Applying For Ssd Or Ssi Benefits In Michigan
Applying for disability benefits is a complicated process. Even if you dont live with a chronic illness or suffered a horrible injury, its likely you would find dealing with government bureaucracy frustrating. This is why Disability Law Group, a skilled and compassionate disability law firm, has made it our mission to assist those who are facing the physical and emotional, as well as the often financial and stressful, ramifications of coping with a serious disability as they seek the benefits they are entitled to. Not only will we provide you with guidance and clarification of the process, but we will also steadfastly be there for moral support and the reassurance you deserve. Having a dedicated disability attorney and team with you every step of the way who cares about your story and the details of your case can make the world of a difference.
Documents You Will Need
Before applying, you will need to gather information. Below is a list of some of the most important things you will need:
- A Social Security card or record of your Social Security number
- A birth certificate or proof of your age
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of your doctors, therapists, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you, and dates of your visits
- Names and dosage of all the medicine you take
- Any of your medical records that you already have in your possession
- Laboratory and test results
- A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did
- A copy of your most recent federal tax returns for the past year
You should apply for SSDI as soon as you become disabled. It takes the SSA about three to five months to review and make a decision on your application. However, the process could take longer if you delay in responding to information and document requests.
To learn more about the application process and to get some helpful information, visit the Disability Starter Kits and What You Should Know Before You Apply for Social Security Benefits on the SSA website.
What About Substance Abuse
Substance abuse wont automatically disqualify you from SDA benefits. During the review process, the Disability Examiner will determine whether substance abuse is a material contributing factor to your disability. If it is, your application will be denied. However, if substance abuse is not a material contributing factor, you may still receive benefits on the condition that you participate in a substance abuse treatment program.
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Benefits For A Disabled Child
A child under age 18 may be disabled, but we don’t need to consider the child’s disability when deciding if he or she qualifies for benefits as a dependent. The child’s benefits normally stop at age 18 unless he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or high school or is disabled.
Children who were receiving benefits as a minor child on a parents Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parents record upon reaching age 18 if they are disabled.
Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
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Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Disabled Michigan workers who are interested in receiving vocational rehabilitation services can contact Michigan Rehabilitation Services. Located in Lansing, the MRS partners with numerous other state agencies to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment. More information can be found on the MRS website.
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Talk With Us For Free
The call is free. The advice is free. The result can be life changing. If youve come this far, take one more step. Let us answer any questions you may have regarding a disability claim through Social Security or the VA.
Are you thinking about applying, have already applied, or have been denied?
Let Disability Attorneys of Michigan help you get the disability benefits you need. Call us for a Free Confidential Consultation at 800-949-2900 today.
Appealing A Disability Decision In Michigan
Approximately three to four months after you file for disability, you’ll receive a written decision in the mail. More than a third of those who apply for SSDI in Michigan are approved for benefits upon their initial application. A significant number are also granted benefits at a later stage of the disability appeals process.
|Stage of Application
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Neglecting To File An Appeal Within 60 Days Of Your Denial
Because the SSA initially denies most SSD benefit claims, applicants will usually have to appeal the SSAs decision. The SSAs appeal process has very strict deadlines. If you want to have any chance of obtaining benefits after failing to get an allowance for benefits, you will need to meet the legal timeline or lose the opportunity to appeal. Work with a skilled attorney so you can expedite the process and get your appeal properly filed within the 60-day deadline.
The Process Of Applying
SDA benefits are handled by the Michigan Department of Human Services . You can apply for benefits anytime, either online or in person at a local DHS office.
The time frame for the SDA application process is much faster than federal benefits. By law, your application must be approved or denied within 60 days.
Before applying, however, you should speak with a qualified disability attorney to discuss your options. The right attorney can help you prepare a strong application and guide you through the nuances of the process.
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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.
Getting Social Security Disability Benefits In Michigan: First You Have To Apply
As soon as you realize you cant work, and the reason is your health, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
The application you put together needs to prove to Social Security that you cant work because of your medical conditionsand you wont be able to return to work soon.
Keep in mind that disability benefits are for people who havent yet reached retirement age. Theyre meant to provide assistance when you cant work but cant start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, either.
This is what applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Michigan involves:
- Collecting documentation of your health problems, which come from your doctors and records of your medical treatment.
- Gathering statements from people who know you about how your medical conditions have changed your everyday functioning.
- Describing the jobs youve held going back several years, including the duties and demands of each job.
- Providing other basic information about yourself, such as age, education and past income.
- Filling out pages of Social Security Disability forms.
Putting together this application can feel like a project. It can even feel like a second jobjust when youre trying to tell Social Security you cant sustain your first job.
But an experienced Michigan disability benefits lawyer can help with all of this and make sure your application is done right.
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How To Appeal A Disability Denial In Michigan
In most states, if your initial application is denied, you have to first ask DDS to reconsider the decision, which takes a few months. In Michigan, you can skip this test, and request an appeal hearing right away. Appeal hearings are held at the Office of Hearing Operations . Michigan has OHO hearing offices in Detroit, Lansing, Livonia, Oak Park, Grand Rapids, and Mount Pleasant.
The Ssd Application Process In Michigan
Michigans path to apply for Social Security Disability benefits is slightly different than some other states. Below, you can see how the process works.
There are 3 ways to apply for Social Security Disability benefits:
The application form for SSD Benefits requests a lot of information. Contact us now for help with the Social Security application process.
Many individuals are denied at this stage, even though they meet all the requirements for benefits.
Do not be intimidated by the application process. If you are disabled, you have the right to seek benefits.
In many states, the next step in the appeal process is called Reconsideration, but this step has been eliminated in Michigan. If you are denied, and live in the state of Michigan, you go straight into the Appeal stage.
If there is a denial on an Initial Application in Michigan, the next step is to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge . A claimant has 60 days from the date of the denial to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Once the appeal and Request for Hearing have been filed, the average wait time for a hearing is typically between 12-18 months, although it can take longer.
An application for disability benefits can be denied for various reasons. The most common reasons are:
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Adults Disabled Before Age 22
An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The disabled “adult child” including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.
It is not necessary that the disabled “adult child” ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.
- A disabled “adult child” must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider “substantial” increases each year. In 2021, this means working and earning more than $1,310 a month.
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Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions
For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.
We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:
- Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
- Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.
For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities 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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Social Security Disability Appeal Hearings
There are 70 administrative law judges making decisions in court regarding Social Security Disability disputes throughout the seven hearing offices in the state. The Flint Office has the greatest approval rate out of all the hearing offices in Michigan.
Michigans hearing process is more effective than most other states. We have reduced waiting periods, reduced processing periods, greater approval rates, and fewer cases dismissed.
We Can Help You Appeal A Decision
If your SSDI claim was denied, dont panic. You may still have time to appeal the decision, and we are here to help you complete the process as quickly as possible. Please note: If you plan to request an appeal, you must do so within 60 days of receiving the decision.
There are four levels to the appeals process, and we can help you prepare for every single one of them:
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How You Qualify
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.
Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis. There are also a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.
If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.