How Can We Help You?
At Dascanio Law, we are proud of assisting those who have been seriously hurt at their place of work. Our team of attorneys view themselves as educators to the process, counselors of risks associated with that process, and negotiators of exemplary settlements. We take great pride in being able to obtain the necessary medical treatment and compensation our clients deserve.
While you are being treated, our firm will handle your legal burden, meeting with you directly and working as a team to ensure you get the service you deserve.
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Most of the issues that can lead to denied claims or failure to obtain benefits are entirely avoidable, such as not notifying your employer of your injury and not seeking medical treatment. Our team can help you avoid these pitfalls.
Workers are protected if they become ill or injured as a direct result of their jobs. These benefits include medical care, physical therapy, disability payments, lost wages and death benefits.
California adopted workers compensation laws in the 1910s along with most other states. Workers comp is based on a no-fault system, which means that an injured or ill employee does not need to prove that the injury or illness was someone else’s fault in order to receive workers compensation benefits. Some exceptions apply.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is based on an individual’s earnings record, and an individual must have worked 20 quarters (5 years) out of the last 40 quarters (10 years) to be eligible for SSDI. The onset of the disability must occur within this period.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available to individuals with severe physical and/or mental disabilities that have lasted for one year or longer and prevent them from engaging in any type of gainful employment, regardless of skill or exertional level.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an SSA program for disabled individuals who have no earnings record, or have a remote earnings record (did not work 5 of the last 10 years), and who meet SSI’s strict financial eligibility criteria.
Both SSDI and SSI require that an individual has a severe physical and/or mental health impairment that has lasted or is expected to last one year or longer, or end in death, and that the health impairment prevents them from working at any type of full-time gainful employment. An application for SSDI and/or SSI must be filed with the Social Security Administration and can be completed either online or by visiting a local Social Security Office.
Most SSDI claims are denied on initial application, especially for individuals younger than 50 years of age, unless the disability is extremely severe or is considered a Compassionate Allowance. When the initial application is denied, a Request for Reconsideration must be filed within 60 days. Claims take approximately 3-4 months to process at the Reconsideration level, and 87% of claims are denied on Reconsideration, especially when no worsening of the claimant’s condition is reported. The next step in the appeals process is to file a Request for a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, and it can take over a year to get a hearing date.
If you are thinking of filing for SSDI benefits, or if your SSDI claim has been denied, it is always a good idea to hire an attorney to help you obtain your benefits. The SSDI appeals process is very complex, time-consuming, and difficult to understand. We have seen over the years that unrepresented claimants frequently suffer unnecessary delays and denials because they make mistakes, fail to gather adequate medical evidence, or file appeals late or improperly. It is helpful to have someone with many years of experience on your side who knows how the process works, including the many details that are essential to moving your case forward.
The primary role of our attorney is to make sure that the medical record is complete in order to document your claim with objective clinical data from consistent treatment records and to demonstrate to SSA that you are clearly disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. We will obtain information from your medical providers that are necessary to establish a residual functional capacity that is as favorable as possible to provide to the judge and vocational expert at the hearing.
When a favorable decision is finally reached, accrued retroactive benefits are paid from eligibility onset through the date of the decision. In SSDI cases the past-due benefits are paid in a single lump sum payment. In SSI cases the past-due benefits are paid in installments to avoid loss of entitlement based on the income requirements for SSI eligibility.
The way SSDI attorneys are paid is controlled by federal statutes. Normally, we are paid only if you receive back benefits. We work on a contingency fee basis; if we don’t win your case, you pay us nothing. In SSDI cases, retroactive benefits are paid to you in a lump sum payment, and attorney fees are paid directly to the attorney by SSA from the retroactive benefits.
To learn more about our Social Security practice and how we can help you, please call us.