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Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at night panorama California disability


Cannon Disability Law can help you file an application for Social Security benefits in California. Especially, if you have a mental illness or physical condition that prevents you from working for longer than 12 months.

There are two federal programs that can help you. For example, the first program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI benefits also come with Medicare benefits.

The second program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Receiving monthly SSI benefits also means you will get Medicaid benefits. Learn more about Medicaid benefits. Both SSDI and SSI programs are run by the Social Security Administration.

In order to win benefits, your case will need to go through SSA’s five step review process. As part of this process, you will need to present evidence that your medical condition keeps you from working. For example, you will need medical evidence from a treating doctor about your severe symptoms. Additionally, it cannot just be a one time exam. You also need to visit your doctor on a monthly basis. Also, your doctor must support your claim. For example, your doctor can help you by writing a letter on your behalf. The letter can discuss your symptoms and also your response to treatment.

If you have a mental illness, then you also need a counselor that you see at least twice a month and that will write a letter of support to the SSA.  Without medical evidence, you simply cannot win your benefits. Because you will not have evidence to prove your case.


California also has a short term disability insurance program through the state. The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short term Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to workers who need time off work.

You may be able to get benefits from the California SDI program, if you are unable to work due to non-work related illness or injury, pregnancy, or birth.

You may also be able to get PFL in order to:

  • Care for a seriously ill family member.
  • Bond with a new child.
  • Participate in a qualifying event because of the military deployment of a family member to a foreign country.

To file for benefits, submit online forms, or manage your profile, access your SDI Online account at the California State Disability Insurance program.

Additionally, your employer may offer private short term disability insurance. Your employer may also offer parental leave benefits and long term benefits.

Long-term disability benefits pay a portion of your salary if you can no longer work. Additionally, there are federal benefits, like FMLA, available through your employer. FMLA allows you to take time off from work if you are ill. It then allows you to return your job once you are better.


There are two types of private disability insurance that you can buy: short term and long term. Short term usually replaces a portion of your salary from three to six months after the onset of your condition. Long term benefits normally begin six months after your disability begins. However, long term benefits usually last a few years until you are able to return to work. Additionally, benefits can also last until you retire.

Typically, private insurance limits mental health payments to a two year term. This is not true across the board. But most policies put a limit of two years on payment for mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety.  Therefore, if you have a combination of diseases, like a severe back condition and anxiety, you should make sure the insurance payments are based on your back condition. Because, if they base payments on your mental health condition, then there will be a time limit on the payout period.

Every insurance policy, whether it be short or long term benefits, is different. Each policy also has its own rules. If you read your policy, then you will know the time frame in which it offers benefits.

Disability insurance is not the same as Workers’ Compensation benefits. For example, in an SSD benefits case, 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 disability are heart disease and back injury. Also, next on the list are mental conditions.


There are three easy ways to file your application for SSDI and SSI benefits in California.  The easiest way to file an application is to file online. However, if you don’t have a computer or access to one, then you can apply over the telephone or in person. Benefits begin from the date you file your application. Therefore, the longer you wait to file, the more money you lose.

Here are three ways to file your application:

  1. Online: You can apply online at Social Security’s website.
  2. Telephone: You can apply over the telephone by calling the SSA’s toll free customer service line at 1-800-772-1213.
  3. In-person: You can apply in person at your local Social Security field office.

If you file an application online, then the SSA will send you a summary of your application in the mail. You need to sign that summary and mail it back to them. The SSA will require that you do this before they will being to process your application for benefits.


After you apply for benefits, then your case will transfer to the office of DDS. This is a state organization that reviews medical records to help the SSA make prompt decisions in claims. DDS can also assist with both SSI and SSDI claims in California.

Also, if they do not have enough information to make a decision in your case, then DDS can request more medical information. For example, they may send you to an exam with one of their doctors. Find out more about the SSA doctor exam. The address and phone number of the DDS offices are listed below:


Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 6118
Covina, CA 91722
Telephone: 626-732-8100

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 28931
Fresno, CA 93729
Telephone: 559-440-5000

Disability Evaluations Division
Sierra Branch
P.O. Box  28937
Fresno, California 93720
Telephone: 559-440-5200

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 54800
Los Angeles, California 90054
Telephone: 213-736-7000

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 60999
Los Angeles, California 90060
Telephone:  213-736-7500

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 24225
Oakland, California 94623
Telephone: 510-622-3506

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 619020
Roseville, California 95678
Telephone: 916-774-4100

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 997120
Sacramento, California 95899
Telephone: 916-263-5000

Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 85501
San Diego, California 92186
Telephone: 619-278-4550

Disability Determination Service Division
P.O. Box 85326
San Diego, CA 92186
Telephone: 619-278-4300


After you file for benefits in California, a DDS worker reviews your case. The worker reviews your medical records to see if you can be paid SSDI or SSI benefits. If you need to submit medical records, then you can submit them to DDS. You should also fill out SSA’s forms and submit them. For example, fill out the Work History form.

