Social Security Disability Attorney Helping Injured Workers with Disability Claims
You may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits to injured workers and their families through its Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. You may be eligible to receive these financial benefits if you have paid Social Security taxes.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Invictus Law, P.C. help clients in Santa Ana, Irvine and other communities throughout Orange County, California successfully pursue SSDI benefits, either alongside or in lieu of workers’ compensation benefits. We also serve injured workers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Filing a Social Security Disability claim
To claim SSDI benefits, you must have been out of work for 12 months due to a medical condition. The process begins with an Adult Disability Report, which you can complete online or by hand. This report requires medical information, including medications, medical records and test results. It also requires a description of the work you performed and your most recent W-2 form. You file your claim through your local Social Security office. You can expect a decision within three to five months.
The SSA uses a five-step process to determine disability
When they review your application, Social Security Administration employees ask five questions to determine whether you qualify for disability benefits:
- Are you working? If you worked in 2013 and earned more than $1,040 a month, the Social Security Administration does not consider you disabled. If you did not work during the most recent 12-month period or did not earn more than $1,040 a month, your application reviewer considers the next question.
- Is your condition considered severe? A severe medical condition must interfere with your ability to perform basic work activities.
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? The Social Security Administration maintains a list of disabling conditions for 14 systems or parts of the body. The SSA checks your condition against this list. Some common injuries that could qualify include paraplegia, quadriplegia, blindness, a lower back injury, shoulder and arm injuries, and repetitive stress conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. If there’s a match, there’s a good chance that your claim will receive approval. If not, the SSA evaluates whether your condition matches the severity of the conditions on the list.
- Are you able to do the work you previously did? If your medical condition does not match the Social Security Administration’s list of disabling conditions or the level of severity, the SSA then determines whether your condition interferes with your ability to do the work you did before your injury. If you can no longer perform the kind of work you did previously, the SSA moves to the next question. If the condition does not interfere, the SSA denies your claim.
- Are you able to perform any other type of work? The final question in the Social Security Administration’s evaluation of your medical condition considers whether you can perform other work. The SSA evaluates your age, past work experience, education and skills that could transfer to other jobs. If the application reviewer believes you can’t adjust to other work, your claim receives approval. If not, he or she denies your claim.
One of our disability attorneys at Invictus Law, P.C. in Orange County, California, can evaluate your chances of meeting SSDI eligibility criteria and claim approval.
You can appeal a decision if your initial claim was denied
If the SSA denies your claim, you receive a letter telling you why. Initial claims are often denied. We can help you appeal the decision through the SSDI four-level appeals process:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court review
A denial can be reversed, so that you can ultimately receive benefits. We can represent you throughout this process to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Find out more about Social Security Disability benefits from a disability attorney
Schedule your free initial consultation with a disability attorney at Invictus Law, P.C. We have two convenient office locations in Santa Ana and Ontario, California and a flexible appointment schedule. Call us at (949) 287-5711 or contact us online to arrange for your consultation. Our firm does not require you to pay any up-front attorney’s fees.