Social Security "SSI" Disability Benefits

About Our Social Security Practice

The focus of our SSI practice is solely disabled adults and children with Autism.

We only engage a client after an appeal has already been filed. We do not file an initial application (though that is briefly described within this wepage).

We have extensive experience in understanding and using clinical records, educational records and numerous other relevant documents at government adminstrative hearings.

Jeffrey Gottlieb, Attorney

Everyday of our law practice, we are receiving and reviewing reports and related documents regarding adults and children with special need. Everyday, we are preparing for hearings, advocating on behalf of individuals and their families. This is our vocation; this is our passion.


SSI is generally available for disabled individuals without a work history (including both children as well as adults)
Social Security’s medical standards of disability for children are different than those for adults. The legal standard of disability for adults is generally work-based. The legal standard of disability for children is generally function based; most often focused on the ability of the child to access his or her academic program.

For a minor applicant, SSI household income dictates your child’s eligibility to apply for SSI. Too much income, assets, or resources can result in a denial of SSI eligibility. Consequently, low income for the family unit is generally required for SSI eligibility on behalf of a child. In contrast, an adult with a qualifying SSI disability can be eligible based on his/her own income/assets, without regard to the family's finances. Once you prove “financial need” in an SSI claim, Social Security then evaluates the individual's medical condition(s).

Most notably, having an impairment in itself does not qualify an individual for SSI. What is critical is the severity and the nature of the impairment. How limiting is the impairment; that is the critical question. And, that is where our expertise increases the likelihood of a successful appeal.
We understand that the Social Security Disability appeals process can seem daunting. The more you are prepared the better your chance of presenting your appeal in the best light possible.

Jeffrey Gottlieb, Attorney

Contingency Fees & Costs

We do not charge an upfront fee for our attorney services; our attorney appeal services are on a contingency basis. We may charge a small amount for out-of-pocket costs related to obtaining medical or records; however, often these are available free or at minimal cost.
We can make a difference. We look forward to working with your adult or minor child becoming eligible for social security SSI benefits.

How To Apply For Social Security "SSI" Disability Benefits And Appeal If Your Claim Is Denied

The following are the basic steps for obtaining social security benefits, based on a disability:

Step One: Application

The first step in the process is applying for benefits, and there are three basic ways of applying: 1) You can apply in person at your local Social Security field office or 2) You can apply by telephone; or 3) You can apply on line.

Step Two: Reconsideration

If your application is denied, you must file your appeal application within 60 days of having your disability insurance claim denied.

After you send in your request for reconsideration, your case will be reviewed by a person that had nothing to do with your original claim. All old evidence and any new evidence that you submit will be re-evaluated. Overwhelmingly, most claims for reconsideration are denied.

Step Three: The Hearing

If you are denied disability insurance and your request for reconsideration is also denied, you have 60 days from the second denial to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). Sometimes, the social security administration removes the requirement for reconsideration and your case is immediately eligible for a hearing (though still requiring an application for a hearing within 60 days notice of the denial).

A hearing is similar to a trial; the evidence is presented and witnesses may be called, if necessary. Having an experienced attorney familiar with administrative hearings is critical to the appeal process.

Each of the above steps requires the completion of numerous forms; including, 1) a review of relevant & persuasive clinical and other records and 2) a compelling written argument of why eligibility should be granted.

What We Do

The following is what we do to help you in reversing a denial of benefits:

  • We communicate with you after each critical step of the process
  • We request and submit all medical and other records that demonstrate the severity of the physical or mental impairments
  • If possible, we obtain a supportive letter from a treating clinician (e.g., physician, psychologist)
  • We prepare your testimony for the hearings, if a hearing is necessary
  • In preparation for the hearing, we draft a pre-hearing statement to the judge about why benefits should be granted
  • We attend the hearing and advocate on your behalf
  • We present at a hearing a compelling argument for benefit eligibility.

We represent SSI clients throughout Southern California including the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura.
Call us at 562-699-2412 or 949-419-6196 for further information.

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