Denied Michigan SSD Benefits?
Were You Denied Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits?
Did the Social Security Administration recently deny your Social Security disability (SSD) benefits claim? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you unsure about what to do next? If so, it is understandable. However, don’t get frustrated, and don’t give up hope. Instead, you can appeal the SSA’s decision. To ensure you don’t lose your right to appeal, you will need to act quickly.
Get in touch with Disability Attorneys of Michigan today. We will help you to file an appeal and provide other valuable assistance throughout the process. Our law firm features experienced SSD benefits lawyers who focus solely on helping people with disabilities throughout Michigan. We will start work immediately on your SSD benefits appeal. Contact us by phone or submit our online form today to receive a free consultation.
Why Was Your SSD Benefits Claim Denied?
Before we discuss the SSD benefits appeals process, you should understand why the SSA denied your claim. Denials generally fall under two categories:
- Technical Reasons – The SSA could have denied your claim because you made a mistake on your application, lacked enough work credits, earned too much income or reported too much in assets.
- Medical Reasons – The SSA may have found that your medical condition fails to meet the SSA’s definition of a “disability.” For instance, the SSA may have concluded that:
- Your impairment is not “severe.”
- Your impairment has not and is not expected to last for 12 continuous months or result in death.
- You are able to do your usual past work.
- You are able to do other type of work.
In some cases, the SSA denies an application because an applicant fails to cooperate with a claims examiner or to include medical records, a doctor’s statement or other important information which the examiner needs to make a decision.
If the SSA denies your claim, you will receive a Notice of Disapproved Claim letter. You should closely read the section that explains why the SSA denied your claim and pay attention to the denial date. This information will be important as you move forward with your lawyer from Disability Attorneys of Michigan.
Should You Appeal a Denied SSD Benefits Claim?
After you read the SSA’s reason(s) for denying your claim, you should strongly consider pursuing an appeal of the decision. This is especially true if:
- The evidence does not support the SSA’s reason(s) for the denial.
- The SSA misread or misinterpreted the information you provided.
- You can provide new or additional information to support your claim.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan will carefully review the information in your file and analyze the SSA’s reason(s) for the denial. We will give you an honest assessment of your claim. We will not charge for this consultation. If you choose to go forward, we will help you to file all required paperwork and fight for you at every possible stage in your appeal.
How Do You Appeal Your Denied SSD Benefits Claim?
If you pursue an appeal of your denied SSD benefits claim in Michigan, your case could go through three levels of appeal. Let’s look at each level:
- Hearing – Your case would go before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the nearest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). When a judge can see and hear you and learn more about your medical condition in your own words, it can have a powerful impact. For this reason, many people win appeals at the hearing stage.
- Appeals Council Review – If the ALJ denies your claim, you can request review by the SSA Appeals Council. The Council may deny your request for review, make a decision on your claim or send your case back to the ALJ for a new review and decision.
- District Court – If the SSA fails to grant your claim, you can file a lawsuit in the nearest U.S. District Court. Disability Attorneys of Michigan has extensive experience with handling appeals at this level.
The date on your initial denial letter is important. You have 60 days from that date in which to submit your request for an administrative hearing, which starts the appeals process. If you miss this deadline, you could lose your right to appeal. Disability Attorneys of Michigan will make sure you don’t miss it.
What Should You Expect at a SSD Benefits Hearing?
If you request a hearing before an administrative law judge, you will get notice in the mail. The notice will state the date and time for your hearing. It will also give you the name of the judge who will hear your case.
Typically, the hearing is held at the ODAR office located within 75 miles of where you live. Michigan has seven ODAR offices: Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Mt. Pleasant and Oak Park. Most hearings are held in person. However, you can ask for a video hearing.
The hearing is an informal process, but it still resembles a hearing in a courtroom. During the hearing, you can expect the following to occur:
- The judge will review the issues with you and your lawyer.
- The judge will ask you and your lawyer questions.
- Medical and vocational experts may testify about your condition and its impact on your ability to work.
- You can present your own witnesses, including your own experts.
- You will get the chance to give a closing statement to the judge.
You need to work with an experienced SSD benefits lawyer at this stage in your case. At Disability Attorneys of Michigan, we know the information that ALJs in Michigan will want to hear in order to make their decision. We can also consult with knowledgeable experts about your case. We will make sure you are ready to speak before the judge. We prepare cases for success in these hearings, and rest assured, we will strive for success in your case.
Can You Speed Up a Decision on Your Appeal?
Unfortunately, the average wait time for a hearing at Michigan’s ODAR offices is between 16-18 months. If you are struggling to make ends meet, this wait can present significant challenges.
However, Disability Attorneys of Michigan will explore ways to speed up the process. Depending on the facts of your case, may be able to request an on-the-record review or attorney-advisor decision, which would avoid the need for a hearing. Your situation may also support a dire needs letter. In this letter, we would ask for an earlier hearing date based on the fact that you are facing an “immediate threat” due to your lack of income or resources.
We care about our clients. As you wait for a hearing or a decision on your claim, Disability Attorneys of Michigan will check on your case’s status, update you and return your calls. We can also point you to resources that can help you to get through difficult times, including housing assistance programs and free or low-cost health clinics.
Denied SSD Benefits? Our Michigan SSD Benefits Lawyers Can Help
Waiting on SSD benefits in Michigan can leave you feeling anxious. However, giving up is not an option. You need to keep fighting for the benefits you deserve. Disability Attorneys of Michigan will help you to move forward. Let us start work on your appeal today. Call or reach us online for a free consultation. We will charge no fees unless you win your benefits claim.
Waiting on Social Security disability benefits in Michigan can leave you hopeless and anxious. And if your claim has been denied, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. Before you give up, consult with a skilled Michigan Social Security disability lawyer for guidance. At the Disability Attorneys of Michigan, our Social Security attorneys are ready to get to work on your claim today. To learn more, contact the Disability Attorneys of Michigan, today by filling out a consultation form online or calling us at 800-949-2900 to request a free case consultation.