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Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld Relentlessly Protecting California Workers' Rights Since 1956

California Social Security Disability Attorneys

Getting Social Security Disability Benefits in California

If your disabilities prevent you from being able to work at all, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are available to people who have paid into the Social Security system during their working lifetime but who are now disabled and unable to perform any sort of work due to injury or illness.

Individuals belonging to certain employment retirement systems may also be eligible for disability retirement benefits. The best way to begin the Social Security Disability benefit process is to file a claim. At our Social Security  Disability lawyers can offer free application help, or you can submit your application on your own by phone, by email, or in person.

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Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld is dedicated to helping California workers receive all the benefits they are entitled to under the law. We only represent individuals, never employers, insurance companies or government entities. We have more than 65 years of experience in workers’ comp and other disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability. Let an SSDI advocate from our firm put that experience to work for you.

Schedule your initial consultation with a social security disability attorney by calling Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld at (805) 243-2179 or reaching out using our online form. We serve clients all throughout California: Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, Visalia, Turlock, and beyond.

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At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "Experienced the Utmost Professionalism"
    They are well organized, very knowledgeable of the workers' compensation industry, and have had an excellent reputation for many years.
    - Nadine
    "They Make You Feel Like Family"
    Ben Feld was a terrific attorney as he guided me through the disability process. Most importantly, he would return my calls or my texts very quickly. I cannot recommend GG&F more highly. They make you feel like family.
    - Kellie D.
    "It Was a Miracle! I Am So Thankful and Grateful!"
    Mr. Feld got me my SSDI in 2 month on contingency, which was greatly appreciated! That was 2 years faster than the nightmares that everyone hears about. I was crying! It was a miracle! I am so thankful and grateful!!! Thank you so much Benjamin Feld!!!
    - Kathy G.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for California Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must first:

  • Have worked in jobs covered by Social Security.
  • Have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s strict definition of disability.
  • The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs.

California residents may be eligible for SSDI benefits if:

  • They cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medical condition.
  • They cannot do work they did previously or adjust to other work because of a medical condition.
  • Their condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Your previous employment must have required you to pay Social Security taxes for a certain duration, depending on your age, OR you must be so financially depleted in available resources that you meet SSA requirements which, in 2023, includes earning revenue of no more than $1,470 per month, or $2,460 per month, if you are blind.

What If My SSDI Was Denied?

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, a Santa Barbara social security disability attorney from our firm can help you determine if you’re eligible for Social Security Disability and navigate the application process. If you’ve already been denied Social Security Disability benefits when you reach out to us, we will review your denied application to determine what information may have been missing, and what needs to be done to appeal your case. Our lawyers will represent you at the administrative hearing, appeals process, and potentially Federal Court as well as be your advocate throughout the process.

If your appeal is successful, you may be entitled to ongoing monthly payments, retroactive payments going back to the onset of your disability, and Medicare or MediCal insurance benefits.

What Is The Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

The key distinction between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) revolves around their eligibility requirements and the nature of the benefits they offer.

  • SSDI targets individuals who have a significant work history and have contributed to the Social Security trust fund via payroll taxes. The benefits under SSDI are calculated based on the recipient's history of earnings, and it also extends to cover certain family members. This program is essentially designed for those who have paid into the system and now require assistance due to disability. 
  • SSI focuses on providing support to individuals based on need rather than work history, distinguishing the two in terms of both qualification criteria and the basis of the benefits provided.

What Is SSI?

SSI is a needs-based program that does not require a job history and is intended to help aged, blind, or disabled people with low incomes and resources. Whereas general tax revenue pays SSI, Social Security taxes fund SSDI. In essence, SSI provides a safety net for people in need of financial assistance, whereas SSDI acts as an insurance policy for workers who become incapacitated.

Have more questions about SSDI? Get in touch with a qualified social security disability attorney in Santa Barbara, CA as soon as possible.

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Need an SSDI advocate? For experienced guidance, do not hesitate to speak with a seasoned California social security disability attorney at Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld. Call (805) 243-2179 or submit an online form.

Can I Pursue California Social Security Disability Benefits Without an Attorney?

Neither state nor federal law requires disabled California residents to partner with an experienced SSDI attorney to pursue benefits. However, at Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Social Security disability attorneys know that going it alone can be a long and challenging process.

This is true because Social Security Disability benefits are paid by the federal government. This means there will be a stringent review process that requires clear evidence and supporting documentation to prove your need for benefits.

Next, the processing period for an SSDI application can take months before it is approved — when, or if, it is finally approved. Typically, there are significant delays caused by SSDI denials, which are common when the applicant fails to submit all the necessary information. In other cases, the request may be denied for reasons that are unclear to the applicant, layered in legal or otherwise confusing verbiage, simply to avoid paying what our clients are eligible to receive for their disabilities.

If you are unable to work because of a permanent disability, you may already be experiencing significant financial hardship. Do not leave your application process to chance. The stress and anxiety of getting the paperwork right the first time around can be too much for anyone to endure. This is especially true when they suffer from the physical and emotional stress accompanying their disability. We can help.

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Can I Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial in California? 

If you have already been denied Social Security Disability benefits, we will review your denied application to determine what information may have been missing, and what needs to be done to appeal your case. Our lawyers will represent you at the administrative hearing, appeals process, and potentially Federal Court, and consistently remain your advocate throughout the process.

If your appeal is successful, you may be entitled to ongoing monthly payments, retroactive payments going back to the onset of your disability, and MediCare or MediCal insurance benefits. We are champions for justice who produce real results for real clients who need our help.

Call us at (805) 243-2179, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. You are never charged a fee unless we recover compensation for you.

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