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Deciding Whether to Apply for Social Security Disability

Applying for Social SecurityApplying for Social Security

One of the first questions clients pose to a Macomb County Social Security attorney is whether they are an appropriate candidate for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented a complex framework to decide, based upon age, medical condition and other factors, whether an applicant will be a successful candidate for benefits. Your Macomb County Social Security attorney will review all of the SSA’s guidelines with you and can help you make the best decision regarding whether to pursue your benefits claim.

Basic Inquiries

There are a handful of basic inquiries that are foundational pre-requisites for receiving disability benefits. First, you cannot be working. The SSA will permit certain part-time income, but in general an applicant cannot receive benefits if he or she is gainfully employed. Second, you must be suffering from a medically determinable illness, injury or condition that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment. In other words, if a physical or mental condition stops you from working full time you would be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. If you are over the age of 50 you may be eligible even if you could perform some work full time that you haven’t done in the past; the regulations are more liberal. You must submit documentation of your condition and the SSA is within its right to order additional examinations to certify your disabling condition. Third, your impairment must be one that is either expected to last 12 months or calculated to result in your death. The SSA does not award short-term disability benefits, with the exception that if you have an injury or illness which stops you from working for one year or more, you may be eligible for a closed period of disability. For a free consultation with regard to whether you may be eligible for benefits, contact J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, at 1-800-331-3530; however your Macomb County Social Security attorney may be able to find a short-term disability program in your state or local area.

The Appeals Process

Your Macomb County Social Security attorney can also help you if you have already received your first denial from the SSA. Understand that receiving a denial after your initial claim does not necessary preclude you from being awarded benefits ultimately. There could be any number of reasons why the SSA denied your claim and successful appeals are not uncommon. J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, have won over 85% of their appeals cases since 2007.

The appeals process can be lengthy. As you probably know, the initial determination can take up to four months, and there is a 35 percent success rate. The next step would be requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you request a hearing, it can take several months for a hearing date and nationally there is a 55% approval rate at this level. However, J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, win a large number of cases without even going to a hearing. If you are unsuccessful at your hearing you can apply to the SSA Appeals Council, which takes several months for a response.

If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits or have been denied, contact J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, today at 800-331-3530 for a free consultation.

J.B. Bieske & Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
Fax: 586-977-8444

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