Many first-time applicants for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are turned down, but this does not always mean that you are not an eligible candidate. If you were initially denied benefits, we recommend that you contact am experienced lawyer to help in pursuing approval for the disability benefits you need.
At Jay Trucks and Associates has been representing residents in Lansing and other cities across Michigan. We have a proven track record of recovering millions in compensation for our clients in over 30 years. We are available to answer your legal questions and fully guide you through the SSD application process.
A Lansing Social Security Disability attorney from our firm is prepared to assess your potential claim in a completely free initial consultation. There are no upfront charges if we represent you, and we do not get paid our fees unless we successfully obtain benefits for you.
No Upfront Fees. Ph: (800) 762-8623
Who May Be Eligible For Disability Benefits?
Eligibility requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are very specific. To qualify, you must be able to provide evidence of your medical condition, prior work history and other guidelines for defining an individual as disabled, such as:
- A qualifying condition that meets the SSA’s definition of physical and/or mental impairment
- You must not be able to perform your former job duties or any other work
- Your condition must have a prognosis or expectation of lasting at least one year and/or end in death
- Current income you receive does exceed Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limits
Minor applicants, age 18 years or less, may be eligible for disability benefits if they have a qualifying severely limiting condition according to SSA childhood impairment guidelines.
Learn whether you may qualify for disability benefits by contacting one of our SSD lawyers in Lansing.
Free Consultation. No obligations involved. (800) 762-8623
SSD Benefits Programs Overview
The SSA manages multiple federally funded programs that are intended to help individuals seeking disability benefits. Each program has its own eligibility requirements, which confuses many first-time applicants. Programs in existence include:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are provided to eligible applicants, and in some cases, family members. Qualifying applicants will have:
- A prior work history with a minimum of 40 credits
- Actively worked five consecutive years of the last ten
Applicants seeking additional benefits for family members must have been working as specified and also paid taxes on Social Security benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This is a benefits program designed for people who have limited earnings and assets, and who are also blind, elderly, or suffer from other qualifying disabilities. Having a prior work history is not a requirement for this program. However other eligibility requirements do include:
- Having no more than $2,000 in financial assets, if a single applicant
- Financial assets as a couple that do not exceed $3,000
- The ability to prove that the diagnosed impairment or disability prevents the individual applicant or couple from being able to work
Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits
Widows and widowers of a spouse who had been receiving Social Security benefits may qualify for these benefits if they are between 50 and 60 years of age and can present the following documentation:
- Spouse’s death certificate
- Valid marriage certificate
- Current tax forms
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
Minor children who suffered a disabling disease or medical condition before reaching 22 years may qualify for disabled adult child benefits, even if they have never worked, under the following conditions:
- The minor child meets SSA criteria for a physical disability
- The minor child is not making a substantial income, according to the SSA guidelines
- One or both parents are deceased
- One or both parents have retired and are being paid retirement benefits
- One or both parents qualify for and are receiving disability benefits
How Do I Apply For Benefits in Michigan?
You may apply for benefits in multiple, convenient ways in Michigan:
- Applying online
- Over the phone, by calling the toll-free number at the SSA: 1-800-772-1213
- Visiting the Lansing SSA office in person at: 5210 Perry Robinson, Lansing, MI 48911
Before you begin the application process, there are some documents and forms you will need to obtain:
- Your last W-2 form
- Social Security Number
- Proof of age
- Carefully documented summary of your prior work history
- All pertinent medical records and diagnostic tests from treating physicians
- Current prescription medications
- Marriage certificate, if your spouse is also applying
- Valid ID proving the age of any other family member applying with you
- Contact information from your treating physicians and other medical professionals responsible for your care management
Prior to applying for benefits, we recommend that you contact one of our qualified Lansing Social Security Disability lawyers. We are prepared to help you with your application to ensure that:
- Your application is complete and accurate
- All necessary documents accompany your application
- You have sufficient medical evidence, per the SSA’s requirements
Contact our firm to get started on your claim. (800) 762-8623
Why Many First-Time Applicants May Be Denied
It is not uncommon for applicants to be denied benefits initially, even if they may meet all of the requirements. This is why we recommend seeking legal help from a licensed attorney.
Our lawyers handle claims like these on a regular basis and are very familiar with the process. While we cannot guarantee the outcome, we are ready to help ensure that you have the proper documentation and medical evidence to strengthen your chances for approval.
