Attorneys for Disability Rights in the Bay Area
Vanegas Law Group represents people with disabilities whose civil rights have been violated either as a customer or as an employee. We also represent claimants for disability pension when their applications are denied and disabled students and their parents to obtain an education plan that allows them to succeed despite their disabilities.
With significant experience enforcing our clients’ civil rights and helping them secure their hard-earned benefits, we bring truly unique insight to the difficulties of discrimination, pension denials, and other systemic challenges disabled individuals face. We will be the fierce, compassionate advocate you need at this difficult time. Help us stop unfair discrimination and disability denials and cut through the red tape for you. Call the Vanegas Law Group today.
The Disability Rights Lawyers of the Vanegas Law Group Can Help You With:
Disability Retirement Denials
If you have retired due to an illness or disabling injury, you may qualify to receive financial assistance in the form of a monthly disability payment. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, whether through Social Security, your employer, a public employee retirement system, or a privately bought policy, the requirements for obtaining benefit may vary. Insurers frequently deny applications for any of the following reasons:
- Not enough medical evidence in the record to conclude the claimant is disabled
- Incomplete or improperly completed forms or other materials
- Misunderstanding the application requirements or missing deadlines
- Bad faith practices by the insurer
These are just a small handful of the many factors that can lead to a disability retirement denial for disabled employees who are retired. With your income, your ability to work, your health, your family’s security at risk, it’s time to fight back. But, you don’t have to go at it alone. If you have received a denial of your disability benefits, don’t lose hope. Contact the disability rights attorneys of the Vanegas Law Group today.
Social Security Disability Denials
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to individuals who participate in the workforce and pay into the Social Security system. They must have worked enough hours of credit and contributed to the program in sufficient amounts. On the other hand, Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) pays benefits based on financial need, and employment with the payment of Social Security Taxes is not needed for benefiting from this program.
SSDI and SSI pay only for total disability; no benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability. Disability in this context means that you can no longer perform your job you had in the past and cannot adjust to any other work because of a medical condition(s). Additionally, the individual’s disability must have lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
Almost all applications for social security benefits received by the Social Security Administration get denied the first time. Our country’s social support system is under a tremendous financial strain, so obtaining benefits can be challenging, if not discouraging. Social Security’s disability standard requires total disability that lasts for at least a year or result in death—the hardest requirements among all disability pension systems. Without excellent medical records, expert opinions, and a skilled advocate, it is difficult for the average SSDI or SSI applicant to prove that they are entitled to benefits.
You only have 60 days from the date of the notice of denial of benefits to file your appeal. Filing for the appeal, however, is only the first step on a long and arduous journey to receive payment. It is crucial that you do not waste time and hire a knowledgeable disability rights attorney with a successful track record of representing claimants like you at the hearing.
Private Insurance Disability Denials
For individuals who suffer a devastating injury or illness that leaves them permanently disabled, their privately bought disability insurance may seem to be a blessing. However, as is common in other insurance schemes, the insurer will search the record for any reason to deny the claim. Whether your insurer is acting in bad faith or your application is missing some information, a denial is not the end of the road. At the Vanegas Law Group, we regularly assist individuals and their families in navigating the complicated process and meet the standard of proof necessary to get them approved.
CalPERS and CalSTRS Denials
CalPERS or the State of California’s Public Employees Retirement System provides retirement benefits to numerous state and local government employees. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System or CalSTRS provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for full-time and part-time California public school educators. Many other government pension programs exist that are primarily built upon the same foundational principles and incorporate the same body of law.
Our firm represents CalPERS and CalSTRS members in the Bay Area and beyond in administrative appeals and hearings. And, if necessary, we file writs of mandate to dispute determinations that have reduced or eliminated entitlement to these benefits. Attorneys at Vanegas Law Group utilize provisions of the Government Code, prior administrative decisions, and case law to submit comprehensive appeals. We assist our clients in putting their best case forward at the administrative hearing about their government pension benefits. Speak with one of our talented CalPERS or CalSTRS disability denial lawyers by scheduling a free consultation.
Failure to Accommodate a Disability and Disability Discrimination in Employment
If you’ve become disabled during your employment, or if you apply for a position as a disabled individual, you are entitled under state and federal law to accommodations to help you perform the essential functions of your job. Your employer is required to engage in a good-faith, interactive process to discuss your limitations and best avenues to a reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations include physical changes to the workplace to improve accessibility, the provision of interpreters, or specialized computer and communications equipment, job restructuring or transfer, flexible work schedules, or medical leave to ensure the employee recovers from the disabling condition. Failure to accommodate a disabled employee is a violation of their civil rights. If your employer denies you a reasonable accommodation, trust the Vanegas Law Group to assist in negotiating your accommodation with your employer or filing an administrative claim regarding the failure to accommodate.
It is also unlawful to discriminate against a disabled employee in the conditions and privileges of their employment because they are disabled, appear to be disabled, or because they requested an accommodation. Finally, it is a violation of state and federal law to harass an employee because of their disability or apparent disability.
If you were discriminated against due to your disability in your employment or during the job application process, you need to speak with a qualified disability rights attorney right away to meet mandated deadlines for filing a complaint. Contact Bay Area disability rights attorneys at the Vanegas Law Group today.
Disability Accommodations in Education
California public schools must follow the California Education Code and various Federal and state statutes. These laws are meant to ensure that students receive a “free and adequate public education.” Schools, therefore, must provide educational services to students free of discrimination based on the student’s race, gender, religion, disability, and other protected characteristics. Disabled students receive specific protection from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. According to various statutes, a disabled student must be reasonably accommodated in the general population, if possible, to receive their education. The disability rights attorneys of Vanegas Law Group are here to provide comprehensive representation for parents and their students who are in the process to obtain or renegotiate an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan in their district.
Our Experienced Disability Rights Lawyers Can Help
Don’t let the insurance company’s red tape stop you from obtaining the disability benefits you are entitled to. With proper guidance from a skilled disability rights attorney, it is possible to obtain a favorable resolution to your predicament. Contact Bay Area disability rights lawyers at the Vanegas Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation to advise you about your legal matter.