People in California have to fight to receive disability benefits when they are unable to work because of a medical illness, injury or condition. As the job market and economy strengthen, more and more people in this state are finding paying positions that are enabling them to stop relying on disability.
For some, including those who have frequent functionality reviews, not having to worry about complying with the demands of disability can be beneficial. Knowing a bit about disability and how the appeal process works can help you to know what you need to do next.
The lengthy wait in Los Angeles
If your application for disability is denied, you will have to go through an appeal process. The wait times for this in Los Angeles are lengthy. If your appeal is assigned to the Los Angeles Downtown office, you can expect to wait about 18 months for an appeal to be processed. If you are assigned to the Los Angeles West office, that wait time increases to 21 months on average.
One reason for the lengthy wait times is that the qualifications for a disability are very strict. These are getting tighter as time progresses. Despite the number of people who are getting off disability and going back to work, it still takes a long time to determine whether a person is truly unable to do any job to earn a living.
Better job market, unconventional jobs
The job market has more than 100 months of job gains. The national unemployment rate is only 3.6 percent, which is the lowest it has been in more than 50 years. This has led to the number of unemployed individuals who have a self-identified disability going down. From 2013 to 2018, the number of adults receiving federal disability benefits dropped 5%.
Some people are turning to unconventional jobs to earn a living. This includes finding paying gigs like driving for a rideshare company or delivering groceries. Some are also turning to online, stay-at-home work like customer service gigs for major retailers.
It would seem as though fewer people applying for disability would mean a shorter wait time. However, this isn't necessarily the case. You should plan for a lengthy process when you apply. This might not be easy especially when money is tight and bills are plentiful. Understanding how to fill out the application and handle any appeals can help you in these cases.