If you have become unable to work as a result of a disabling condition, it's important to understand how the process of applying for disability benefits works. In particular, you need to know who decides if you'll be eligible for disability benefits and what criteria matters in determining eligibility.
A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can provide you with the information you need to understand how the application process works. An attorney can also help you through every step of applying so you can maximize the chances you will be gran ted the benefits you deserve.
Who Decides If You'll Get Disability Benefits?
When you apply for disability benefits, you'll typically apply for one of two programs run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to people who have earned enough work credits to be eligible, and provides Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to low income individuals who have limited resources.
When you apply for benefits with the SSA, a disability claims examiner will review the information you provide, including medical documentation of your disabling condition. The claims examiner will decide whether to grant or deny your benefits claim.
If your claim is denied, there are multiple phases of appeals that you can go through. A second claims examiner could look at your information, or you could end up with a disability benefits hearing and an administrative law judge (ALJ) would rule on the decisions made earlier in your case if you need to move to the second phase of appeals. An appeals board reviews the decision by the ALJ if you continue appealing into the third phase of appeals, and finally, you'd end up appealing to a federal court judge.
A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help with every phase of appeals, so contact an attorney to find out about how you can fight for benefits and who will decide on your claim.