If you have suffered a disabling injury or medical condition, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
Whether you’re applying for the first time or need to appeal a denied claim, The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour can help you navigate every stage of the process. Our experienced Pomona disability lawyers understand the challenges disabled individuals face every day. We’re committed to helping our clients in Pomona and across Southern California obtain the benefits they need.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has reported that nearly 1 million residents living in California receive disability benefits. In order to be approved, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) strict ‘definition’ of disability.
After submitting a claim for benefits, a claims examiner at the SSA will review your application and determine whether or not your condition meets the following criteria:
- Your condition prevents you from continuing the job(s) you have held in the past.
- Your condition prevents you from performing any other type of work for which you are qualified.
- Your condition is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
If your condition doesn’t meet these criteria, then the SSA will not consider you to be disabled, under their definition, and your claim will likely be denied.
SSDI vs. SSI
These regulations are used by the SSA to determine eligibility for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, the two are separate programs that have additional eligibility requirements to obtain benefits.
SSDI benefits are available for workers who have become disabled. In addition to the medical requirements listed above, you must have earned a certain number of ‘work credits’ by working jobs that pay into Social Security in order to collect SSDI.
You can read more about work credits on the SSA’s website, or contact our office to determine if you’re eligible for SSDI.
SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based program intended for U.S. citizens who are blind, disabled, or over the age of 65. In order to obtain SSI benefits, you must meet the SSA’s definition of disability, as well as the resources limit.
In other words, your countable resources must not be worth more than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple.
According to the SSA, countable resources are money or things you own that can be turned into cash, such as property, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts. However, there are some things, such as the house you live in, that do not count towards the resource limit.
Our Pomona disability lawyers will review your claim, work history, and medical records to determine whether we can help you obtain SSDI and/or SSI benefits.
How Can an Attorney Help?
As you might have already realized, the application process to obtain benefits can be long and complex. The amount of paperwork required to prove your disability can become overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with a condition that makes it difficult to perform daily activities.
Working with an experienced attorney can help make the stressful application or appeals process easier. A knowledgeable disability lawyer will know what medical evidence is needed to support your claim and will work with you to gather and submit all of the required paperwork. Plus, an attorney can coordinate with the SSA representatives on your behalf, so you can focus on your health.
Having an attorney on your side during the initial application process will help you avoid common mistakes that lead to denials, such as insufficient medical evidence and submitting improperly filled out forms.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If your initial claim for disability benefits is denied by the SSA, a disability attorney can represent you at each stage of your appeal. Disability appeals typically consist of a request for reconsideration and a hearing before an administrative law judge.
While you’re not required to have legal representation, we strongly recommend speaking to an attorney before tackling the appeals process. Applicants who are represented by a qualified disability lawyer have a better chance of overturning the SSA’s initial denial and obtaining benefits than applicants who try to represent themselves.
Keep in mind that a denial doesn’t always mean that you aren’t entitled to benefits. The SSA receives thousands of applications every year and can be extremely strict in its determinations. Claims examiners are quick to deny claims that they believe to be insufficient in order to weed out any attempts of fraud.
Pomona Disability Resources
The Social Security office that processes claims for Pomona disability applicants is located at 1100 East Holt Boulevard in the city of Ontario.
However, you can also reach out to our Pomona disability lawyers at The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour for assistance with filing your claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today: We’ll Even Meet With You Over the Phone!
If you or a loved one needs help with any part of your disability application or appeal, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.
Life with a disability presents many challenges but applying for benefits shouldn’t be one of them. Dr. Bill LaTour and our entire legal team will strive to do everything we can to help you navigate the difficult process.
Contact us today at 800-803-5090, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to determine the validity of your claim and how you should best proceed. If your disability prevents you from leaving home, we’ll even meet with you over the phone! We’re dedicated to providing strong legal representation to our clients in Pomona and anywhere in the Greater Los Angeles area, Inland Empire, or Orange County.