Whittier California Social Security Disability Blog

Does fibromyalgia qualify you to receive disability benefits?

When you take pride in your work, the thought of not being able to complete your job duties can be overwhelming. If you view your career as a part of who you are, like an extension of yourself, a disabling condition like fibromyalgia can devastate you – both mentally and physically.

But when you know your body is declining, you might also face concerns about your financial future. And although Social Security Disability (SSD) might not solve all your concerns, qualifying for benefits could help pay for your expenses as your ability to work fades over time.

Documents needed to file for disability benefits

California residents seeking disability benefits typically find the application and approval process frustrating and stressful. The Social Security Administration (SSA) puts a great amount of effort into making sure that applicants do not attempt to defraud the disability program. As such, many people who deserve these benefits, including Supplemental Security Income, receive a notice of denial instead of the approval they need.

Because of the care the SSA takes to ensure applicants are eligible for benefits, it can take a long time to hear back from the administration. You can streamline the application process to receive a (somewhat) faster response by seeking help from a disability attorney. This ensures that you do not make any errors when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, and that you have all of the required documentation.

Time limits for appealing Railroad Retirement Board disability claim denials

When railroad workers here in the U.S. develop disabilities that keep them from working, one option for financial relief they may be able to pursue is making a claim for disability benefits with the Railroad Retirement Board.

Now, sometimes, a person’s initial claim is denied. It is important to know that this doesn’t mean that the person has to give up on the possibility of getting benefits. Denials of Railroad Retirement Board disability claims can be appealed.

Which mental health conditions are considered a disability?

For most, living with a mental illness or disorder is typically just as difficult as living with a physical impairment. One thing patients with mental conditions share with physically impaired people is the inability to work and earn an income. Acquiring Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is often critical to the survival of those living with mental disorders. Unfortunately, proving that you qualify for SSD benefits due to a mental condition is not a simple process.

Which mental conditions may qualify you for disability benefits?

How the Social Security Administration determines disability

Just because you and your doctor decide you can no longer work, that does not automatically mean you will receive Social Security Disability benefits. As with other government programs, you must apply for benefits and then wait for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to decide if you have an applicable disability.

The government tries to make it easy for disabled citizens to apply for the program alone, but many people in California opt to get assistance from a legal professional. This serves to speed the process in some cases by helping applicants meet the eligibility requirements as quickly as possible. If the SSA decides that you are eligible, the application process continues until it makes a final determination. It uses the following criteria to establish who can receive Social Security Disability benefits.

  • If you are working and your income exceeds a certain amount, the SSA will likely deny your application.
  • If you are not currently employed, the application process will continue.
  • Next, the SSA will decide if you have a severe disability, which means that you cannot work and have not been able to work for a 12-month period.
  • The SSA will determine if your disability is included in its list of covered impairments.
  • If your impairment is on the list, the SSA will look at whether you can still perform the type of work to which you are accustomed. If you can, your claim will likely be denied.
  • Next, the SSA will determine if you can perform other types of work. Again, if the Administration decides that you can, it will probably deny your claim.

Is Supplemental Security Income the same as disability?

When two different terms sound somewhat alike, it may be difficult to keep the two terms separate in your mind. If a time ever comes when you must apply for disability benefits, you may encounter many terms that sound similar to one another. Two of these terms include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Although they may sound and look alike to a degree, these are two totally separate terms representing different government programs.

In California, SSDI is available to disabled individuals who have paid into the program through taxes taken out of their work pay. If you have paid enough into this program and have a qualifying and documented permanent or temporary disability, you may be eligible for SSDI.

Changes in Social Security Benefits for 2019

Like many Americans living on benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may budget and pinch pennies to get by. When you rely on a fixed income to pay your bills, increases in expenses can be devastating. However, multiple changes to SSA benefits which may positively impact you will take effect in the new year.

3 ways your benefits may increase

California offers a 'reconsideration' of denied disability claims

Of all those who apply to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) each year, at least 66 percent have their applications denied. While individuals are entitled to reapply for benefits, many have to wait extended periods of time for their cases to be reviewed once again. Over the next 15 months, 10 states, including California, will institute a "reconsideration" policy aimed at expediting the re-review of claims.

Individuals who apply for and are denied benefits often wait a year or more for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to review their initial applications.

Disabled railroad employees: Get help for your claim

The United States railroad industry has a long history of providing American citizens with stable and steady career opportunities. While much of the work involved in the rail community is physically taxing, the industry rewards its workers with a wide range of benefits. When a rail worker suffers a disabling illness or injury, it is reasonable to expect railroad employee retirement benefits to cover the disability.

The good news is that the nation's Railroad Retirement Board does have a generous disability benefits program. There is, however, some bad news: The process of filing for these benefits is difficult. Further, it can take quite a long time to receive a response from the Board on an application for disability benefits. In addition, many disability benefit applications are initially denied -- even when the individual filing has a good case.

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