Skilled Legal Representation In Social Security And SSI Disability Appeals

How We Develop Your Case For Success

There are many stages to complete to secure your Social Security Disability benefits. The process can be complicated, and it often depends on various factors. One of the first stages involves finding out if you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria of a disability.

The Definition Of A Disability

To file a claim and qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the specific criteria established by the SSA. Their definition of disability is determined by four elements:

  1. Are you currently working? Is it full time and consistent? The first thing Social Security looks at is whether you are engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) during your period of claimed disability. In general, SGA guidelines provide that your claim will be denied if you earn more than $1,260 per month (2020). However, exceptions exist for Unsuccessful Work Attempts or for a Trial Work Period, where you are allowed to test your ability to work.
  2. A serious medical impairment. An official adjudicator usually determines how the physical or mental impairment impacts you. You may have to complete questionnaires that explain how severely your disability affects your daily life and work.
  3. The medical listing of impairments. After an adjudicator determines the severity of your impairment, then the SSA evaluates under which of their 14 medical listings your impairment falls. For example, a cardiovascular issue is in a different listing than a mental disorder.
  4. Ability to work. The SSA will assess your residual functional capacity (RFC), which limitations determine your physical and mental capacity to work. Social Security must consider all your medical impairments and limitations, and must assess the combined effect of your condition, including the side effects of your medications. This evaluation considers your past work, education, and acquired job skills to determine if you can perform your past work or any other full-time work.

All these factors are assessed in the process of filing your claim and subsequent appeals. The claims process is an extensive one. The law firm of Richard A. Gutstadt, P.C., can help create the strategies and produce the evidence you need to succeed.

Our Effective Winning Approach

I am attorney Richard Gutstadt. I have helped people around California through the entire SSDI/SSI process for over 40 years. Throughout those years, we have established a track record of success for clients like you.

My legal team and I maintain this record because we take the time to build a strong case on your behalf so that you can recover your benefits promptly and efficiently. We accomplish this in three important steps:

  • Communicating with you: I believe that communication is essential for success. My office takes the time to understand your individual situation and your needs, as well as those factors that impact your case. This also helps us to understand your whole story as we move through the client medical development process.
  • Developing a theory: Communicating and understanding your circumstances is critical to developing a theory that supports your case. It also gives you credibility in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ), as we present vital medical evidence that shows your limitations. This helps us to tell your story and show you are legally entitled to these benefits.
  • Crafting a strategy: Our theory and preparation provides strong evidence to create strategies that protect your best interests and help us obtain a successful outcome.

We also help develop your case for success by preparing you for success, from filing an initial claim, filing an appeal, or to you giving a testimony at an administrative hearing.

If the SSA decides you do not meet their criteria or denies your claim, my legal team and I will advocate for you through the appeals process. We analyze your situation, and look for important facts and theories  that were overlooked in prior unfavorable disability decisions

The SSDI/SSI Process Can Be Complex, But We Are Here To Help

Our legal team will be by your side at every step of your case. We give you the support you need. Email our firm or call us at 510-992-6934 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced lawyer today.