Michigan Social Security Disability (SSD) Application Lawyer

Why You Should Apply for Social Security Disability BenefitsSocial Security Lawyers helping Individuals in Mighigan File for Social Security or Appeal a Claim Denial for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

The Unjustified Stigma Associated with Applying for SSD Benefits

It may be hard to make the adjustment from going to work every day to dealing with an illness or injury that impairs your ability to make a living. Because they do not understand how the system works, many people feel guilt or shame when they think about applying for disability benefits.

There is a common misconception that Social Security Disability is a government handout, paid for by taxpayers. This is simply not true. Social Security Disability is a form of insurance that is administered by the government. If you have been working and FICA taxes have been taken out of your paycheck, then you have been participating in the program and are fully entitled to all its benefits.

The Responsible Thing to Do

If you are unable to work and are now supported by your spouse or receiving private disability benefits or workers’ compensation payments, then you may not realize you are missing out on the Social Security Disability benefits you are entitled to collect. If you have paid into the system, then you have every right to apply for those benefits.

But it’s important to do so in a timely manner: qualification for SSD benefits do expire, usually within five years. The longer you wait to apply, the more benefits you may stand to lose. Back benefits may be unavailable if you do not apply as soon as you become disabled or learn that you will be disabled for 12 months or more. You could lose thousands of dollars in benefits that you and your family deserve.

Probably the most powerfully persuasive reason to apply for SSD benefits is that your retirement benefits may be reduced if you do not work for several years. Fortunately, if you are collecting SSD during this time, then your retirement benefits will not be placed at risk.

Supporting yourself and your family is the responsible thing to do. If you can no longer work because of unforeseen medical complications, you are completely justified in filing a claim for your SSD benefits.

Helping Individuals in Michigan File for Social Security or Appeal a Claim Denial

Americans have legal rights to benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides. Available Social Security benefits include Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals who are disabled often rely upon Social Security as their primary source of income and use it towards their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Nothing could be worse than being denied the benefits you need and to which the law entitles you.

The experienced Michigan Social Security lawyers at Thurswell Law assist clients with filing their initial applications for SSI and SSDI benefits—and with appealing benefit denials—every day. Our experienced legal team can assist you with your filing and will fight for your right to obtain the benefits you deserve.

Obtaining Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Benefits

If you have been in the workforce for a specified number of years and have regularly paid Social Security taxes during this time, you might be eligible to recover Social Security disability benefits. In addition to meeting the credit requirement, you must suffer from a disability the SSA covers.

In terms of money, to maintain your eligibility for SSDI benefits, you cannot make more than $1,180 per month—the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. If you do make more than that amount, the government will not consider you disabled, regardless of your particular medical condition. Moreover, your diagnosed medical condition must limit your ability to do certain job duties for a period of at least 12 months. Those job duties could include the following:

  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Lifting
  • Sitting

Applicable medical conditions supported by the SSA include cystic fibrosis, chronic heart failure, blood clotting, certain bleeding disorders, and chronic liver disease. In general, the medical condition must have lasted—or must be expected to last—for a period of 12 months or greater. Alternatively, the medical condition must be one for which death is anticipated in the future.

If the applicant’s medical condition prohibits him or her from performing work duties in the past (by looking at the applicant’s prior work history before the individual became disabled), the SSA will look to see if jobs are available that the applicant would still be able to do, despite his or her medical condition.

The family members of individuals who have gained SSDI benefit approval could also be eligible to obtain benefits. Those benefits, in turn, are based upon the disabled individual’s SSA earnings.

The experienced Michigan Social Security lawyers at Thurswell Law can review every aspect of your medical condition and circumstances to determine your eligibility for SSDI benefits.

Obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

SSI is a needs-based program, and benefits may be available for low-income adults and children with disabilities. Moreover, adults who are 65 years of age or older who satisfy the financial requirements for SSI—but who do not suffer from a disability—might be able to receive the benefits. To determine a person’s eligibility for SSI benefits, the government will examine a variety of factors that include:

  • Whether the SSI claimant’s household income meets the necessary threshold
  • Whether the claimant suffers from a medical condition or impairment which is likely to last for 12 consecutive months or more—or which is likely to result in the claimant’s death
  • The extent and nature of the claimant’s medical condition or impairment
  • Whether the claimant is able to engage in substantial employment since the time that his or her medical condition or impairment started
  • The time when the claimant’s medical condition or impairment began

The knowledgeable Michigan Social Security attorneys at Thurswell Law can review your financial and medical circumstances to determine your eligibility for SSI benefits under the law.

The Application Process

Applying for SSDI benefits in Michigan is different than it is in other jurisdictions throughout the country. In Michigan, you can apply for SSDI benefits in three different ways. First, the applicant could apply for benefits in person while he or she is at the Social Security Administration Office. Alternatively, the applicant could apply for benefits online at SSA.gov. Finally, an applicant could elect to contact the SSA via telephone to make an application for benefits.

The skilled Michigan Social Security lawyers at Thurswell Law can assist you with completing and filing your application with the Social Security Administration.

Benefit Denial and Appeal Rights

It is important to understand that the SSA denies many applicants their benefits at this initial stage. If you are denied benefits your first time around, you should not become discouraged. If you are disabled, you have a legal right to pursue benefits.

Although many jurisdictions throughout the country allow for a reconsideration step following an initial benefits denial, there is no such step in Michigan. Instead, if the applicant lives in Michigan and his or her initial application for benefits gets denied, the applicant must proceed directly to the appellate stage of the process. During this stage, the applicant must request a hearing in front of an ALJ—also known as an administrative law judge—within 60 days of the initial application denial date. In the event the ALJ also denies the benefits, the applicant could direct an appeal to the Appeals Council within 60 days. The Appeals Council will then review the ALJ’s decision and make a final decision in the case.

The Social Security attorneys at Thurswell Law can review your case and circumstances and could assist you with filing an appeal of your benefits denial.

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 (248) 354-2222.

Thurswell Law Can Help

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, it is important to consult with a Social Security Disability attorney who that has the knowledge and experience necessary to help. Our compassionate legal experts will assist you in determining if and when you should apply for SSD. Once a determination has been made, we will work closely with you and your doctors to make sure you receive all of the benefits you’re entitled to. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, reach out to us toll-free at 248-354-2222.

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
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