When people in California face disabling illnesses and injuries that prevent them from returning to work, they may feel pressured to minimize their symptoms and conditions. People may feel embarrassed or ashamed about their disabilities, or they may face years of family or social conditioning that encourage them to dismiss their own pain. However, this can work against a person considerably when he or she is applying for Social Security Disability benefits.
When a person submits an application for Social Security disability benefits, an examiner relies on an applicant's medical records to make a decision. If an individual has not sought treatment prior to submitting an application, there are many ways to do so. California residents who don't have money to see a doctor may opt to go to a free clinic or a nearby emergency room for treatment.
Most people in California who are no longer able to work due to a disability apply for Social Security benefits. However, many claims are denied after an initial application and reconsideration. Applicants have a limited amount of time to appeal a denial of a claim.
California residents who are unable to work or make a sufficient living could be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. There are several criteria used to determine if a person is qualified. First, anyone who is making more than $1,180 per month will not likely be eligible to receive benefits. Applicants making at or below that amount must be able to show that their condition is or will last for more than 12 months.
A durational denial by the Social Security Administration represents a decision based on the expectation that an applicant will regain function within 12 months. Applicants in California who were denied disability benefits based on this assumption should launch an appeal because disability examiners do not necessarily make accurate predictions about a person's chance of recovery.
Social Security disability claims are not decided based on whether or not the claimant has a specific condition. Rather, they are decided based on the extent to which the claimant is limited by the mental or physical condition. The specific condition is often irrelevant. In California and across the country, the primary goal of the Social Security Administration is to determine in what ways the claimant is limited.
The Social Security Administration grants a generous time period of 65 days to disability applicants in California who want to appeal their denials. People get 60 days from the date on their decision letter plus five days for mailing. The administration only grants appeals to applicants who missed their deadlines under limited circumstances, such as hospitalization or inability to understand the decision letter. A failure to receive a decision letter could also provide a valid excuse for missing the deadline.
It is not unusual for California residents to see their reconsiderations for Social Security Disability denied. Records show that just 35 percent of people who apply for disability benefits are approved. As a result, individuals whose disability claims were not approved are forced to consider whether they want to go through the Social Security appeal process to obtain the disability benefits they need.
California residents can be awarded disability benefits when the Social Security Administration determines that they are no longer able to perform gainful work in a substantial way. Disability claims are evaluated using a five-step process. The SSA first eliminates applicants who are still working and then examines medical records and other supporting evidence to determine if the applicant has a medically verifiable mental or physical impairment.
When California applicants are denied Social Security Disability Insurance benefits at the first stage of the process, they have the right to file an appeal. After a decision is made on a disability claim, applicants have a 60-day period in which to seek an appeal. This period begins with the date the notice was issued, so there are an extra five days to cover the mailing time before the notice reached the applicant. In order for an appeal to be considered timely, it must arrive at Social Security office on or before the 65th day from the notice of denial.