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How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance in California

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If you or a loved one are battling a disability that is keeping you from entering the workforce, applying for California’s Social Security Disability Benefits can be a viable solution to helping you keep up with everyday bills.

While the application process is straightforward, most individuals who apply are usually denied. Working with an experienced disability lawyer can be helpful in securing benefits you may be entitled to.

Disability lawyers have detailed knowledge of the application process and will help you include the necessary documents that will support your case. At Drake & Drake, our team of experienced California disability attorneys will fight for your rights as you navigate what can be an intimidating SSDI application process. Contact our team today to speak with someone about your case.

What Is the Process of Applying for Disability Benefits in California?

Californians looking to apply for social security disability insurance must first be eligible for social security disability benefits. If eligible, individuals can proceed by filing an application with their local Social Security Administration field office. The application can be filed by mail, online, or in person. When applying, individuals will be asked for the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Birth certificate
  • Contact information for primary care physicians and other doctors
  • Names and dosage of prescribed medications
  • Work history

The application will also include a questionnaire that asks about your work history in great detail as well as your educational background. Applicants will also be asked about how their disability limits or imposes on their daily activities. As part of the application process, individuals must be able to provide medical documentation pertaining to their injury and how it impacts their daily life. Applicants must be able to prove that they have a qualifying medical condition and that it is severe enough to keep them from working.

When filing the application, it’s important that applicants are detailed and honest on all parts of the application. Any mistakes, omissions, or any other issues with the application will result in a denial of the claim. Because of the importance of being thorough and detailed in a claim, many applicants seek the assistance of an experienced disability lawyer. The attorneys at Drake & Drake have extensive knowledge of the application process and will work with you to collect the necessary documents to prove your case.

How Are Social Security Disability Claims Evaluated?

When evaluating social security disability benefit applications, The SSD examiner will look at several criteria, largely pertaining to your work history. For example, an individual must be able to show sufficient work credits of at least 40 work credits, 20 of which must be collected within the last 10 years.

Disability Determination Services Review

Disability Determination Services reviewers will take a detailed look at your medical records, history, and your disability. DDS relies heavily on your medical records to determine whether or not you’re able to participate in the same type of work before your impairment. If you are unable to, DDS will try and determine whether you are able to participate in a different type of work.

DDS has a list of impairments that qualify for disability benefits. Even still, DDS may ask for you to complete several consultative exams in order to make a final determination on your case. For some applicants, not knowing what medical documents to include or how comprehensive to be during a medical exam can result in a denial of an application. Working with an experienced disability lawyer can help you understand what type of evidence you should collect to best support your claim.

Claim Approval

Individuals who are greenlit by DDS will receive approval of their claim via a letter in the mail that details monthly benefit amounts and when they can expect to receive payments. The application process can be lengthy, lasting up to six months. For this reason, if an individual’s claim is approved, they can be paid retroactively to cover the time they have waited during their claim’s processing. In instances where an individual’s claim is denied, DDS will provide an explanation for the denial.

Seeking Legal Guidance for Your SSDI Claim

A denial of benefits can be disheartening when you have a disability that warrants benefits but can’t seem to convince the government that this is the case. However, applicants who are denied due to a technical error have a greater chance of finding success the second time around when they seek out the services of an experienced disability lawyer.

Disability lawyers who are well versed on California’s SSDI regulations can help you navigate the application process so that you include all the necessary details the Social Security Administration requires. Our team will help you compile medical documentation and other evidence that helps prove your case, and we will work alongside you to demystify complicated and intimidating appeals processes.

With a proven track record of success on SSDI claims, the team at Drake & Drake is committed to serving your needs as you navigate California’s SSDI application. Contact our offices today to speak with someone about your case.

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