California State and Federal Resources for Social Security Disability, Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse, and Truck Accidents
If you are wondering about the rules for getting Social Security benefits, or if you need help choosing a nursing home or care facility for a loved one, there is a lot of good information available on the Internet to point you in the direction. Below, we have put together a handful of useful links and resources that may help you in your search. If you have other questions or need to speak with an attorney about a California personal injury or disability matter, please call Drake & Drake at 818-624-4695.
Social Security Disability Resources
Social Security Administration (SSA) – This is the official Social Security website, where you can learn how to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSA website has an abundance of online information and resources that can help you determine if you are eligible for benefits. Resources include an SSA Office Locator, a checklist to help you gather needed information for your application, and a variety of calculators to help you estimate important details such as disability and survivors benefits, life expectancy, and the earnings test.
You may want to start at the SSA Disability Benefits page for basic information. From there, you can work through the on-line disability planner, see if you have enough work credits to qualify for benefits, and find out if you have a qualifying disability as an adult or child.
If your application was denied, you can submit an appeal here. Make sure you talk to an attorney first, however. There may be other steps you should take first, such as a request for reconsideration, and having an attorney advise and represent you can greatly enhance your chances for success.
You may also be interested in learning about Medicare benefits to help with health care costs if you are 65 or older or have certain disabilities.
Nursing Home Neglect Resources
Visit Nursing Home Compare to see how nursing homes in your area are rated by Medicare for staffing, health inspections and other measures of quality. This website employs an easy-to-use five-star rating system and allows you to compare up to three nursing homes at a time, which can be helpful in choosing a place for yourself or a loved one.
California Department of Aging (CDA) – This agency administers a number of different programs serving older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and nursing home residents. A key program of the CDA is the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which investigates and resolves complaints made by or on behalf of residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. If you are concerned about the quality of care your loved one is receiving, the LTC Ombudsman may be able to help, but if you suspect that abuse or neglect is ongoing, contacting an attorney may be a quicker way to get help.
Older Californians Act – This page on the CDA website gives you a table of contents for the Act and a link to the California legislature website where you can read individual sections of the code. At the federal level, the Administration of Aging provides information and links to the federal Older Americans Act.
Area Agencies on Aging – These agencies help older adults and individuals with disabilities live in the community as independently as possible, and also assist family members in their role as caregivers.
Truck Accident Resources
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – The primary mission of the FMCSA is to prevent injuries and fatalities related to collisions with commercial motor vehicles such as tractor-trailers. A key activity of the FMCSA is the development and enforcement of a host of safety regulations that cover every aspect of the trucking industry, including the maximum time (hours of service) that a trucker can be on-duty or behind the wheel without rest, and limits on the size and weight of semi-trucks. Determining whether a truck driver or trucking company violated these regulations can be helpful in your truck accident case.
Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) – This database includes trucking company safety data, such as safety records and accident history, which can be useful in showing that a particular trucking company was negligent in causing a serious truck accident.
State Bar of California pamphlet – This booklet provides good, basic information about what to do if you have been in an auto accident. You can read the material online or download it to your computer where you can read it or print it at your convenience.