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If you live in San Diego and need SSDI and SSI benefits, then you are in the right place. We can help you file for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits in California.

You can also apply for SSD benefits online at Social Security’s website. If you are unable to complete the application online, you can also apply by calling the SSA’s toll free number, 1-800-772-1213. The SSA answer their phone line between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.. The SSA workers can make an appointment for you to apply.

As soon as you cannot return to work because of a severe medical condition, you should apply for benefits. Why? First, you need to apply because you cannot receive ongoing monthly benefits until you apply for them. Second, any past due benefits you might receive are also tied to the date of your application. Learn more about past due SSD benefits here.


There are two types of disability insurance: Social Security benefits (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must have a work history. SSD benefits pay out to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured.” This means you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSD benefits come with Medicare.

Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits are different than SSD benefits.

SSI benefits are based on your medical condition and financial need. It is also a benefit you can receive if you have never had a job. Or, if you have only worked for a short period of time. In order to win SSI benefits, you must not be able to work due to your severe medical condition and you also meet the income and asset rules. SSI benefits also come with Medicaid.

To qualify, you must not own significant assets (a cabin, a boat) or  have more than $2000 in the bank. The financial asset rules that govern SSI are complex. Therefore, you may need the help of an SSI benefits attorney to win your benefits.


To qualify for Social Security benefits in San Diego, you’ll need to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you’re unable to perform any job on a full time basis due to your physical or mental condition. You will also need to prove that your illness is expected to last for at least a year.

Disability insurance is not the same as Workers’ Compensation benefits. In the case of SSDI benefits, injury or illness does not have to stem from a work event or accident. In fact, research by the U.S. Department of Education shows that the most common causes of long term disability are heart disease and back injury. Additionally, cancer is another reason to need long term benefits. Next on the list are mental conditions. For example, anxiety and depression can be long term medical conditions.

Unfortunately, most people who apply for benefits in San Diego receive a denial of their application. If this happens, you can appeal the decision. However, this usually entails a long wait. In fact, you are most likely to receive benefits following a Social Security hearing. It can take up to two years to attend a hearing after you file your application for benefits. There are many California hearing offices. So, you will be able to have a hearing near where you live. If you file your application, then read here to learn how to check the status of your case.


When you apply for benefits, you are filing for both SSD and SSI benefits. Again, financial rules for SSI benefits, as well as a medical condition that keeps you from working are the two rules you must meet to get SSI.

In San Diego and throughout California, those who get SSI receive a federal benefit and a state payment (SSP). In 2022, the COLA went up 5.9%. This made the maximum federal SSI payment go up from $794 in 2021 to $841 in 2022. In 2023, the SSI amount was $914. The SSI amount went up in 2024 to $943.

Therefore, in 2024, the average SSI monthly benefit amount is 943 per month. Some states, like California, contribute to the SSI payment. California pays the average highest SSI amount, making the average payment in California around $1000 per month. SSI benefit amounts vary due to individual circumstances.

For example, if you are married and your spouse is also getting SSI benefits, then you will get less in SSI per month than two separate individuals get. The maximum federal benefit rate for couples is only $1,261, which is less than two individual $841 payments.

Those who receive SSI benefits in San Diego may be able to receive a payment from the State of California (SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income, as described above). The amount depends on your living arrangements and could be anywhere from $20 per month to more than $1,000.

Those getting SSI can also get medical assistance through Medi-Cal. More information can be found online or by calling 1-800-541-5555.


Currently, Social Security offices are offering more in person appointments. The SSA has resumed in person services for people without an appointment.

However, to avoid waiting in line, the SSA hopes people will use their online services at the Social Security website. Likewise, you can call them to schedule appointments in advance rather than walking in without an appointment.

Social Security Office Information – Downtown San Diego

The office in downtown San Diego is located on the corner of Front and Ash Street. Public parking is available, but only with pay meters or pay lots. However, a bus station is within walking distance of the office.

