Thousands of California residents struggle every day with mental or physical ailments of every variety. Some are able to carry on with their day-to-day duties and responsibilities with only minor inconvenience from their issues, while others may not be so lucky.
However, if any such California resident is considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, they will need to know exactly what a “disability” is, as defined by federal law.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a “disability” is defined as “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” That definition may seem fairly straightforward, but it is subjective.
The fact is that the Social Security Administration denies many applications for SSD benefits. The burden is on applicants not only to prove that they have a “disability” that meets the definition cited above but also that they have the appropriate work history to qualify to receive SSD benefits.
And, needless to say, just like most government-run programs, there is a great deal of complexity in the SSD benefits application process – and the appeals process, if the initial application is denied.
Getting your application right
An SSD benefits lawyer can work with you to try to ensure that your initial application is correct the first time. But, if the initial application is denied, the lawyer can also work with California residents to appeal that decision. The SSD benefits overview section of a law firm’s website provides helpful information.