PLEASE NOTE: Our office is still open, serving our clients, and taking new clients, too! Attorneys and staff are working remotely and/or safely apart within our office(s) while recognizing the recommended guidelines for social distancing. Your health and safety, and that of our staff, is important to our firm. In response to the threats of COVID-19, we are currently offering clients and potential clients the ability to communicate with our attorneys and staff by telephone or email. As soon as it is deemed safe to meet in person, we will be happy to schedule in-office appointments. In the meantime, please contact our office by telephone or email to discuss your legal needs. We continue to fight for your disability benefits during this difficult and unprecedented time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

SSD Appeals and Wait Times

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Each year, many people living in California apply for Social Security disability benefits. While these individuals are suffering from severe health conditions that make work difficult, if not impossible, the approval process may be lengthy. This is particularly true when the Social Security Administration denies a benefit claim and an applicant decides to appeal this decision.

In fact, the timeframe for Social Security disability appeals currently stands at about 600 days, or close to two years. Unfortunately, many people who apply for benefits simply don’t have the financial resources to survive on their own while waiting for their case to be reconsidered. Some applicants die while others are forced to seek other sources of financial support, including savings, retirement accounts or even family members.

Politicians and activists are currently trying to address these wait times, but doing so will require additional funding for the Social Security Administration’s budget. Meanwhile, people with disabilities may have to make difficult choices about how to manage their conditions while waiting for financial support.

Ideally, applicants for Social Security disability benefits are able to present a strong initial application that has a reasonable chance of being approved. Doing so can help an applicant avoid the stress and frustration of the appeals process.

One way that applicants can protect themselves during the application process is to seek third-party assistance. Those applying for assistance may benefit from speaking with an experienced disability attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client’s case and make recommendations for developing a stronger application. If the application is denied, the attorney may also be able to assist in presenting a vigorous appeal of the original decision.