Located in the eastern San Gabriel Valley and part of Greater Los Angeles, West Covina is the 13th largest city in Los Angeles County and is broken up into five districts. With an array of shopping and dining opportunities set among beautiful panoramic mountain views, the California city lives up to its motto, “Live. Work. Play.”
However, it can be difficult to “live, work, and play” when you have suffered a debilitating injury that prevents you from holding a job or enjoying what the city has to offer.
If you find yourself in this situation, The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour are here to help. Dr. Bill LaTour, an experienced West Covina disability lawyer, has helped thousands of disabled individuals across the Greater Los Angeles area, Inland Empire, and Orange County with their Social Security disability applications and appeals. We understand the difficulties you face when you’re unable to work and attempting to file for disability. We can take some of the stress off your shoulders by helping you navigate the challenging process of obtaining disability benefits.
Understanding Social Security Disability
People often confuse SSDI and SSI benefits or don’t know there’s a difference between the two. Both programs are intended to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals and the process to medically qualify is the same, however, they are two separate programs. Keep reading to understand their distinct differences:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are designed for individuals who have worked and paid into the Social Security system. If you have become mentally or physically ill or suffered a debilitating injury that prevents you from working, you could be entitled to receive SSDI benefits. You must meet all of the Social Security Administration’s qualifications in order to be considered “disabled.”
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The criteria used to determine if you are disabled applies equally to SSI benefits. However, the difference in this program is that it is only available to disabled, low-income individuals who have limited work history and do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. In order to receive SSI disability benefits, your income cannot exceed a set amount.
Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits, What You Need To Know
Both government programs are managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to receive disability benefits from either program, you must meet certain criteria. The federal government considers you to be disabled and possibly entitled to Social Security disability benefits if:
- You can no longer perform the work you did before because of your condition.
- The SSA determines that you are not able to adjust to other types of work due to the nature of your condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
Appealing A Denied Disability Claim
While every claim is different and dependent upon the unique circumstances of that individual, it is not uncommon for a disability claim to be denied by the SSA. In fact, according to an annual statistical report by the SSA, “Denied disability claims averaged nearly 53% between 2001-2010” with only 34.8% of all disability applicants being awarded in 2010.
This disheartening fact can make the application process seem more stressful and daunting for disabled individuals who are in need of financial assistance.
The good news is that just because your initial disability application was denied doesn’t mean that you will never be awarded benefits. After you receive notice that your claim has been denied, you will need to file an appeal that essentially asks the SSA to reconsider your claim. You may also have your case reviewed further by an Administrative Law Judge.
Many initial claims are denied because the applicant simply did not provide enough medical evidence to prove their case. The West Covina disability lawyers at The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour know the ins and outs of the Social Security system and what you need to provide in order to establish your disability claim.
While a denial can be frustrating, you should never give up on pursuing disability benefits. With our help, you can rest easier knowing that you’ll have an experienced attorney to guide you through every step of the appeals process.
Why Is The Road To Disability Benefits So Challenging?
It’s no secret that obtaining disability benefits can be a tedious and challenging process, but why? The SSA has to enforce strict rules and guidelines in order to better identify fraud attempts, or individuals who attempt to fake a disability or medical condition in order to receive a monthly check.
These individuals steal resources from government programs designed to support America’s elderly and disabled. The SSA takes fraud attempts seriously and is, therefore, quick to deny applications that don’t include enough medical proof.
While the SSA has been forced to crack down on disability applicants, they can sometimes be overzealous in their attempt to catch fraudulent claims, denying disabled individuals who truly need access to benefits.
Unfortunately, dishonest individuals have made the road to obtaining disability benefits much more difficult. However, consulting a West Covina disability lawyer can help make the process less stressful and time-consuming for you and your family.
Live, Work, And Play In West Covina With Dr. Bill LaTour’s Legal Knowledge
The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour understand the obstacles that individuals face after experiencing a debilitating injury. That’s why we focus exclusively on helping disabled individuals with their SSDI and/or SSI applications and appeals so they can receive the financial stability they deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness that has left you disabled and unable to work, please call our law firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced West Covina disability lawyer. If your condition prevents you from leaving the house, don’t worry. We’ll meet with you over the phone!
Dr. Bill LaTour and his staff serve disabled individuals across Southern California. If you’re in the area and need help filing for disability benefits, contact our law office at 800-803-5090 or fill out our contact form today.
Dr. LaTour will put his legal and medical knowledge to work for you and help ensure that West Covina’s motto, “Live. Work. Play.” applies to all residents.