The system of providing Social Security disability benefits involves a complex maze of rules, regulations and decisions regarding prior cases. By employing a sequential process to evaluate an eligible applicant's claim, the Social Security Administration will determine if there is indeed a "disability" that warrants benefits. For many California claimants, how their particular mental or physical impairment fits within the SSA's Blue Book, or Listing of Impairments, is crucial to the ultimate disability decision. However, even if a claimant's impairment is among those included in the Blue Book, it's not certain that disability benefits will be awarded.
California residents and others who have physical or mental impairments that make it impossible to work may be entitled to disability benefits. Typically, benefits are granted if a person meets medical vocational allowance criteria. This means that an individual cannot go back to any job that he or she has had over the past 15 years. It also means that an individual would not be qualified to do any other work that he or she could be mentally or physically able to perform.
For people in California who cannot work due to a disability, Social Security Disability benefits can be crucial to making ends meet and surviving. However, in order to obtain SSD benefits successfully, many people must go through a lengthy, complex process, especially following an initial denial. In order to make a successful claim for disability benefits, people must often submit a substantial amount of documentary evidence that backs up their claims about their limitations. Medical records are a key area of required documents for applicants because they indicate a professional diagnosis as well as the onset of the disability.
Many people in San Diego who have some knowledge of how Social Security disability works, including those who read this blog, may have figured out that many applicants for benefits will at some point in the process need to appeal the Social Security Administration's decision. Appeals of denied claims for SSDI benefits or SSI benefits can be thought of as a three-step process, although these three steps do not account for the fact that applicants can also ask for a field office to reconsider the initial application for benefits.
A pending proposal which the Social Security Administration is floating may mean that San Diego residents who are currently drawing disability benefits will be subject to more frequent eligibility reviews to see if they will be allowed to continue receiving their monthly payments. How often a resident of Southern California on SSD benefits will be subject to a review depends on their medical condition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.