Injury and illness often strike at the worst possible times, leaving individuals of all ages disabled. If you are disabled, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked for a minimum amount of time and paid into the Social Security System. SSI, alternatively, is a means-tested program available to those with limited income and resources. While it is possible to be entitled to both of these benefits, there are strict eligibility requirements; and the Social Security Administration has openly commented about the approval process being difficult without the help of an experienced attorney.
At Macomb Law Group our lawyers work with your doctors and experts to obtain the reports needed to support your entitlement to social security disability benefits, as well as obtain documentation and/or testimony regarding your injuries and ability to return to work. If requested to attend a hearing, our attorneys will assist you every step of the way from preparing for the hearing, to being present with you at the hearing.
How do I apply for SSDI and/or SSI?
The application for social security disability is a complicated process requiring you to provide a variety of documentation and support. Information often includes, but is not limited to:
- Personal Information (SSN, DOB, Marriage Status)
- Financial Information (Proofs of Earnings, Banking Information)
- Medical Information (Disability Details, Doctor Information, Medication Information)
- Additional Documentation (Medical Records, Tax Records, Proof of ID)
Failure to complete the application process and provide all requested information usually results in your application being rejected. On the other hand, your chances of being approved for social security disability benefits are greatly increased when the application process is completed correctly the first time.
How long does the determination take?
Typically the determination takes several weeks or months, in which time our attorneys maintain contact with the social security administration to move the application along as quickly as possible.
What if my application is denied?
Whether your application was submitted with or without the help of an experienced attorney, you are entitled to an attorney to help with the appeal process–which the attorneys at Macomb Law Group recommend as the appeal process is just as complicated as the initial application. To appeal, you must act quickly as you have 60 days from the date you receive your denial to file a ‘request for reconsideration.’
Next, a social security administration medical consultant and examiner, who did not participate in your initial determination, will be appointed to review your application. A grant of your reconsideration claim will only occur if there has been a new diagnosis or your condition initially claimed has worsened. If your reconsideration is denied, then you have the right to request a disability hearing. The request must come within 60 days of the reconsideration denial.
At the disability hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will either uphold or reverse the prior ruling. To do so, you will be required to attend a hearing with the ALJ where, under oath, you will be questioned about your disability, work history, and impact on your daily life. Being represented by an experienced attorney, who can arrange experts to testify in your support, is critical to succeeding on appeal.
If the ALJ denies your request, you may request a hearing/review by the Appeals Council where they will: deny the claim, overturn the claim, or send it back to the ALJ for reconsideration. If the Appeals Council denies the claim, then your last option may be to challenge the decision in federal court with a lawsuit.
If your application for social security disability benefits is denied at any step, you should consider contacting the experienced attorneys at Macomb Law Group. The attorneys at Macomb Law Group Fight for the physical, emotional and financial support you deserve.