The worker decides whether you meet SSA’s rules. If so, then you will win benefits at the first stage of your claim. If not, then the case moves to the second level of appeal. A new DDS worker will also make a decision at the second appeal level. Find out more about SSD benefits in certain California cities.

The claims worker may think there is not enough medical evidence to decide if you can be paid benefits. If that happens, then DDS may send you to visit one of their doctors. You visit their doctor for a one time exam. Additionally, the visit is free for you. Learn tips on what to expect at the SSA doctor exam.

If the worker denies your case, then you will file a Request for a Hearing. Also, your hearing request is due within 60 days of your denial date. It is important to file your appeal on time. For instance, you only have 60 days to appeal SSA’s decision. Do not miss the 60 day limit. If you do, then you may need to start your application over.

If you already lost your SSD hearing, then you still have options. For example, you may be able to apply again. Likewise, you can file an appeal of the SSA’s decision to the Appeals Council or to the Federal Court.


Physical conditions can result in not being able to work for more than 12 months. If you cannot work due to any of the following physical conditions, then you should apply for SSDI and SSI benefits in California.

It is also possible to win benefits due to a combination of physical conditions. If you have more than one physical condition, then you may win benefits if you equal an SSA listing. Also, find out more about winning SSDI and SSI benefits with medical records.


Our law firm can also help you win SSD or SSI benefits. Especially, if you have a mental condition that prevents you from working. For example, you may have one mental illness or a combination of mental conditions. Either way, we can help you with your case. Your mental conditions may meet a listing. Also, they could equal a listing. SSDI and SSI benefits are available for many mental health conditions including:


At our law firm, we are experts in winning benefits. For example, in the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSD and SSI cases for our clients. If you need help filing 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.

When you contact our office for help with your application, have some basic facts ready. For example, we will need to know your date of birth. Also, be ready with your wedding date and divorce date. We will also need to know the date you last worked. Additionally, we need to know the contact information for your doctors.

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

The SSA also asks a number of questions about work. The first question is whether or not you are currently working. Learn how the SSA defines work. Likewise, the second question is whether or not, despite your medical condition, you can return to one of your past jobs. Finally, the third question is whether or not, despite your medical condition, you can perform any other jobs in the national economy.


Finally, our legal team cannot file an application for benefits in California without your help. That is why we say we are your legal team. Because, a team requires the best from all of the players. We may be experts at the law, but you are the expert about your life. Our team needs to know why you cannot work. We also need to know when you stopped working. Likewise, you need to explain the symptoms of your illness to us.

First, you need to become our client. You can review the forms we need to you to sign. If you need to know more information about what it costs to hire us, then please read our article, “Attorney Fees in SSD Cases.”

Once we receive these forms, we can represent you. We can also help you file your application for benefits. But, please remember, you will need to sign your application. After we file your application, we will also collect your medical records. We will also need your help to do collect your records from your doctors. Likewise, we need records from your counselors or any mental health clinics. If you don’t give us the information about your doctors, then we can’t contact them for you.


You do not need to obtain SSD benefits in California on your own. Our law firm can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you file an appeal after every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for SSD benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete it. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back quickly.


Remember, if you are filing for SSDI and SSI benefits in California, then we can represent you. Additionally, if you are denied by the SSA at the initial level, we will file an appeal. Likewise, if your case receives a denial at the second phase of appeal, then we will request a hearing for you. Prior to your hearing, we will also prepare you to testify at your day in court.

One of the main reasons to hire an attorney is to have a lawyer help you at your hearing. For example, your attorney can explain what is going to happen at the hearing. Also, your attorney can prepare you so that you know how to testify. Also, your attorney can give you a good idea about what questions the judge will ask at your hearing.

You should prepare for your hearing. Additionally, you can find out more about what questions the judge will ask at the hearing. Likewise, you should hire us. Because we will help you prepare your answers about your medical conditions. Let us help you win your SSD and SSI case. If you need help filing for benefits in California, then contact us today.

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