The Social Security Disability program offers financial assistance to workers who have been injured or become ill and are unable to work for long periods of time. It is different from California's workers' compensation program, which only addresses injury and illness that occurs while on the job. Rather, Social Security Disability Insurance - or SSDI - is a federal program that is administered by the Social Security Administration or SSA.
Considerable attention from the media, the public and government watchdog agencies, like the Government Accounting Office (GAO), has been focused on the Social Security Association in recent months. The scrutiny has come in the wake of the beleaguered agency's struggles to deliver its services to the public. Clearly, this is a national problem, but the effects of the SSA's difficulties have been felt by thousands upon thousands of California citizens, as well.
If a California worker is injured on the job - that is, at their place of work and while they are performing their prescribed job duties - they can look to workers' compensation for help with medical expenses and any lost wages they suffer as a result of the injury. On the other hand, if the injury they suffered prevents them from returning to work for a considerable length of time or inhibits their ability to work altogether, it is possible that the worker may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
In California, people who have a debilitating respiratory disorder that prevents them from working may be able to obtain financial assistance from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Benefits from SSDI are administered by the federal government and disbursed from a trust to which U.S. workers contribute throughout the course of their careers. The contributions are made as part of every worker's payroll withholdings.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants in California, as in the rest of the United States, have been plagued by delays in both initial claims decisions and most egregiously, in the wait times for hearings before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a recently-released report, says that crushing workloads and a failure to fully adopt technologies that would increase efficiencies at the Social Security Administration (SSA) is part of what is causing the delays. The report goes on to detail the challenges that SSA faces in trying to serve SSDI benefits claimaints.
Skin disorders are often more than cosmetic. They can be a source of extreme discomfort, sometimes to the extent that it affects one's ability to work. When they become this severe, such impairments can also be economically debilitating for those who suffer from them. In cases where an individual is unable to work, they may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to help offset some of the financial hardships and lost wages from being out of work.
In Stockton, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants who need one can wait as long as 15 months for a hearing, while other Californians are seeing wait times that are stretching as far out as 24 months. With such long waiting periods - it has been estimated that as many as 10,000 people died last year while waiting for an SSD hearing - it's crucial that claimants leverage every possible advantage they can. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified one factor that seems to give some claimants an edge over others: a representative, such as an attorney.
California's workers' compensation system is very helpful when a Stockton resident gets hurt on the job. However, they are most effective when a person is laid up only temporarily, as the benefits will cover a good chunk of the worker's lost income and also reimburse their medical expenses.
Many people in the Stockton, California, area work hard and have families, yet quietly struggle with a drug addiction or with alcoholism. As such habits have a tendency to do, however, they eventually can take a toll on one's body and leave a person suffering with a debilitating medical condition that, quite frankly, they might not have developed had they not had a struggle with drugs or alcohol.
There have been many stories in the national news circulating recently about how long people in Stockton, California and other parts of the country are having to wait in order to have their denied claims for disability benefits under the SSDI program reviewed by an administrative law judge who has the power to overturn the denial.