How Does The Social Security Administration Define Disability
The SSA has strict criteria for determining whether a person is eligible for disability benefits.
The main requirements are:
- You are unable to do the work you did before
- You cannot transition to other work because of your disability or medical condition
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least one year, or to result in death
Its important to note that Social Security disability benefits are only paid in cases of total disability. No benefits are payable for partial or short-term disability.
Medical Qualifying With A Mental Illness
The SSA conducts a detailed review of your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits. During this review, they try to match your records to a disability listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSAs medical guide that is used to evaluate every disability application.
Disability listings outline the severity level requirements and the specific medical evidence needed to support a claim for benefits. Mental illnesses appear in Section 12.00 and include:
- 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders you may qualify under this listing if you have a severe phobia, post-traumatic stress, a panic disorder, or another anxiety-related condition.
- 12.08, Personality Disorders this is the listing under which you may qualify if you have severe, clinical depression.
- 12.04, Affective Disorders if you have bipolar disorder, your application will be reviewed under this listing.
Extensive medical records are necessary to qualify, including:
- Information on your diagnosis, ideally from a psychiatrist or psychologist
- Brain scans or other evidence of physical abnormalities that document an organic cause for symptoms, if applicable
- Treatment records, documenting medications, therapy, and other management methods used and their effects
- Thoroughly documented episodes of increased symptoms or periods of decompensation
- Well documented affects of your symptoms on your everyday abilities or activities of daily living
To Qualify For Medicare You Need To Get Disability Benefits From:
- Social Security
- Railroad Retirement Board
If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.
If you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.
The Total Work History
The second work history test looks at the age you became disabled and your total work history. If you became disabled before you turned 28, you need at least one-and-one-half years of work history to get SSDI. This is the lowest amount of work history you must have to get SSDI. If you are 28 or older, your required total work history goes up gradually. The maximum amount of work history you could be required to have is nine-and-one-half years. Youre required to have that amount when you turn 60.
To learn more, read the section How do I meet the earnings requirement for disability benefits? of the Disability Benefits page on the SSA website.
Michigan State Disability Assistance Program Structure Benefits And Eligibility
|State Disability Assistance and SSI RecipientsThe State of Michigan opted-in to implement a Mandatory Minimum Supplementation as a result of the Social Security Amendment of 1972.The Mandatory Minimum Supplementation is an optional state payment to recipients of the Supplemental Security Income federal disability program who live independently or in the household of another to help maintain basic income levels.Basic income levels as defined by the states own;minimum standard of living; establishes an applicants financial need, eligibility, and benefit amount.; Individuals whose income fall below the states needs standard as a measure of poverty, and meet other specified requirements are eligible for State Disability Assistance supplemental benefits.|
Table 1.Optional state supplementation payment levels, effective January 2011 .
|Combined Federal and State|
|Living in the household of another||–|
|Living independently with an essential person||G|
|Living in the household of another with an essential person||H|
Living independently.Living in the household of another.D: Domiciliary care.E: Personal care facility.F: Home for the aged.G: Living independently with an essential person.H: Living in the household of another with an essential person.I: Medicaid facility.State Disability Assistance as an Interim BenefitFederal Disability Claims Processing Procedures disability
Read Also: How To Apply For Short Term Disability
Speak With A Michigan Social Security Lawyer Today
The process of filing for and obtaining Social Security benefits in Michigan can be both convoluted and confusing. The knowledgeable legal team at Thurswell Law can explain every step of the process to you and can assist you with filing your application or appealing a denial.
To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Michigan Social Security lawyer, please contact us online or call us at 354-2222.
Student Earned Income Exclusion
SSI has rules called exclusions that let you make some money without having your SSI benefits go down or stop. The Student Earned Income Exclusion is a major exclusion: it lets students earn up to $1,930 per month, and up to $7,770per year, without having those wages be part of their countable income!
To qualify for the SEIE, you must be under 22, working, and regularly attending school. That usually means you have to go to school more than:
- 8 hours a week for college students
- 12 hours a week for grades 712
- 1215 hours a week for employment training
If you drop out of school, you will not qualify for the SEIE, and your SSI benefits will be smaller than they would be if you stayed in school. Stay in school! You get more money thanks to the SEIE, and when you graduate, youll get a higher paying job thanks to your degree.
You make $1,000 per month at a summer job and during the school year, you make $400 each month at a work-study job. Combined, you make a of $6,600 for the year. Since the money you make doesnt go over the monthly and annual limits for the SEIE, your SSI benefits dont go down at all.
