A California resident who files for Social Security Disability benefits must show evidence of an actual disability. This evidence must also prove the severity of the condition. It may be possible for the Social Security Administration to help an individual find this evidence assuming that permission has been granted to provide assistance. Providing evidence in a timely manner may work to reduce the amount of time needed to process a claim.

Evidence of an impairment provided to the SSA must be objective and come from a reputable medical source. In some cases, a nonmedical source may also be able to present evidence that an individual is unable to function in a work setting. Nonmedical sources may include friends, neighbors or clergy.

In the event that there is not enough evidence for the SSA to make a determination about a person’s medical condition, an examination may be conducted. Ideally, the exam is conducted in conjunction with the medical source provided by the claimant. However, if that source does not want to perform the exam, the SSA will find an alternate source. This may also occur if the claimant’s source is deemed to be unreliable in any way. Once the exam has been completed, a report will be issued that will be used as part of any determination made by the SSA.

Applying for SSD benefits may help an individual pay bills and cover medical expenses while out of work. While the SSA may provide assistance in finding evidence to prove that a person has a legitimate disability, it may be advisable to have the assistance of experienced legal counsel throughout the process.