Why You Need Help Applying for Social Security

Published on April 29th, 2019

Why You Need Help Applying for Social Security for Thurswell LawAmericans have a right to seek benefits, including Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides. However, the process of obtaining these benefits and/or appealing a denial of benefits can be complex. In some instances, it may even take several attempts for you to obtain access to these benefits. That’s where an experienced Social Security lawyer can come in handy.

The experienced Michigan Social Security attorneys at Thurswell Law might be able to assist by addressing all of your concerns and questions, explaining the application process to you, and filing an application for benefits on your behalf. If the SSA denies your claim for benefits, our legal team may be able to assist you with an appeal and represent you at your appeal before an Administrative Law Judge. Contact us online today to find out how we might be able to assist you with your benefits claim or with filing an appeal in your case.

Am I Eligible for SSDI Benefits?

One way that an experienced lawyer may be able to help is by determining your eligibility for various Social Security benefits. This determination can sometimes be difficult, and it is a very fact-sensitive inquiry. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must first be suffering from a serious disability that precludes you from working.

A true disability is one that makes you wholly unable to engage in gainful employment, due to a “medically determinable physical or mental impairment.” This impairment must either be expected to cause your death, or it must have lasted (or be expected to last) for a time period of at least 12 months. Moreover, to qualify as a disability, the impairment or medical condition must be so severe that it effectively precludes you from being able to perform work tasks that you could do before without any problem.

In addition to assessing whether or not the claimant suffers from a true disability, the SSA must also determine if the claimant has accumulated a sufficient amount of work credits for him or her to qualify for SSDI benefits. The experienced Michigan Social Security lawyers at Thurswell Law can determine if you might be eligible to pursue a claim for benefits and if so, can assist you with filing the paperwork in-person or online.

Am I Eligible for SSI Benefits?

Unlike SSDI benefits, when it comes to determining eligibility for SSI benefits, income becomes a major factor. To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • That your household income fits within the income limit prescribed for SSI benefits
  • The date on which your disabling medical condition or impairment started
  • That your medical condition or impairment is expected to cause death, and if not death, will last for at least one year’s time
  • The extent and nature of your disabling medical condition or impairment
  • That you are not able to have gainful employment since the date on which your disabling medical condition or impairment started.

Unlike SSDI benefits, SSI benefits are based upon financial need, and a person claiming these benefits must have limited resources and income. Also, to qualify for SSI benefits, no accumulated work credits are necessary and there are no potential family benefits.

The Social Security legal team at Thurswell Law can examine both your financial as well as your medical circumstances and determine if you might be eligible to pursue SSI benefits.

Appealing a Benefits Denial

In many instances, the SSA denies Social Security benefits to applicants—especially the first time around. The SSA may deny you these benefits for a myriad of reasons. Some of the potential reasons include the following:

  • The applicant does not suffer from a medical condition or impairment that is serious enough to prevent him or her from maintaining gainful employment.
  • The applicant has not accumulated a sufficient number of work credits to maintain insurance for SSDI benefits (also known as a technical denial).
  • The applicant makes too much money to qualify for SSI benefits (another type of technical denial).
  • The medical condition from which the applicant suffers did not amount to a disabling medical condition at any point prior to the expiration of the applicant’s accumulated credits.

A skilled Social Security lawyer could also assist you with appealing an initial benefits claim denial. When it comes to Social Security appeals, Michigan operates slightly differently than other states across the country. First of all, to appeal a denial of benefits, the applicant could file the appeal in person at his or her SSA office, online, or by contacting the SSA via phone.

The Social Security attorneys at Thurswell Law may also be able to assist you throughout the appeals process. First of all, a lawyer could request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge on your behalf, within 60 days after the SSA denied your initial benefits claim. The average waiting time for a hearing can take anywhere from 12 months to 18 months. A lawyer could then represent you at an administrative hearing and present arguments and/or introduce testimony on your behalf.

Finally, if the administrative law judge does not come back with a favorable decision, a lawyer could assist you with filing an appeal to the Appeals Council within 60 days. Once you file an appeal, the Appeals Council will review the decision made by the administrative law judge and make a final decision in your case.

Call a Michigan Social Security Lawyer Today

Social Security benefits are extremely important. If you need assistance with filing a claim for benefits—or appealing a benefits decision—you need legal counsel by your side who is knowledgeable about the SSA’s protocols and procedures. Call the experienced lawyers at Thurswell Law today to find out how we might be able to assist you with obtaining benefits.

To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Social Security attorney in Michigan, please dial (248) 354-2222 or contact us online.

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