4 Things You Should Know about Filing for Social Security Disability in California

When applying for social security disability, many people believe they will get the benefits they want without a problem. However, there are many reasons that can prevent social security disability claims from going through in California. Due to some of the legal complexities, the best way to go through the process is with the help of a knowledgeable Los Angeles social security disability lawyer.

People can apply for benefits online or by phone. They can also make appointments with representatives to take the application in a Social Security office. Before filing, though, here are four things everyone should know.

The disability has to be of a certain length

In order to get social security disability benefits, the disability must meet certain criteria in terms. In order to be eligible for benefits, you must show that your disability lasted or is expected to last twelve consecutive months.

Many claims are made based on broken bones or acute trauma, which are swiftly denied because the applicant heals before the one year is over. Even if this is the case, consultation with an attorney may be of assistance in obtaining benefits.

Applicants should obtain evidence to prove their case

A disability must be proven by medical evidence that is acceptable by the standards set forth by Social Security Administration. A Los Angeles social security disability lawyer can help you understand what medical evidence you need to prove disability.

Wait times are long

Only about 31% of social security disability applications are approved the first time around. To make the application go through and get approved faster, it is a good idea to hire a Los Angeles social security disability lawyer to assist you with the process. Professionals who know the rules can help get approval easier and with shorter wait times. The wait for a hearing date has doubled within the last two years.

Those who are not approved with the initial application can go through a reconsideration review, however, only 11% of those who go through the review are later approved. After that, the last resort is an appeal hearing. There is nearly a year-long wait to get such a hearing, but 50% of those who go through that process are approved.

Apply right away when disabled

If your medical disability is expected to last at least twelve consecutive months you should apply. As soon as someone becomes disabled, they should apply for the benefits because the social security benefits, if approved, will not go into effect until month six. The waiting period starts after the first month the application is approved.

Law Offices of Edward J. Singer

Individuals looking for legal help navigating the social security disability landscape should contact a Los Angeles social security disability lawyer, like those from the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer.

Having knowledgeable legal assistance on your side can help you get through the process more quickly and easily, without going through long wait periods and appeals. The disability paperwork can be complicated, so it is best to use a lawyer who specializes in this field and can use their wealth of knowledge in creating a sufficient case for you to receive the benefits you need and deserve.

Changes in California Social Security Disability Benefits in 2016

With the turn of the calendar to a new year, a number of changes go into effect for residents of California that receive social security disability benefits. Some of the expected impacts were softened thanks to the budget deal that was voted for back in October, but there are still changes that will affect those that receive benefits.

The More Things Change…

A number of things stay the same for 2016, which is notable simply for the fact that they are not changing. For just the third time since automatic cost-of-living increases started in 1975, there will be no Social Security payment increase in 2016. There was also no increase in benefits in 2010 and 2011. This is because the increase is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners metric, and from the third quarter of 2015 to third quarter of 2016, there was no change. Along with no payment increase, there was also no change to the maximum amount of earning subject to the Social Security tax, which remains at $118,500.

The big news for social security benefit recipients is the budget deal that was struck in October. Approximately 30 percent of beneficiaries, most notably those who receive help from Medicare Part B, were facing massive premium hikes in 2016, some of up to 52 percent.

Under Social Security’s “hold harmless” provision, Social Security disability benefits cannot decrease from one year to another. Almost 70 percent of beneficiaries have their premiums deducted from the benefits check, so any increase in premium would have had to be handed off to the 30 percent of those that do not. Instead, Medicare Part B took out a $7.5 billion dollar loan from the U.S. Treasury to soften the increase to a more manageable 15 percent. The increase is limited for those that have been receiving benefits prior to 2016. Those that enroll for benefits this year may see a different premium amount.

More Online Services, Longer Hours

Of course there are other smaller changes as well that do not directly affect people’s Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration is continuing to add to the number of services they offer online. If you prefer to conduct your business in person, you may also notice that your local office will be offering longer office hours, relaxing cuts that had been made in previous years.

If you have suffered a disabling injury and are no longer able to work, a Social Security disability lawyer may be able to qualify you for benefits. For help with all your questions, and assistance in navigating all the red tape, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer. With 23 years of experience representing injured workers in Southern California, we’ll help to make sure your claim is approved, and that you receive the maximum benefit you are due.