MORE VIDEOS: Are you likely to qualify?, How the judge determines disability, How to be persuasive, How to describe daily activities, Can you work part-time?, and Physical & mental limitations

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Van Nuys Social Security lawyer Patricia McCabe helps Southern California residents obtain disability benefits

If you are injured or ill and unable to work, you probably have many questions about Social Security disability benefits: “Am I eligible?” “How do I apply?” “Should I appeal?” “Do I need an attorney?” “How much will it cost?”

I have prepared this website to provide you with the information you need to pursue disability benefits at each stage of the process. So, whether you are thinking about applying, waiting for a decision, or have received a denial letter, please take a few moments to browse through these materials. If you live in Van Nuys, elsewhere in the San Fernando Valley, or anywhere in Southern California and have further questions or would like my assistance with your disability claim, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Will I be approved for Social Security disability benefits?

This is the question I hear most often at my Van Nuys disability law firm. Unless you suffer from a catastrophic condition, it’s impossible to know the answer for certain. But you do not need to be catastrophically injured to obtain Social Security disability benefits.

To be approved for benefits, you must satisfy Social Security’s peculiar definition of “disabled.”

To be “disabled,” you must:
(1) Have a physical or mental impairment that
(2) Has lasted or is expected to last at least a year and
(3) Is so severe that you are unable to do
(a) your previous work or
(b) any other substantial gainful work, considering your age, education, and experience.

If you think you may satisfy this definition, consider consulting a Van Nuys disability attorney. It’s never too soon to get a lawyer involved. Although the application process for Social Security disability benefits seems simple, some of the questions you will need to answer can be tricky. Guidance from a Van Nuys disability attorney at the outset can help you avoid mistakes.

If you would like more information about the eligibility requirements for disability benefits, watch my video Are You Likely to Qualify.

Appeal if your claim is denied and don’t be discouraged by the long wait

As a Van Nuys disability attorney, I know that one of my clients’ greatest concerns is the long wait to be approved for benefits. The disability evaluation process is often slow and frustrating. And, in most cases, little can be done to speed the process along.

Many Southern California disability applicants are initially denied benefits even though they should qualify. In fact, about two-thirds of all initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. But a denial letter is not the final answer. You have the right to appeal. And you should.

Appeal your claim until you get a hearing before an administrative law judge. The likelihood of receiving benefits increases if you appeal. In fact, the majority of claimants who appeal to the hearing level are awarded benefits.

Administrative law judges know that initial decisions denying disability benefits are often wrong. The hearing level is your best chance to have your disability claim granted. For more on information on appealing, download my e-booklet, Helpful suggestions for appealing a denial of benefits available on the right side of this page.

Be sure to get help from a Van Nuys disability lawyer long before your hearing. In fact, the sooner you get an attorney involved, the greater the potential to make your case stronger and overcome the problems that led to your initial denial. Social Security statistics show that claimants who are represented by disability attorneys have a greater chance of success.

To learn more about disability hearings, you can watch more of my videos:

How The Judge Determines Disability
What Not to Do at Your Hearing
How to Describe Daily Activies
Can You Work Part-Time?
Physical & Mental Limitations

You may also find the articles in my Library informative.

How much will a Van Nuys Social Security disability attorney cost?

Attorney fees for a Social Security disability and SSI claims are “contingent fees.” That means you pay your disability lawyer only if you are approved for benefits. You pay no fee if your claim is denied.

The usual contingent fee is 25% of the past benefits you are owed from the time you became disabled until you are approved, subject to a cap set each year by the Social Security Administration. No fee is payable from your current monthly benefits.

In addition to the fee, I may ask you to pay for the costs in obtaining your medical records, medical opinion letters, and similar items.

Van Nuys Social Security attorney Patricia McCabe can assist with your Southern California disability claim

When you are in pain and unable to earn a paycheck, you do not want to battle a huge government agency like the Social Security Administration alone. Whether you are preparing to apply or your claim has already been denied, I can help.

I begin by developing a theory that explains why you satisfy Social Security’s strict definition of “disabled.” Then I gather all the evidence needed to properly decide your claim. I help you to fill out the paperwork Social Security requires. I work with your doctors to obtain reports that support your claim. I prepare you to testify at your hearing and appear with you at the hearing to present your case to the administrative law judge. If necessary, I can even take your case to federal court.

I handle all kinds of impairments, including, but not limited to:

Heart and circulatory diseases

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Heart failure

Endocrine and immune disorders

  • Lupus
  • Diabetes

Psychological and psychiatric conditions

  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety

Muscle and joint conditions

  • Back injuries
  • Arthritis and joint pain
Nervous system disorders

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy

Pain disorders

  • Reflex sympathetic
    dystrophy/complex regional
    pain syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

Lung and pulmonary diseases

  • Emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma

If you are not already represented by a Van Nuys disability lawyer and would like me to evaluate your case, please provide a brief description of your claim using the form to the right. I will respond promptly. Or, if you prefer, contact me at:

The Law Office of Patricia L. McCabe
Van Nuys California Social Security disability lawyer
Representing disabled individuals throughout Southern California

Contact me

7100 Hayvenhurst Avenue
Suite 314
Van Nuys, California 91406-3804