Read Also: How To File For Temporary Disability
What Makes A Strong Disability Application
To make sure Social Security understands what youre going through and why you need financial help, your application needs to be:
- Accurate: Be frank about your health problems. Dont overstate anything, but dont shy away from explaining how hard your situation is.
- Complete: Fill out everything the best you can and make sure to include records of doctor visits and other evidence.
- Prompt: Apply for benefits as soon as you know you cant work. When youre awarded benefits, you also get back benefits covering a period that starts with your application. So its best to file as soon as possible.
One of the best ways to make sure you cover all the points is to work with an experienced disability lawyer.
When you get a lawyer for Social Security Disability, you have someone supporting you who knows what information Social Security wants to see, what information you dont need to send and how to present the information you have.
Dont take any chances when your financial stability is at stake. When illness and job loss hit you, Social Security Disability benefits could be your path to a better life.
You can start now by getting our Social Security attorneys to provide an evaluation of your claimat no cost to you.
What Is Ssi And Ssdi
Supplemental Security Income provides financial assistance for certain individuals. Eligibility is based on an individuals income, resources, age, and disability.;
If you suffer from blindness or disability, you are eligible for SSI at any age. Without a qualifying disability, you must be at least 65 years old to apply for SSI. The average monthly benefit for SSI was $577 as of November 2020. The maximum benefit available in 2021 is $794 a month for a single individual or $1,191 a month for a married couple.
Social Security Disability Insurance is financial assistance thats available to individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history. The average monthly benefit for SSDI was $1,128 as of November 2020. The maximum benefit allowed in 2021 is $3,148 a month.
It is possible to qualify for both SSI and SSDI, so its helpful to know about both of these programs.
How To Apply For Ssdi In Michigan
You can apply for SSDI benefits in Michigan online, by phone, or in person. You will need to have the following information to complete the application:
- Date and place of birth.
- The beginning and ending dates of your marriage.
- Names and birth dates for children who are unmarried and under the age of 18, 18 or 19 and in school full-time, or became disabled before the age of 22.
- Details regarding any military service.
- Employer or self-employment details for the current year and two years prior.
- Information on the type of work you did over the 15 years prior to your disability.
- The date your medical condition impacted your ability to work.
- A list of your medical conditions.
- Records of medical examinations, treatments, tests, and medications.
- Records pertaining to workers compensation, vocational rehabilitation services, public welfare, or prison/jail.
- Records regarding job training, trade school, vocational school, or college education.
Upon completion of your application, you must provide the Social Security Administration with your birth certificate or proof of birth, proof of citizenship if born outside the U.S., discharge papers for military service before 1968, tax forms for the previous year, medical records and evidence, and proof of any workers compensation-type benefits you receive.
Social Security Disability Faq:
Can I Lose My Social Security Disability Benefits?
Losing SSD benefits is rare, but can still happen under certain circumstances. Every 3 years the Social Security Administration will perform a “Continuing Disability Review” in which they review a recipients qualifications to ensure that they still meet the requirements for receiving disability benefits. Benefits may be removed if the individual has improved to a point where they can return to work. Some other situations in which disability benefits may be suspended include:
- If the recipient is incarcerated
- If it is determined that the recipient committed fraud when filing their claim
- If the recipient experiences an increase in assets or income
- If the recipient passes away
How Much Will Social Security Disability Pay?
It is an important question: How much will my monthly checks be if I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits? At our law firm, our attorney deals with this question every day as we help people apply for benefits and appeal claim denials.
Whether you meet the criteria forSocial Security Disability Insurance benefits orSupplemental Security Income , an SSD attorney at our firm can answer your key questions and help you through the application or appeal process.
Equally important to the question, How much will Social Security Disability pay? are others such as:
How Do I Choose the Right Michigan SSD Attorney?
A starting point:
What about fees?
Read Also: How Much Is Disability In Michigan
Failing To Properly Prepare For Your Disability Hearing
Obtaining updated medical records, getting a more complete statement from your doctor or other qualified specialist, and conducting a thorough review of your case file are advised before attending your disability hearing in front of an Administration Law Judge . Taking the time to look for mistakes and correct any missing or incomplete information will help you increase the chances of an approval.
Michigan Reconsideration Approval Over Time
|Reconsideration Approval Rate|
As the table and the below chart indicate, Michigan has been historically much better than the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. However, Michigan recently fell below the national average by 0.3%. In 2020, Michigan ranked 31st in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Reconsideration. However, as you can see, in general, the chances of winning approval at Reconsideration are not particularly high. That is why many applicants must continue in the next level, the Hearing.
