Social Security Disability and SSI Attorney in Orange, CA

We are a group of experienced lawyers based in Orange and Oakland, California, who are committed to assisting disabled individuals obtain Social Security Disability benefits. We limit our practice to what we do best, Social Security benefits. We understand how difficult and confusing the process may seem; therefore, we match our clients with a Social Security disability lawyer who is well-experienced and versed in Social Security law.

No one should not have to go through this process alone. Our goal is not only to help you obtain the benefits that you deserve but to be available to answer your questions throughout the process. We have handled thousands of claims of all types from the initial application stage all the way to Federal Court.

We pride ourselves on customer service. At Ortega Disability Group, you will be assigned a personal caseworker to guide you through what, at times, can be a complex process. You will also have the ability to communicate with a licensed attorney. We are available in person, by phone, or via email to assist you.

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Social Security Disability Lawyer Orange Ca

Difference between SSD and SSI

Social Security Disability is a benefit available for individuals who are unable to work and who have paid into the Social Security trust fund while they were employed. When an employee contributes a portion of their salary to the Social Security trust fund their employer contributes an equal amount to allow the employee to become eligible for retirement benefits when they reach retirement age. However, these employees also become eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if their employment is cut short due to a disability prior to the attainment of their full retirement age.

Social Security Disability benefits are based on the amount each individual paid in Social Security taxes while employed. The taxes paid to Social Security are based on the amount earned. So, those individuals who earn more while employed typically get paid more in monthly benefits than those who earn less.

Social Security Disability benefits also offer their beneficiaries additional benefits if they have eligible dependents or children. Medicare is also available for the disabled individual. Your SSD attorney will explain your rights and possible Social Security benefits when meeting with you.

The SSI program provides benefits made payable to disabled adults and children who have limited or no source of income. These individuals usually don’t have a stable source of income and haven’t paid into the Social Security program over time. People who are over the age of 65 may also qualify for SSI benefits. In some cases, individuals may be able to receive both SSI and SSD benefits at the same time. Speaking to one of our SSI attorneys helps you get the answers you need.

Is a representative necessary?

The Social Security Administration does not require applicants to be represented. However, as in all complicated matters, it is best to have someone that is knowledgeable on the subject advocate on your behalf. Many people are denied not because they are not disabled and don’t qualify for SSDI benefits, but because they don’t know how to prove their disability. We fight for you because you should not have to go through it alone. Individuals who are applying for disability benefits can’t afford to take any chances and need a strong SSDI lawyer on their team. Too many people think about applying and just can’t get through the process. Others start the process and are denied or encounter resistance from the agency and give up. We won’t let that happen to our clients. Our Orange and Oakland, California clients are our top priority.

Furthermore, the ability to afford a representative should not prevent any claimant from obtaining assistance. Our fee structure is simple. We don’t charge a fee unless you win your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability (SSD) vs Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Both programs require you to prove you are unable to work due to a medical disability. However, not everyone who is unable to work will be eligible for either of the two benefits. In addition to proving your inability to work, you must also prove other eligibility requirements. For SSD benefits, your SSDI attorney must have worked for a sufficient time period in order to be eligible. Your condition also must have become disabling within a set period of time after you stopped working.

Eligibility for SSI benefits requires an individual have very little or no income and very little assets. Your spouse’s income or assets will also be counted for eligibility purposes.

How much will I receive if I am awarded Social Security benefits?

Your entitlement amount for Social Security benefits varies based on several different factors. For SSD benefits, it is based on the amount of Social Security disability taxes you have paid while you or the wage earner were employed. For Supplemental Security Income benefits, your entitlement varies based on your household income and assets.

How long does it take to obtain a decision?

There are no set deadlines for the Social Security Administration to make a decision. Those that are fortunate to have their cases approved at the initial application phase will obtain a decision in as little as 5-6 months. However, applicants who are not fortunate enough to have their initial claims granted often find that their cases take over a year or more to obtain a final decision in their claims.

Why do I need an advocate?

It is not required that you obtain an advocate. Many people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are denied initially. An advocate does not guarantee success. However, it does allow a claimant who may not be familiar with Social Security’s regulations and procedures to have someone with years of experience advocating on their behalf. People who are disabled and are unable to work cannot afford to take chances with their claims.

Do I have to wait until my hearing to hire an advocate?

The earlier you obtain an advocate the better. You do not have to wait until the hearing to obtain an advocate.

How much does it cost to obtain an advocate?

The Social Security Administration regulates all fees for representatives. Most advocates limit their fees to 25% of the retroactive award recovered for the claimant. The Social Security Administration will pay your advocate directly from your retroactive award. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about settling up with your advocate on your own. The Social Security Administration will send awardees a detailed summary of the percentage and total fees taken out for legal representation. No fee is owed for claimants who do not win their case.

If I am approved how long will I receive benefits?

All applicants approved for continuing benefits can have their claims reviewed in the future to see if there has been a medical improvement in their condition. The timing of such reviews is based on several factors, such as the type of disability, whether there is an expectation that the condition may improve. All benefit cases must go under review at some point, unless the disabled individual is permanently blind.

Can I receive Social Security benefits if I am receiving other benefits such as worker's compensation or Veterans benefits?

The receipt of other types of benefits does not necessarily preclude you from receiving Social Security benefits. Each case is different, so it is important that you consult with an advocate (SSDI attorney) that is familiar with the complex requirements of the various types of benefits. Your advocate will be able to explain any situation unique to your case.

Is there any way to expedite my hearing?

The regulations provide that cases are generally processed in the order filed. However, practically speaking, there are many things that can be done to ensure that your case is decided as early as possible. One thing is to ensure that the necessary medical and documentary information is provided to the administration as early as possible. The regulations also have a provision for accelerating the process for dire cases. Under certain circumstances, a case can be given “dire need” status by the Social Security Administration, which generally result in a quicker decision.

Can my children receive benefits if I am disabled?

Under certain circumstances, the dependents of people who receive Social Security Disability benefits may also be eligible for what is called auxiliary benefits. Our experienced SSD attorney can help you understand whether your children qualify for these benefits.

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