Other San Diego Social Security Administration Offices

8505 Aero Dr
San Diego, CA – 92123
Phone: 1-866-331-6397
Fax: 1-833-902-2596

Monday     9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday     9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday     9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thursday     9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday     9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday     Closed
Sunday     Closed

This particular office no longer gives out Social Security cards or confirms Social Security numbers. Therefore, if you live in San Diego and need these services, then you should visit on of the “card centers.”

These are located at: SDCC 00R: 109 W Ash Street, San Diego, CA 92101 (next to to the downtown FO) ECCC 00S: 810 Arnele Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020. The card center hours are M-F 9:00AM-3:30PM.

Two other offices: National City and El Cajon

700 East 24th Street, Suite B
National City, Calfornia

810 Arnele Ave
El Cajon, California


California offers other benefits through the state, for those who live in San Diego. One of those is SDI. SDI normally pays 55% of your average wages for up to 52 weeks of having a disability. However, your income may change from month to month, making it hard to know what your exact average weekly income.

When SDI looks at your earnings to figure out how much you should receive in benefits, they will look at how much you earned in the 12 months prior to your base period:

  • Roughly 17 months before your disability started and
  • About 5 months before your disability started.

These 12 months are called your base period. To get SDI benefits you must have earned at least $300 in your base period. Additionally, you must have paid SDI taxes on those earnings.

SDI then takes that 12 month base period and divides it into four quarters. The quarter in which you earned the most money is the quarter they use to decide your benefit amount.


Usually, you receive your first benefit payment within two weeks of filing your claim. You will receive benefit payments every two weeks until your benefit period is over.

Most people receive their payments through a debit card. You can use your debit card to buy things like food, for example.  You can also set to up the payment to automatically deposit your benefit to a bank account. If you want, you can also choose to get your checks mailed to you.

Your benefit period usually ends on the date your doctor states you can return to work. When that date comes, SDI tells you your benefit is ending. If you still can’t work because of your mental or physical condition, then your doctor can request a longer benefit period for you.

While you are getting benefit payments, you might be asked to file a “continued claim certification.” This can be done online through your SDI Online account or you can do it by mail.

SDI is meant to replace income for up to 52 weeks. That means  you can receive a benefit up until you have been paid 52 times your weekly benefit amount. However, if you work part time or your benefit is reduced for another reason, then you can receive a benefit for longer than 52 weeks.


When you apply for Social Security in San Diego, an employee from the Department of Disability Determination (DDS) will review your file to determine if you should be paid benefits. DDS is a state run agency. But, they review all of the federal applications for SSDI and SSI benefits.

The main thing DDS is looking for are medical records which show exactly how your illness prevents you from working. Therefore, it is very important to obtain regular, ongoing medical treatment.

Medical records are crucial to winning benefits, because they are evidence in your case. Read here to learn more about the importance of medical records in your SSDI and SSI case.

If you are having trouble finding medical care to prove you deserve benefits, then please contact the following San Diego health resources:

North Park Family Health Center
3544 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 515-2424

Comprehensive Health Center
3177 Ocean View Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 231-3200

San Diego Family Care
4305 University Avenue, Ste. 150
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 280-2058

Diamond Neighborhoods Family Health Center
220 Euclid Avenue, #40
San Diego, CA 92114
(619) 515-2560

Operation Samhan
2743 Highland Avenue
San Diego, CA 91950
(619) 474-3919

Sharp Healthcare
8695 Spectrum Center Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92123
(800) 827-4277

Urgent Care & More
3434 Midway
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 225-6200


If you are filing for SSDI benefits in San Diego, then you may also be suffering from a mental health condition. Mental health conditions can keep you from working. Therefore, it is equally important to obtain mental health treatment to document your mental illness.

San Diego County mental health services provides a toll free number where they can give you the name of a mental health care professional. This number also serves as a mental crisis and suicide hotline. The number is 1-800-479-3339.


