Overview of our services…
Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a complicated process. Although hiring an attorney at the initial stage can be helpful, most San Diego disability attorneys recommend that an attorney be hired once the claim has been denied and an administrative law hearing has been scheduled. We can assist with every step of the process, from the initial application to claim appeals at the highest level.
Claimants that are inexperienced or do not have the capabilities and resources in preparing their initial applications are advised to hire an attorney.
There are a number of ways in which you can begin the initial application process for Social Security Disability benefits. You can either begin the claim process online, over the phone or at your local Social Security Office. Make sure that your disability qualified for Social Security Disability Benefits. Our list of disabilities can be found on our Qualified Disabilities for Social Security page.
The majority of disability claimants do not hire San Diego disability attorneys when preparing their initial applications for Social Security disability benefits. Even though more than two-thirds of all initial disability applications are denied, it generally does not make a difference whether the claimant hired an attorney to help him prepare his application. The reason is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) automatically denies the majority of applications, unless there is overwhelming evidence of a severe disability.
However, this does not mean that you cannot benefit from the help of an attorney in preparing your initial application. Claimants that are inexperienced or do not have the capabilities and resources in preparing their initial applications are advised to hire an attorney.
If the SSA denies the initial application, the claimant will proceed to the initial appeal level, known as Reconsideration. Because the same disability examiners review the claim at this level, San Diego disability attorneys do not usually see the need of being hired at this point in the application process.
If an attorney is hired at this level, he or she will generally require you to do more work gathering employment and medical records so the attorney will have sufficient information to evaluate the case.
The best time to hire an attorney is when the claim has been denied at the Reconsideration Level. You have the highest chance of success at the Administrative Law Hearing level. Because the claim is reviewed by an independent administrative law judge, it is imperative to hire an attorney to prepare both you and the necessary records the judge needs to make an informed decision.
If you Social Security Disability claim is denied, you can apply for appeals starting with the initial appeal level.
Disability Case Preparation Services
Present your strongest claim for benefits by preparing you case with evidence, witnesses and effective representation.
In order to be awarded Social Security disability benefits, you must prove that you meet Social Security’s strict definition of “disabled.” Simply put, you must prove that you have a physical or mental impairment that is so severe it renders you unable to work. As with most aspects of Social Security disability, however, proving you are disabled is not that simple. Our experienced San Diego disability lawyers can help.
If you do not have a working knowledge of the key terms, rules and regulations governing Social Security disability, then you cannot present your strongest claim for an award of benefits. Our knowledgeable Social Security disability attorneys can help. We handle claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, from the initial application through appeals to the Appeals Council. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego disability lawyer, please contact us. Use the Free Claim Evaluation form on this page to tell us about your situation or call our office directly.
Contact your local SSA office or go to ssa.gov to complete the initial application.
Request for Reconsideration
If your initial application is denied, you have 65 days, (60 days plus 5 days for mailing), to file a Request for Reconsideration in which your claim will be reviewed by someone who did not make the initial determination.
Request for ALJ Hearing
If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, you have 65 days, (60 days, plus 5 days for mailing), to file a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge.
Request for Review of ALJ Hearing
If the ALJ denies your claim, you can file a Request for Review to the Appeals Council in Falls Church, VA within 65 days (60 days plus 5 days for mailing) of the date of your unfavorable decision.
File Civil Lawsuit in Federal District Court
If the Appeals Council upholds the ALJ’s unfavorable decision or decides not review your claim, you can file a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court, which is the last level of the appeals process.