It may be devastating to receive a denial letter telling you that your Social Security benefits have been denied, in spite of the fact that you have what you believe is a valid physical impairment. Some people give up if they receive this letter, as they may think they have no other options.
However, you do have options. There are multiple levels of appeals that you may pursue in order to recover Social Security benefits you may be entitled to in Los Angeles, California. A Los Angeles physical impairment lawyer may be able to help ensure you have the proper documentation and, if necessary, represent you at a hearing to pursue a positive outcome in your case.
Our team has experience working on cases like yours. For a free, no-risk review to find out if you have a valid claim and what your options may be for appealing a denial, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.
Types of Valid Physical Impairments
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of 14 impairment categories for adults age 18 and older. The physical afflictions listed include:
- Musculoskeletal system: these impairments impact the claimant’s ability to walk effectively on a sustained basis, for whatever reason.
- Special senses and speech: these include visual disorders and severe hearing loss.
- Cardiovascular impairment: this type of impairment includes any disorder that affects the heart’s ability to function properly.
- Respiratory disorders: these disorders cause an obstruction or restriction or interfere with diffusion within the lungs. Some examples of respiratory disorders include cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Digestive system disorders: digestive system disorders include illnesses like short bowel syndrome, hepatic dysfunction, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
These are just a few examples. Other categories for physical impairments include:
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Immune system disorders
A Los Angeles physical impairment lawyer may review your case and could help you understand whether you have a valid claim. They may also explain your options for appealing a benefits denial. For a free case review, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Common Reasons Claimants may be Denied Benefits
There are many reasons why Social Security benefits may be denied. Some common reasons include:
The SSA needs to evaluate the severity of your illness, what kind of treatment you have been receiving for it, how long you have been receiving treatment, and the outcome of that treatment. In the case of a skin disorder, for example, they may need to see evidence about the frequency of flare-ups, diagnosis, onset, and duration. The reviewer may also want to know about the appearance of lesions and whether you have a history of exposure to toxins. If you do not provide all of the necessary medical evidence proving the permanency of your disorder, your claim may be denied.
You Earn Too Much Money
The SSA will not consider your application if you earn more than $1,260 per month. Ultimately the benefits are intended for those who are unable to work as a result of their disability. If you are earning over $1,260 per month doing any type of work, your claim for benefits may be denied.
You did Not Complete Recommended Treatments
The reviewer may need to see your medical records and evidence to prove that you received a firm diagnosis from a physician, that you were given a treatment plan, and that you completed that treatment plan to whatever outcome. If they see that you did not follow the doctor’s recommended treatment plan, they may deny your claim.
You can do Some Kind of Work
The reviewer will also evaluate whether you may be able to do the work you did previously. In the next step, they may evaluate whether you are capable of doing any other type of work based on your age, education, prior work experience, and transferable skills. If they determine that you are capable of doing any kind of work, your claim may be denied.
For a free legal consultation with a physical impairment lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
The Four Levels of the Appeals Process
If your claim is denied, you may be able to file an appeal rather than resubmitting a new claim. If the reviewer sees that you have reapplied for benefits, they may automatically deny you. The four levels of the appeals process are:
- Reconsideration: with this step, someone who took no part in the first decision reviews your claim, along with any new evidence and documentation you may provide. If you provide proper evidence and have a valid claim, you may be approved at this stage and start receiving benefits. If your claim is denied, you have the right to ask for a hearing.
- Hearing: at this stage, you may have the chance to present evidence and bring witnesses before an administrative law judge. You may also have a representative at the hearing who can question witnesses and present your case.
- Appeals Council: if your claim is denied at a hearing, you may ask for a review by the Appeals Council. They may make a decision on your case themselves or send it back to an administrative judge for further review.
- Federal court: if your claim is denied or if the Appeals Council decides not to review it, you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court.
Los Angeles Physical Impairment Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How a Los Angeles Physical Impairment Lawyer may be Able to Help
The Social Security Administration’s claims process may be complex to navigate, which can result in some people having their claims denied even if they are valid. A Los Angeles physical impairment lawyer may be able to help you by ensuring you have all the required medical evidence and documentation proving your physical impairment is valid and that you are unable to work as a result. For a free review of your claim, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. Our team works on a contingency-fee basis.