Articles Posted in Social Security Disability

When can a district court in Fresno, California reject the assessment of a treating provider? A recent district court decision considered this question. While the court’s decision provides guidance, a dedicated California Social Security Disability attorney can help answer any additional questions you may have that are specific to your situation.

The plaintiff in this case asked for judicial review of an administrative law judge’s decision denying his application for benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. The plaintiff had filed a claim for social security disability benefits on June 4, 2013 claiming a disability date of April 11, 2013.

Anyone filing a claim for social security disability benefits needs to show they’re unable to perform any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable mental or physical impairment that has lasted or is anticipated to last for 12 or more months.

While you may believe your symptoms are clearly disabling, there is a specific process a California administrative law judge must go through to determine whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. An experienced attorney can ensure that you present your case in the best possible light at the administrative level so that you can get the benefits you need. Among other things, it is critical to have a medical record that supports your claims and to be regarded as critical. In claims that include mental health impairment, issues of a strong medical record and credibility can become especially pronounced.

In a recent District Court decision, the court considered whether an appropriate decision had been reached with regard to a claimant with mental health impairments. The court explained that the claimant had the burden of showing she hasn’t been engaged in a substantial gainful activity since becoming disabled. It reasoned that when a claimant has worked and the work is considered substantial gainful activity, there will be a finding of not being disabled. The claimant also has the burden of showing a medically severe impairment. The administrative law judge found she’d suffered from scoliosis and status post lumbar fusion. At Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process, the administrative law judge determined that the impairments didn’t medically equal listed impairments. Next it found she had the residual functional capacity to still do sedentary work.

The plaintiff argued the administrative judge erred in rejecting symptom testimony when there were no clear, convincing and specific reasons supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. The administrative law judge found that the claimant’s allegations about the severity of her symptoms and limitations was diminished because the allegations were more than expected based on the record’s objective evidence.

When is an impairment disabling in a California Social Security Disability case? It can be challenging for a claimant to establish that a particular impairment is disabling, and sometimes an administrative law judge will find that certain impairments are disabling, while others are not. The finding must be more than a harmless error for a district court to overturn the administrative law judge’s decision.

In a recent case arising in the Eastern District of California, the court considered a headache impairment. The court explained the five-step sequence used to evaluate disability. It noted that to qualify for benefits, a claimant needs to establish that he or she wasn’t able to be involved in substantial gainful activity because of a mental or physical impairment that could be medically determined and that had lasted or is anticipated to last at least 12 continuous months. It’s on the claimant to prove the initial disability, and then the Commissioner has the onus of proving the claimant is able to do other jobs that exist in the national economy.

In this case, the plaintiff claimed that disability started in 2010. His social security disability claim was denied at first. At an administrative hearing, the administrative law judge decided he wasn’t disabled because he had mild scoliosis and thoracic and lumbar degenerative disc disease but didn’t have an impairment that met or medically equaled one of the regulation-listed impairments. Additionally, he had residual functional capacity in that he could perform light work. There were jobs in significant numbers in the national economy that he could perform.

In a recent district court decision, a 51-year-old plaintiff asked for summary judgment to reverse the SSA’s finding that he wasn’t disabled. If you are trying to obtain Social Security Disability benefits in California, it is crucial to have a dedicated SSDI attorney by your side throughout the process.

The plaintiff in question worked as a manager of a free clothing program for 18.5 years and applied for SSDI benefits, claiming that he was disabled because of bipolar disorder starting in 2011. The application was denied, and then he was found not disabled by an administrative law judge who believed he had residual functional capacity and there existed jobs he could still perform as a result.

The plaintiff had a history of suicidal ideation, depression, and bipolar disorder. He’d been hospitalized twice for suicidal ideation. He admitted himself to the ER complaining that he was depressed and suffering from suicidal ideation. He also said he’d been feeling more depressed for the last three months, as well as experiencing insomnia, hopelessness, and increased appetite. However, he presented to a doctor as someone with good insight and judgment to counteract his suicidal ideation.

In a recent district court decision, the plaintiff sought judicial review of a California administrative law decision denying her application for benefits under the Social Security Act. The plaintiff had stated her onset of disability was April 28, 2010. The plaintiff’s request for review was denied. At the district court level, the parties moved for summary judgment.

