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.
We have extensive experience in understanding and using clinical records, educational records and numerous other relevant documents at government adminstrative hearings.
Everyday of our law practice, we are receiving and reviewing clinical reports and related documents regarding adults and children with special needs. Everyday, we are preparing for hearings, advocating on behalf of individuals and their families. This is our vocation; this is our passion.
Supplemental Security Income ( SSI)
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 educational program.
For a minor applicant, SSI household income also 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 and how much the impairment limits the individual's functioning. This is where our expertise increases the likelihood of a successful appeal.
We understand that the Social Security Disability appeals process can seem daunting, however the more prepared you are the better your chances are of presenting your appeal in the best light possible.
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) In person at your local Social Security field office, 2) By telephone; or 3) online.
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 was not involved 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 income 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, and more importantly, 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 hearing, 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 to advocate on your behalf and present a compelling argument to grant eligibility
We represent SSI clients throughout Southern California including the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura.
Contingency Fees & Costs
We do not charge an upfront fee for our SSI 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 educational records; however, these are often available for free or at minimal cost.
We look forward to working with your adult or minor child in becoming eligible for social security SSI benefits.