SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Qualifying for Social Security disability in California involves the same medical disability process as any other state. You must first file an application for disability with Social Security. This can be done by phone, in person, or online. A Social Security claims representative, or CR, will complete the necessary disability claim development with you during your interview. If you file online you must complete the necessary disability report forms.
No matter how you file your application with Social Security, your disability claim, when complete, will be sent to a state disability agency--usually referred to as DDS for a medical disability decision. State disability examiners will request medical records from all of the medical treatment professionals you provided at your disability interview.
If the disability examiner does not think they have enough current medical information (medical treatment within the past ninety days), you may be asked to attend a consultative medical examination to get current medical information. Once the disability examiner receives enough medical information, they will make a disability determination on the claim. The chances are high that your initial disability claim will be denied.
The initial disability claim approval rate in California is 31.9 percent, which is slightly above the national average of 31.7 percent.
If the application for disability is denied
If your initial disability determination is a denial, you must file a reconsideration appeal to keep your disability claim moving through the Social Security disability process in California.
You can file your reconsideration appeal online or by completing the necessary appeal paperwork and returning it to your local Social Security office. The important thing to remember about appealing your initial disability claim denial is that the appeal period is sixty–five days from the date of your denial notice. If your appeal is not received at your local Social Security office on the sixty-fifth day, you run the risk of having to begin your disability claim again.
Once you have filed your reconsideration appeal, it is sent back to the same state disability agency that made your original disability determination, so as you might guess, the approval rate for reconsideration appeals is extremely low. Reason being, the reconsideration appeal goes to the same agency with the same rules and guidelines for a determination.
The only difference is that the reconsideration appeal decision is made by a different disability examiner. If the first disability examiner did not make an error and you have not provided any new medical evidence that might change the decision, there is very little likelihood that your reconsideration appeal will result in you qualifying for disability. The reconsideration approval rate in California is 11. 5, which again is slightly above the average national approval rate of 11.0 percent.
For disability applicants, the reconsideration appeal is just a necessary step toward a disability hearing.
The disability hearing appeal in California
If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you can file a request for a disability hearing to appeal the decision. Like the reconsideration appeal, you have a total of sixty-five days to file your appeal.
Unlike the reconsideration appeal, the disability hearing appeal decision is not made by disability examiners at a state disability agency. Disability hearing decisions are made by administrative law judges who are not as strictly bound when making the medical disability decision as the state disability examiners who make the initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal decisions.
More disability applicants qualify for disability at this level of the Social Security disability process than any other.
The disability hearing approval rate in California is 60.9 percent, versus the average national disability hearing approval rate of 58.6.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page
Individual Questions and Answers