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Division Of Disability Determinations
In Michigan, a state agency called Disability Determination Service makes the initial decisions about whether you are disabled. DDS is a part of Michigan’s Department of Human Services . Here is the contact information for Michigan’s four DDS locations.
608 W. Allegan St., 3rd FloorHannah Building
For more information, you can also visit the DHS website.
How To Appeal A Denial In Michigan
Approximately 65% of applicants are denied on their initial application. Dont lose hope if this happens to you. Most people submit at least one appeal before their case is approved.
There are 4 stages of the appeals process. Each level of the appeals process must be submitted within 60 days of the previous denial, and you must go through each stage before moving on to the next.
Step 1: Reconsideration – The first step is to request to have a different SSA representative review your disability case to see if an error was made. This is the fastest and easiest level of the appeals process and you dont need to provide any additional documentation. In Michigan, 30% of applications are approved at this level.
Step 2: Disability Adjudication – If your reconsideration was denied, you may request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge. Youll likely be asked to bring additional documentation or witnesses who can support your case, and many people choose to hire a disability attorney. Unfortunately, it can take over a year to get a hearing date at one of seven Hearing and Appeal Offices in the state.
Step 3: Appeal Council – In the third level of appeals, youll request to have an Appeals Council review the previous decisions. At this stage, most people will hire an attorney versed in disability law.
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Benefits For Disabled Adults
SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.
How To Apply For Ssd In Michigan City And Vicinity
You would not dream of going to federal court without a skilled, experienced lawyer. But it is better to work with a great lawyer as early as possible, to keep track of the paperwork, to identify and rectify weak points in your case, and to present your claims as persuasively as possible.
When you are notified of denial, that is a good time to call Joseph Nugent, Attorney at Law, if you have not already done so. Many people get discouraged at this point, and having a confident, knowledgeable benefits attorney on your side will help keep you from giving up.
In Northwest Indiana, the disability benefits lawyer to turn to is Northwest Indiana SSD process lawyer Joe Nugent of Hobart and Michigan City. To schedule a no-cost conversation about your case, call Joe at , or write to him using this form.
Basic Eligibility For Benefits
The SSA must see that you meet basic eligibility requirements before further reviewing your application for benefits. This basic eligibility includes having:
- A formal diagnosis of a potentially disabling condition
- A diagnosed condition that will disable you for 12 months of longer
After the SSA confirms that you meet basic eligibility, they will then move on to review your medical condition in detail and verify that you meet all program requirements for SSDI and/or SSI.
Three Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Chances At A Michigan Disability Hearing
Its natural to be nervous as your disability hearing date approaches. But theres no need to worry. A skilled and professional Michigan Social Security Disability benefits attorney will help you prepare, especially for your particular Judge. That way, youll know what to expect, so you can be comfortable and focus on talking about the important facts of your disability. Keep in mind that attorneys J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi are very familiar with all the local Social Security Judges.
As experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, always help their clients prepare for their disability hearing. That includes talking about common mistakes that benefit applicants often make once the hearing gets started.
There are three mistakes, in particular, that you should be careful to avoid during your own disability hearing:
In short, remember the purpose of the administrative disability hearing, and keep that in mind when youre there. What you dont do or say can be as important as what you do and say during the hearing. Make the most of your opportunity to talk to the ALJ by being yourself. Explain your disability and its direct effects on you including your inability to work. Thats all you need to do.
Read Also: How Does Disability Work In California
How To Qualify For Ssdi In Michigan
The criteria for receiving Social Security Disability are the same in all states since it is a federally funded program. The two main criteria to meet are connected to the severity of your disability and whether youve worked long enough to pay into the Social Security system.
The SSA has compiled a comprehensive list of disabilities that it considers severe enough to earn disability insurance. Please consult this list before submitting your disability claim to ensure your condition is on it. Your condition must limit your ability to work for at least 12 months to qualify.
You will also have to show an adequate work history, meaning you have paid enough in taxes to qualify to receive assistance. The minimum amount of time that an individual must work is typically 10 years. Note that this can vary depending on your age and disability.
If you are currently working in some capacity, you are protected under federal law from disability discrimination. Your employer must provide any reasonable accommodation to help you complete your job duties.
Even if you meet SSA requirements, your claim still may be denied. Since determination is made at the state level, its up to Michigan DDS to review your application. In the state of Michigan, roughly 65% of all first-time applications are denied. However, if you receive a denial, you can start the appeals process to pursue your benefits.