At our law firm, we are experts in winning SSD and SSI benefits. For example, in the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. If you need help filing an application for benefits, then contact our office. We can also help you appeal a denial from the SSA.  Additionally, if you do not have medical evidence, then you can find a free or low cost California doctor.

If you contact our office for help with your application, then make sure you have some basic facts ready.  For example, we will need to know the day you were born. We also need to know any wedding dates and divorce dates. We will also need to know the date you last worked. Also, we will need to know the name, address, and phone number of your doctors.

For instance, the application asks basic information about your family and your children. Likewise, you will need your work history. Also, you will need to describe what job you did at each place you have worked in the last 15 years. The SSA needs to know this information in order to process your application.


Our law firm offers a free case review for all those who live in San Diego. But, what does this mean?

For instance, if you want to become our client, then it means we will talk to you about your case over the phone. We will not charge you to examine the merits of your case, including questions about San Diego and California benefits. Most lawyers do charge an attorney fee to review your case. We do not.

Please understand, however, that giving you a free review of your case is not the same thing as us becoming your law firm. First, we examine the merits of your case. But, we can only do that based upon the facts you give us. If you don’t give us all the facts, then we have to make a decision about the merits of your case anyway.

Sometimes, we will request that you send us medical records or a copy of your SSA paperwork. We do this so we can understand the details of your case. Even if we ask for more information, it does not mean that we are your attorney.

You will know if you hire our legal team because we will send you our contract and other SSA paperwork to fill out. This paperwork must be returned to us immediately.

If you do not sign and send the paperwork back, then we are not your law firm. We will send you a stamped envelope to send the paperwork back to us.


If you are seeking Social Security benefits in San Diego, then you should hire an attorney with experience. An attorney can help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits.

Studies show that you are three times more likely to win benefits if you hire an attorney. In order to hire us, all you need to do is call or contact us. We offer a free review of your case over the phone. And, it doesn’t cost anything to call us.

Better yet, it also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This means if we win your SSD and SSI case, then you pay the attorney fee out of your past due or back benefits. If you do not win, then there is no attorney fee to pay.

The attorney fee has a cap or a limit of $7200. The SSA sets the limit of the attorney fee at 25% of the back benefit or the attorney fee cap, whatever is less.


If there are costs in your San Diego SSD or SSI case, then you pay those. But normally those costs are less than $100. Typically, your costs consist of getting your medical records.  Once we win your case, the attorney fee comes from your back benefit. The attorney fee has a cap of $7200 or 25% of your back benefit, whatever is less. Find out more about attorney fees in SSD cases.

In order to hire most lawyers, you have to pay money upfront. We don’t work like that. You don’t have a job. So, the only way to pay us an attorney fee is for us to win your case. That is our goal. Call today. See what we can do for you.

Additionally, we represent clients in many states. For example, we have clients in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Idaho SSD benefits information can be found here. Likewise, learn more about Colorado SSD benefit information. Also, find out more about Nevada SSDI and SSI benefits.

You can learn more information about Utah SSD benefits. We have information about California SSDI and SSI benefits. If you need information about Northern California, read here for San Francisco benefit information. No matter where you live, we will answer your questions about benefits. We want to be your legal team. If you have questions about SSD benefits and you live in San Diego, then give us a call today.


If you want to learn more about the attorneys at our law firm, then read our About Us page. There you will find more information about our lawyers and staff. For example, Andria Summers can help you with your Medicare plan. Likewise, she has also won thousands of Social Security cases.

Dianna Cannon has many years of experience helping people who are seeking benefits. She has been an attorney for thirty years. Additionally, she is a member of the state bar in California. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience winning SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win your benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Also, we help our clients get all of the benefits that they deserve.

If you need SSD benefits and you live in San Diego, then we will walk you through your options. Trust us. You do have many options. Our lawyers and staff can help also you apply for SSDI and SSI benefits.

Likewise, if you need to appeal, then we can help you do that too. There are also forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us for free today. Let us help you win your San Diego disability benefits.

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