found that more than 12.5 percent of the American population is disabled. This number has remained constant over the last three years. Of course, the risk of disability increases with age, but even those who are young can suffer from a debilitating injury or illness. When this happens, those individuals may find themselves unable to work. The study found that fewer than 35 percent of disabled individuals work, compared to 76 percent of those who are not disabled.

Sadly, a significant number of disabled individuals, approximately 20 percent, fall into poverty. How can disabled individuals prevent this? One way is to try to work, but this isn’t always a realistic solution. Therefore, many choose to turn to Social Security Disability (SSD) for help. If these disabled individuals can file a successful SSD claim, then they may recover cash benefits to help cover their lost wages and medical expenses.

In order to succeed on one of these claims, though, a disabled individual has to prove that he or she fits the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled.” They also have to meet certain work requirements. Although this may sound relatively easy, many individuals see their initial claims denied for a variety of reasons. Therefore, Californians who are afraid to pursue SSD benefits, or want to ensure that their initial claims or appeals are thoroughly prepared, should consider discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional.

Source: Institute on Disability,”2016 Disability Statistics Annual Report,” accessed on May 20, 2017

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