Each time a hard-working Napa, California resident receives a paycheck from their employer, taxes are taken out of that check to pay for Social Security benefits. Because these workers pay into the Social Security system, they assume that these benefits will be there for them if they should ever need them.
Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not always do what it promises to do unless a disability applicant puts up a fight – as is the case with many disabled workers. When a worker suffers from a long-term or permanent disability, he or she is often faced with a tiresome and stressful battle against the SSA just to receive the Social Security Disability benefits they are entitled to.
If you are applying for disability benefits in the Napa, California area, a Napa Social Security Disability attorney may be crucial to winning your Social Security Disability case.
About Napa, California
Napa benefits from a diverse economy which is driven by the medical, retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries. The area’s major employers include Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Treasury Wine Estates, Wal-Mart, Napa Valley Marriot Hotel & Spa, Kaiser Permanente and Bell Products. The median household income of Napa is more than $65,000 and the annual cost of living index comes in at approximately 34 percent above the national average.
Applying for Napa Social Security Disability Benefits
Napa is home to more than 76,000 California residents. In the State of California, approximately 2.9 percent of the population receives Social Security Disability benefits. The average disability payment received by a disabled worker in California is approximately $1,083.80 per month. On top of this monthly benefit amount, some people may have their impairment related work expenses covered by the SSA as well. While this monthly benefit can significantly offset some of the financial stress that can be caused by a disability, most Napa, California Social Security Disability applicants will wait well over a year before receiving their first payment from the Social Security Administration.
Why does it take Napa, California Social Security Disability applicants so long to receive their first disability payment when the initial application process is only supposed to take no longer than six months? The unreasonable wait times are due to the fact that the SSA denies approximately 70 percent of the initial claims that are received each year.
The applicants who are denied their disability benefits must then pursue a long and complex Social Security Disability appeal. This appeal process usually consists of a Request for Reconsideration and a Disability Hearing before an administrative law judge.
Hiring a Napa Disability Attorney
The office that is in charge of scheduling the hearings for Napa, California Social Security Disability applicants is located in San Rafael. On average, it takes this office approximately 426 days to schedule a disability hearing. It is important to remember that this time frame does not include the amount of time that it takes the applicant to file his or her initial disability claim or to pursue a Request for Reconsideration. To make matters worse, once the hearing date has been scheduled and conducted, it still takes an applicant another two to three months to be notified regarding whether or not the judge ruled in his or her favor.
If you want to avoid the frustration of pursing a disability appeal, you may want to consider retaining the services of a qualified Napa Social Security Disability lawyer. These professionals can help you prepare your disability claim properly, gathering all of the objective medical evidence that you will need in order to prove your case and ensuring that your claim is submitted to the SSA in the best light possible.
This increases your chances of receiving an approval at the initial stage of the application process, thereby reducing the chance that you'll have to endure the frustrating experience of a disability appeal.
If you do have to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of disability hearings are decided in the favor of the disability applicant. However, your chances of actually winning your appeal will vary depending on a number of different factors including your hearing strategy and the administrative law judge who is assigned to your disability case.
Some administrative law judges have higher award ratios than others. Because nothing is ever guaranteed during the appeal process, you need to do everything you can to tip the scales in your favor. That means that you will want a Napa Social Security attorney representing you during your disability hearing.
The good news is that a Napa disability attorney does not have to cost an arm and a leg. These professionals work on a contingency basis, collecting either 25 percent of the back pay that you are awarded by the Social Security Administration or $6,000 (whichever is less). If you do not win your case, your lawyer does not get paid.