Social Security Disability
If you suffer from a serious health condition, you may need to rely on Social Security Disability benefits for your medical treatment and basic living expenses. Although the system was set up to help disabled people, only 30-40% of claimants are approved at the initial stage, and you may need to appeal a denial. In many cases, having a skilled attorney represent you during this process can help increase the likelihood that you get the benefits you need, either at the initial stage or on appeal. At McCroskey Law, our Grand Rapids Social Security Disability lawyers provide guidance and personal service to SSDI, SSI, and child SSI claimants. We have offices in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Battle Creek, from which we can serve injured individuals in many areas of Michigan.Pursuing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program created and administered by the federal government, which helps eligible disabled individuals meet their basic living and medical expenses. In order to receive benefits, you must have coverage and also have a qualifying disability.
Coverage is determined by whether you have worked long enough and recently enough in a job that is covered by SSDI. You must also have paid Social Security taxes.
A qualifying disability may exist if you have been unable to engage in substantial gainful employment due to a medically determinable impairment expected to last for 12 continuous months or more, or expected to result in death. The disability must prevent you from going back to work, and it also must prevent you from finding other comparable jobs in the economy. Sometimes a claim can be approved because your medical records show you have a mental or physical condition that satisfies the requirements of one of the impairments listed in the Social Security Disability List of Impairments, or “blue book”.
If you do not qualify based on a listing, a disability examiner can look at your medical records to determine how you are functionally limited, such as your ability to interact, sit, stand, walk, carry, tolerate hazards, and concentrate, among other things. If you have a reduced ability to do any of these things, you may have less ability to engage in work. The examiner will also look at what you can do in order to determine your residual functional capacity rating.
The first step in obtaining SSDI benefits is to file a disability application online, by phone, or in person at the local Social Security Office. In Michigan, the Disability Determination Service (DDS) is the state agency that initially evaluates your application and determines whether you are disabled. DDS has four locations in Michigan, and it is part of the Department of Human Services. If DDS denies your initial claim, you will need to file a reconsideration appeal. If that is denied, you can seek a disability hearing appeal. Unlike in some other states, you can also ask for an appeal right away if your initial application is denied. Appeals are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer in Grand Rapids or Beyond
If you are trying to obtain government benefits, a lot may be at stake. It can be helpful to be represented by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney from the beginning. With Grand Rapids Social Security Disability attorneys who have over 100 years of combined experience, McCroskey Law is committed to asserting the rights of disabled individuals. From offices in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Battle Creek, we represent people in Kalamazoo, Niles, Jackson, Ludington, and Holland, among other Michigan communities. Contact us at 800-442-0237 or via our online form to set up a free consultation with an SSDI or SSI attorney.