The district court explained that anyone who files a social security disability claim needs to show she is unable to perform any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable mental or physical impairment that has gone on or is anticipated to last for 12 or more months. The administrative law judge is supposed to apply a 5-step sequential process to decide disability. The administrative law judge has a special duty to fully develop the record.

In this case, the administrative law judge found that the plaintiff hadn’t engaged in substantial gainful activity since the onset date. At the second step, the claimant had the burden of showing a serious impairment or group of impairments. The administrative law judge found the plaintiff had suffered from depression, obesity, and degenerative disc disease.

If you are applying for SSDI benefits in Fresno, you may be curious how much weight your treating doctor’s opinion is given. In a recent Social Security Disability case in the Southern District of California, the plaintiff sought judicial review of a Social Security Commissioner’s denial of his application for disability insurance benefits.

The plaintiff argued that the administrative law judge had made a reversible error by not properly weighing a non-examining doctor’s opinion, among other things.

The case arose when the plaintiff was 47. He had been working as a sheet metal mechanic and stopped working in 2013 because of various health conditions, including degenerative disc disease, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and anxiety. A tumor had been surgically removed from his neck in 1991, and then he went through back surgery.

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If you are trying to obtain SSI or SSDI benefits in Fresno, it can be important to retain an experienced attorney who can work to make sure the Social Security Administration understands the impact of all of your impairments on your case.  In a recent case in a court in the Central District of California, a plaintiff asked for review of the Commissioner’s denial of his request for supplemental security income and disability insurance benefits. The parties filed consents to go before a magistrate judge in 2017.

The claimant was born in 1956 and had previously worked as a caterer and a car rental manager. He applied for a period of disability benefits, claiming he hadn’t been able to work since 2011. His applications were denied initially, and he requested a hearing in front of an administrative judge.

At the hearing, the claimant testified, as did a medical expert and vocational expert. The administrative judge decided against him. The claimant asked the court to review.

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In a recent district court case that sheds light on how courts view the approval of California disability insurance benefits, a plaintiff asked for review of the Commissioner’s denial of his request for Social Security disability insurance benefits. The plaintiff had completed 12th grade and worked as a security guard. His date of birth was in 1951.

He applied for disability insurance benefits claiming disability since 2008 due to bipolar disorder, lymphadenopathy, hyperlipidemia, arthralgia, hepatitis B, and dermatitis. His application was denied at first and then reconsidered. He asked for a hearing before an administrative law judge. The hearing was in 2015, and at that time both the plaintiff and a vocational expert testified. In his decision the administrative law judge determined he wasn’t disabled because he had a substance abuse disorder that was a contributing factor that was germane to determining his disability.

The district court reviewed the denial to determine whether it was based on substantial evidence — evidence that was enough for a reasonable person to accept it as sufficient to support the conclusion drawn.

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Q: How do I know if my representative payee is honest?

California disability benefits attorneys are devoted to helping society’s most vulnerable citizens determine which of the two available federal disability benefits programs they may be qualified for and then handling the application and/or appeals process necessary to secure those benefits.

The two federal disability benefits programs offered through the Social Security Administration(“SSA”) both require that applicants meet the federal government definition of being “disabled”. In general, Social Security disability benefits (“SSDI”) apply to disabled people who have previously worked for a requisite number of years and paid into Social Security through their payroll deductions. The other program, Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is available to disabled people in an exceptionally low-income situation. Sometimes people may qualify for both programs.

While the road to being awarded disability benefits can be long and difficult, especially without assistance from a skilled disability benefits attorney, the difficulties don’t always end when the award is granted.

What assets count towards SSI eligibility?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that assists people with disabilities in paying for basic necessities like food and shelter. SSI and SSDI are often lumped together, but the two programs have some major differences. SSI is not limited to those who have a certain number of work credits, unlike SSDI.  The program is open to individuals with a disability who have limited assets and income. Our SSI eligibility lawyers explore the eligibility requirements for SSI and what assets will count towards your asset limit below.

SSI Eligibility

To receive SSI benefits, you must demonstrate that you are disabled and have limited financial resources. Various medical conditions may allow you to qualify to receive SSI benefits. Check the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments to determine if your condition may qualify. You will need to include strong medical evidence of your disability, which must prove your inability to earn a living.

Once you have substantiated your disability, you must meet the income and asset limits. To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must have no more than $2,000 in assets or $3,000 per couple. However, not all assets will count towards this limit. Assets excluded from consideration include:

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