Applications may initially be denied because the applicant:
- Did not provide sufficient qualifying medical evidence – Many applicants may think undergoing an SSA medical exam is enough, but other proof of your condition may also be required. Our attorneys are prepared to review your claim and guide you with obtaining this information.
- Had a prior claim that had been denied – Applicants have better success appealing an initial application that was denied, rather than starting an entirely new application. If your first application was denied, the SSA is more likely to deny your second application as well.
- Earned an income that exceeded eligibility requirements – The SSA has strict earning requirements, and if an applicant’s income exceeds those limits in the current year, he or she will not qualify for benefits.
- Failed to seek recommended treatment and/or follow-up as required – If an applicant does not show evidence of attempting to pursue and/or follow recommended treatment for recovery, his or her application will likely be denied.
- Did not cooperate with requirements from the SSA – To further establish your eligibility for benefits, the SSA may request an additional exam, other pertinent documentation or diagnostics. If you do not cooperate with the SSA or drag your feet to respond to their requests, your application may be denied.
What Can I Do If My Benefits Claim Was Denied?
If your claim was already denied, it is important that you act quickly to appeal this decision. This is another way that a Lansing Social Security Disability attorney from our firm may be able to help. We are prepared to review your claim and help you proceed with the four levels of appeal, which includes:
- Reconsideration – An unbiased party who did not previously review your claim will examine your application and all accompanying evidence and make a new decision – applicants may submit new evidence for this level of the appeal process.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing – This is an in-person hearing that will be held within 75 miles of where you live. The SSA may request additional evidence for this hearing, and the ALJ will ask questions of you and any witnesses, such as medical experts, who are qualified to testify on your behalf. Typically, you will receive the ALJ’s decision about your claim within 30 days of your hearing.
- Appeals Council review – If the ALJ hearing still results in a denial, you may then ask for a further review by the SSA Appeals Council. If they feel the decision made by the ALJ was correct, they could reject your request, or they may ask another ALJ to review your case.
- Federal Court review – In this final step of the appeals process, you are allowed to file a lawsuit in a U.S. district court. No new evidence may be submitted for this appeal, and the SSA is not able to help you with this filing. The outcome of this appeal is the final decision for your claim.
Pursuing SSD benefits and any necessary appeals is a complicated process. Applicants can benefit greatly from having an experienced attorney who understands the laws, all documentation that may be required, and who will fight for your legal rights.
Do not delay pursuing the benefits you need. Contact our legal team at (800) 762-8623
Can Military Veterans Qualify For Social Security Disability?
A military veteran who is already receiving assistance through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) may still apply for SSA benefits. However, there is no guarantee a veteran will qualify for disability on the basis they met the VA’s eligibility requirements for disability. This is because the VA’s requirements are different and a veteran may qualify for benefits with only a moderate disability, while the SSD’s requirements are more stringent.
If you are a military veteran and you suffered a disabling injury or medical condition during your on or after October 1, 2001, you will likely qualify to apply under the SSA’s accelerated application process.
What is the Ticket to Work Program?
The Ticket to Work program helps individuals with certain types of disabilities who may be able to return to some type of work to reach financial independence. While working under this program, these individuals can continue to earn income while simultaneously receiving SSD benefits. Participants in this program are not subjected to continuing disability reviews by the SSA. Only applicants who have not already received a continuing disability review are eligible for this program.
How Long Will it Take Before I Receive My Benefits?
If you qualify for benefits and your application is approved, you should begin receiving your checks within 30 to 60 days of the date of your approval notice. If, after 90 days, you have not received your first benefits check, contact your SSD lawyer to find out what may be causing the delay.
Contact Our Lansing Social Security Disability Lawyers
Having an experienced SSD lawyer on your side can help to ensure your application is properly submitted the first time. If your claim was already denied, you are under a time crunch of just 60 days to get it right. We are prepared to guide you through the entire process and fight to help you get the benefits you need.
Advocating for the residents of Michigan is what our firm is about. We have a proven track record of more than $500 million in compensation that we have recovered for our clients.
There is no risk to you, because the initial consultation is completely free, and if we represent you, you pay us no money for our services unless we first obtain benefits for you.
Jay Trucks and Associates. We are here to help. (800) 762-8623