As one of the most eastern cities in the San Francisco metropolitan area, Livermore California falls within one of California’s oldest wine regions. Thus, the wine industry plays a strong part in the local economy, as do those of science and construction. FormFactor, Activant, Topcon, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are some top employers of the city’s nearly 83,000 residents.
Applying for Livermore Social Security Disability Benefits
Workers in Livermore, California, are surely familiar with the deductions for Social Security taxes that are taken from their paychecks. They likely assume that this ensures that they will be provided for in the event they become disabled and unable to work.
What they may not realize is that, nationwide, approximately 70% of applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA,) approximately 3% of the California population is currently receiving Social Security disability benefits (with an average payment amount of $1,098.) That means that there are many more who have had their applications denied, thus forcing them to file a “Request for Reconsideration,” which is the first step in the SSA’s arduous appeals process.
The median household income in Livermore, California is $92,997, but the cost-of-living is a whopping 60.8% higher than the national average. This can make it even harder for disabled workers in Livermore to survive without an income while their application for Social Security benefits is pending. It takes an average of 3-4 months for the first decision to be issued, and another 2-4 for the second.
Only a small number of denials are reversed upon reconsideration. One of the best ways to get approved for benefits quickly is to have an attorney prove to the SSA and DDS that your maximum sustained work capability would prevent you from being employed in the national economy.When a reconsideration denial is received, the next step in the process entails filing a request for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Statistically, your claim has the highest change of being approved at this level. However, the wait to actually get in front of a judge can be long. The office that schedules these hearings for disabled Livermore workers is located in nearby San Francisco, and the average wait for a hearing is more than a year, at 395 days.
Hiring a Livermore Disability Attorney
Although there are two additional appeals levels beyond the administrative law judge hearing (Appeals Council and a Federal Court case,) very few claims are actually granted that far into the process.
Because this hearing provides the best chance of your application being approved, it’s important to do everything possible to prepare for the important day when it takes place. One of the most beneficial steps that those who are applying for Social Security benefits in Livermore can take is hiring a qualified Livermore disability attorney.
A Social Security disability attorney in Livermore can do many things to increase the chances of your hearing resulting in a favorable decision, including highlighting the most important parts of your medical records and obtaining statements from your treating doctors, or family and friends. It can also be very beneficial to be represented at the time of your hearing, as the SSA may hire expert witnesses to testify, and a knowledgeable Livermore disability lawyer can cross-examine them as necessary.
However, you don’t need to wait until your disability hearing before hiring a Livermore Social Security lawyer. Retaining the services of a Livermore Social Security disability attorney earlier in the process can increase the chances that your application for benefits will be granted sooner, and you won’t be forced to undergo the lengthy appeals process.
There is no upfront cost for hiring a Livermore, California Social Security disability lawyer. California Social Security attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis, which means that they are only paid in the event that you are awarded benefits. There is no cost for an initial phone call or consultation, so there is no downside to at least exploring this option. If you are never awarded benefits, your Social Security disability attorney doesn’t get paid. If you are awarded benefits at any level, their fee would be 25% of your back benefits.
A Livermore, California disability attorney would also handle disability claims for other Alameda County residents, as well as those in nearby cities such as Pleasanton, Dublin, Sunol, San Ramon, Byron, Danville, and Tassajara, and the neighboring counties of Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin.