Social Security Disability Attorney San Bernardino

Social Security Income (SSI) is available to aging or disabled recipients who are struggling financially. Disabled persons made up 85% of the applicants in 2019. About 14% of applicants were over the age of 65 and 1% were blind. The majority of the applicants were between the age of 18 to 64, with only 28% of the applicants being 65 and older and 14% under the age of 18. 

To be eligible, you must follow a strict set requirements. If you didn’t receive the SSI benefits you believe you deserve or were denied, you can undergo the appeal process. For help with your application, speak to educated, experienced attorneys. Your attorney can review your case to let you know if you’re eligible and how much you could receive. They can also help you avoid common errors in your application. Call a San Bernardino Social Security disability attorney from Pisegna and Zimmerman for a free consultation.

What Do I Need to Be Eligible for Social Security Disability?


To be eligible for social security benefits, you need to be aged 65 or older, be totally or partially blind, or have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working. This medical condition must be one that either results in death or lasts a minimum of one year.

The eligible medical conditions include the following:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Digestive system disorders
  • Hematological disorders
  • Cardiovascular system disorders
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Special senses and speech disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Cancer
  • Immune system disorders
  • Mental disorders

You must be evaluated by a qualified practitioner to provide evidence of your medical condition. This also applies to partially or totally blind applicants. Once you have been medically evaluated, this information can be included in your application.

For those who aren’t disabled but are over the age of 65, you must have a certain number of work credits to be eligible for SSI. The minimum requirement for Uber credits is 40 if you were born after the year 1929. 

How Are Work Credits Earned?

Work credits are based on total wages within one year whether self-employed or traditionally employed. You must work for the entire year to receive four credits or end enough to earn four credits within a shorter period. In the year 2022, you can receive one work credit for every $1,510 you received in earnings. A minimum of $6,040 must be earned to receive four credits for the year.

What Can Make Me Ineligible?

Your SSI application may be declined for a variety of reasons. These include the following:

Criminal Record

If you were convicted of a felony and ended up in prison, you may be denied SSI benefits while incarcerated. If you were injured while in prison, this disability cannot be used to obtain benefits either.

Poor Lifestyle Choices

You can also be denied if you caused your injury. If your disability was the result of drug abuse or alcoholism, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits.

You Did Not Listen To Your Doctor

When your doctor prescribes you a therapy, medication, or other recommendation, you must comply with their directions. The SSA may deny your applicationfor not complying with your doctor’s orders. This is because you may be contributing to your condition despite the help available to you. The only reasons you don’t have to comply are due to religious beliefs, if you couldn’t afford the treatment, or if another doctor disagreed with the prescribed treatment. 

You Fraudulently Applied

Not only can you be prosecuted for fraudulent behavior, but you can also have your application denied. Providing inaccurate or false information to receive benefits is fraudulent behavior.

The Social Security Administration Can’t Find You

After you’ve submitted your application, the Social Security Administration may request additional information. If they can’t locate you or communicate with you, the application will be denied. Make sure you supply valid contact information.

You Make Too Much Money

SSI benefits are only for individuals who don’t make enough income to sustain themselves. If you make over the income limit, which is $1,310 for non-blind applicants, then you may also be declined.

Your Disability Isn’t Severe 

Disabilities that aren’t severe—for example, if they don’t last more than 12 months—won’t make you eligible for SSI benefits. This is because you can still hold a full-time job and aren’t limited by your disabilities. SSI benefits are reserved for individuals who are unable to perform most ordinary tasks required for a full-time job.

You Didn’t Release Your Medical Records

When the Social Security Administration requests additional data about your medical history, you must be willing to agree to release your medical records. If they do not have access to your medical records, this can also get you denied for SSI benefits. 

What Are My Next Steps For My SSI Claim?

Before you apply, speak to a dedicated team who can provide direction on your SSI application. If you’ve already been denied and need help with the appeal process, speak to an attorney who is experienced in filing SSI claims. For a free consultation, reach out to Pisegna and Zimmerman today.

Other Locations