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What Is Permanent Disability in California?

In California, a permanent disability is a condition that results in the inability to do any gainful work and produce income, often caused by a career-ending injury. This means that a person with a permanent disability has lost the capacity to earn money through employment due to their medical condition.

The amount of permanent disability benefits an individual can receive depends upon how much they have been previously earning before their injury or illness caused them to become permanently disabled. Benefits are calculated based on past earnings and current medical restrictions imposed by doctors – meaning that higher earners may be entitled to larger benefit amounts than lower earners who experience the same medical conditions.

Individuals receiving permanent disability benefits may also qualify for other social security or legal benefits if they meet certain criteria set forth by the state of California. In addition, they may also be eligible to receive vocational training or assistance in finding suitable employment that can accommodate their current medical restrictions.

How Do I Qualify for Permanent Disability in California?

To qualify for permanent disability in California, you must prove that your disability is a result of an injury or illness sustained while on the job. To do this, you'll need to submit evidence such as medical records and other relevant documents. Depending on the type of disability, there may be additional criteria that you need to meet in order to be eligible for benefits.

Once you've submitted all of the necessary paperwork, it will take some time for a decision from the state's Workers' Compensation Board. After your claim is approved, you may receive cash payments and/or medical treatment as well as other benefits depending on your particular case.

It's important to note that not all disabilities are considered permanent under California law. The state may deem your disability to be temporary if it's expected that you will recover with reasonable medical treatment and/or specific therapy. In this case, you would not qualify for permanent disability benefits but may qualify for temporary disability benefits.

Can I Appeal a Denial of Permanent Disability Benefits?

If you receive a denial of permanent disability benefits in California, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process in California can be lengthy and complex, with several stages and rules.

File an Application for Reconsideration

The first step is to file an application for reconsideration within 30 days of receiving the notice of denial from the Disability Determination Bureau (DDB). You can do this either online or by mail. When submitting your application, be sure to include all relevant documents such as medical records, work history information, and any other evidence that supports your claim for benefits.

Once your request for reconsideration is approved, you will receive a Notice of Action from the DDB which outlines how much you are eligible for. If you disagree with the amount, you can then file an appeal with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

Once your request is received, CDSS will review your case and determine whether or not to grant you a hearing. If granted, the hearing will be conducted by an administrative law judge who will consider all evidence presented in order to decide if you are entitled to disability benefits.

What If the Administrative Judge Denies Me Benefits?

If the judge decides to deny your request for disability benefits, you may then file an appeal with the California State Board of Appeals. This is the final stage in the appeals process and can be a lengthy and complex process. It is important to have experienced legal representation at this stage as it can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

No matter what stage you are at in the appeals process, it is important to be aware of all applicable laws and regulations governing disability benefits in California. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the appeals process.

Contact Smolich and Smolich for Help

At Smolich & Smolich, we understand the struggle when it comes to filing for permanent disability benefits or appealing a denied claim. That’s why we want to provide our clients with the necessary legal support and knowledge they need throughout the entire process.

We can help by providing experienced attorneys who are dedicated to fighting for your rights and getting you the benefits you need. We’re knowledgeable in disability and worker’s compensation law and have helped countless individuals get the legally-deserved funds they need to continue living their lives with financial stability.

Learn more about how we can help during a free consultation. Contact us online to request yours now.