While it is something we rarely contemplate, a disability can strike at any time. Luckily, the Federal government provides benefits for those that are disabled so that these individuals do not have to worry about how they are going to financially survive when they are unable to work for a prolonged period of time. If you have become disabled and are unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and our Fresno CA attorneys can help you with eligibility, the application process or appeal of a denial.
Not everyone is eligible for SSDI benefits. In order to qualify you must:
- Be considered disabled; The government definition of disabled is the “inability to engage in 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”.
- Have worked for a certain period of time depending on your specific case and have contributed to the Social Security System; and
- Be younger than 65 years of age.
It is a common misconception that a person must be bedridden in order to qualify for SSDI. This could not be farther from the truth. Depending upon your age you can win benefits even if you are able to perform light or sedentary work. Each age group has its own requirements and it is important to meet with an attorney to determine if you are eligible based on you age and situation.
What is crucial in a SSDI case is that the applicant shows ongoing medical treatment. Even if the treatment is not working or making the applicant feel any better, it is critical that he or she attend doctors appointments and follow orders. Medical records are the majority of evidence in a SSDI case and therefore showing ongoing medical treatment is a necessity.
In order to apply for SSDI benefits you must first submit an initial application. Many of these applications are denied for various reasons and some believe that there is no way to overturn an initial denial. This is not the case as there is a robust appeals process for SSDI benefits. If your initial application is denied, you can then submit a Request for Reconsideration. This appeal is a matter of paperwork and if it is denied an application can submit a Request for Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge. In this stage of the appeal, a hearing is held where the applicant (or his or her attorney) is given the opportunity to plead his or her case. If benefits are still denied at this stage, the applicant is able to submit a Request for Review of the Hearing Decision.
The process by which you apply for SSDI and the related appeals can be overwhelming for the layperson. This is why it is important to retain the services of a skilled attorney even before you submit your initial application. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan O. Pena regularly assist California clients in submitting SSDI applications, making appeals and attending hearings.
Health Insurance and Phone Access
Many of our clients go without health insurance. This is unnecessary as insurance can be obtained through Covered California. You can learn more by clicking here.
Also, some of our clients do not have access to a phone, due to homelessness or other circumstance. You might be eligible for a free phone and minutes. You can learn more by clicking here. It is important that your attorney and representatives from the Social Security Administrative are able to reach you.
The attorneys at Peña & Bromberg have over 30 years of experience representing clients in SSDI matters. They work on a contingency basis and do not get pain unless you win. If you are in the Fresno, CA area and are considering applying for SSDI contact Peña & Bromberg today by calling (559)412-5390. Phone appointments are also available.