Orange County Lawyers Explain How to Avoid Common Social Security Problems (Part 1)
Our experienced Orange County Social Security lawyers understand that if you have been disabled, you need your Social Security Disability Benefits to support yourself and your family. Yet every year thousands of deserving men and women in Orange County & Los Angeles – and across California and the US – are denied Social Security benefits.
In many instances a Social Security denial is avoidable! Here are some “insider tips” from our experienced Orange County Social Security lawyers to help you avoid a preventable Social Security denial.
Social Security Applicant Earns Too Much Income
One of the primary reasons people are denied Social Security benefits is because they earn too much money to be considered disabled. You are allowed to work a small amount when you’re applying for and collecting SSDI –but if you earn enough to have “substantial gainful activity” (SGA), you will be denied.
What you can do:
Understand the SGA income limits – and know how much you are earning – BEFORE you apply.
For non-blind individuals, the monthly SGA amount for 2016 is $1130. (The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2016 is $1820.) This SGA figure is adjusted annually, and only work income (not income from investments) counts.
If you are earning more than the SGA amount, you will need to reduce your income before you can apply and be approved. A good accountant or experienced Social Security lawyer can often help you structure your income so that it does not prevent you from receiving Social Security benefits. Call our office for a FREE consultation and income analysis to see if we can help you meet the income guidelines for receiving Social Security disability.
Social Security Applicant’s Disability Won’t Last 12 Months
To be approved for SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine that your disability is severe enough to last at least 12 months (and/or will result in your death).
Even serious bone fractures, torn ACLs and other “long term” injuries may be denied for SSD because the SSA “assumes” you will heals within a year or less.
What you can do:
Each Social Security case is evaluated on an individual basis. You need to supply detailed documentation and medical records from your physicians – including reports, x-rays, MRI’s, etc. – that will demonstrate that you condition is expected to last a year or more. A statement from you treating physician actually specifically stating that your disability will likely last a year or longer is even better.
If you do not have documentation showing that your disability will last a year, an experienced Social Security lawyer can help you obtain your necessary medical records – and get them submitted to the SSA in the proper, timely manner. Call our office for a FREE consultation and disability analysis to see if we can help you prove that your disability will last a year and qualifies you for Social Security disability.
The Social Security Cannot Find an Applicant
If you move and/or your phone number changes – even temporarily – the SSA may not be able to get in touch with you and may drop your case and/or deny your Social Security Benefits.
What you can do:
Don’t assume that the SSA knows where you are! Even if you change your driver’s license, or fill out other government paperwork with your new address, the SSA will not be notified until YOU contact them. So contact the SSA by phone AND in writing, any time your contact information changes.
Appointing a permanent representative (such as a lawyer) to handle your Social Security paperwork is also an excellent idea. This way the SSA can always find your lawyer – even if you move or your contact info changes.
The Social Security Applicant Does Not “Cooperate”
Applying for Social Security Disability requires you to “jump through a lot of hoops”. And many of the SSA’s requests can be inconvenient, burdensome and even overwhelming.
In addition to requiring you and your doctors to provide all medical records, the SSA may also require that you be examined by one of their doctors in one or more “consultative examinations” (CEs). If you miss your CE for any reason – even because of illness – you may be denied Social Security disability.
What you can do:
If the SSA is requesting more information, do your best to supply it. If you can’t make it to a scheduled CE because of the time or location, talk to your claim examiner and reschedule at a time when you can attend. If their requests are simply too much for you to handle, contact one of our experienced Social Security lawyers immediately and we will assist you in getting through the SSA “hoops” so that they do not deny you for being “uncooperative”.
Our Experienced Orange County Social Security Disability Attorneys Help You Get the Maximum Benefits!
CLICK HERE for Part 2 of Tips for Avoiding Social Security Disability Denial