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Frequently Asked Questions

SSD and SSI..what is the difference?
Social Security Disability or SSD, is an "insurance program" for people who are unable to work because of a disability. You must have paid into the Social Security system (FICA) in order to qualify.   

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a different program but is also administered by Social Security. If qualified, it pays monthly benefits to people with disabilities who pass the required test for low income plus, very limited other assets.

"Disability" as defined by Social Security?
You are determined “disabled” if your medical records and other documents  prove that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment (work) because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Your impairment must be expected to either, (1) end in death, or; (2) has already lasted one year, or; (3) is expected to last one year.

Will I be assured that I will receive disability benefits?

There is no guarantee that you will be awarded benefits, however, I have experienced a 95% success rate for my clients.  You greatly improve your chances when you have the “Disability Insider” on your side.

Do I need to hire an advocate or representative?
The Social Security Administration does not require that you hire an advocate or representative. However, having an advocate to represent you will provide you with an advantage. An advocate will assist you with completion of the time-consuming and complicated appeals application process. An advocate will assist you with obtaining all of the pertinent medical records and will prepare and submit a legal brief before your hearing. You will also be represented at a hearing before the administrative law judge.     

What will I need to do to apply?
First, you will have to provide a birth certificate or proof of citizenship. During the process, you may have to provide military documents, marriage certificates, or pay stubs. You will be asked detailed questions about your history, family, work, health, and medical background.

When will I know if my claim has been approved or denied?
The time period for which to receive a determination varies but, at the initial level it takes about 3-6 months. If you are denied and file an appeal and you attend a hearing before an administrative law judge, the decision can take about 3 months.

How long will it take for me to have a hearing after I have filed an appeal?Unfortunately, in the State of Michigan, it is taking up to 16 months or even longer in some cases, for a hearing to be scheduled. Many of the states who are experiencing severe financial hardship with high job loss are also the states who are suffering the most with significant delays in their hearing cases.

Can I work and still receive disability benefits? 
If approved for SSD, you will have the option of working for 9 months which is called a trial work period. This work period allows you to see if you will be able to work on a regular basis. If you earn more than $1,000/month and you have successfully completed a 9 month trial work period, your SSD will be denied. If you are approved for SSI your benefits will be reduced as you continue to work, and especially after you have successfully completed a 9 month trial work period.  

What will my monthly benefits be?
SSD benefits average about $800 per month, however, if you have children under age 18 you can receive benefits on their behalf as well.

For any other questions, please contact me.

 


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