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What SSD Benefits Are Available?

A social security disability form. Learn more about applying for disability benefits.A social security disability form. Learn more about applying for disability benefits.

What SSD Benefits Are Available In Michigan?

If you’ve been seriously hurt in Michigan, or you’re so sick that you can’t work, you know what it’s like to worry about how you and your family can make ends meet. When you’re out of work, your bills don’t stop, and when you’re injured or ill, you have new medical bills on top of everything else.

There could be help just around the corner. You might be able to get Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) if you’re out of work because you’re suffering from a long-term or permanent disability.

If you have questions about available social security disability benefits, Michigan SSD attorneys J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, can give you answers. With over 46 years of combined experience, they can explain your rights and let you know how they can help you with a Social Security Disability benefits claim. With their experience and dedication, they know what it takes to give your claim the best possible chance of being approved by the federal government, and fast.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration gives long-term disability benefits – monthly cash payments – to many people who need help, just like you. The available benefits include:

Social Security Disability Benefits

Disability social security benefits, are for people who become disabled after they have worked and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings long enough to qualify. These differ from supplemental security income or SSI benefits, since it’s basically “insurance” that gets its money from taxes paid by workers and their employers. So when a worker gets injured or gets sick and has a long-term disability, the worker can get monthly cash payments to help replace lost wages. The amount of Social Security Disability benefits goes up the longer a person has worked and the more the person earned while working.

People who can receive SSD include disabled workers, a disabled worker’s widow or widower, and their children. Special rules also let adults who have been disabled since childhood receive SSD.

Disabled Widow and Widower’s Benefits

If a worker dies, and then his or her spouse later has a disability, the spouse can be eligible for benefits called Disabled Widow and Widower’s benefits (DWB). To qualify, the spouse has to be between the ages of 50 and 59, and the disability must have The disability must have begun within 7 years after the spouse passed away, or within 7 years after the youngest child reaches the adulthood

Adult Disabled Since Childhood Benefits

Disability benefits also may be available to an adult who becomes disabled before age 22. To get these benefits, also known as Disabled Adult Child benefits, or “DAC,” the adult child’s parent must be dead or receiving Social Security retirement or Social Security Disability benefits. The available social security disability benefits are based on the parent’s earnings, and they can be available to adopted children, and sometimes to a stepchild, grandchild, or stepgrandchild.

Children of Disabled Workers

A disabled workers child also may be eligible to receive benefits based on the parents social security disability claim. This can include a stepchild, and a dependent grandchild, too. To qualify, the child must be under the age of 18 and not married. If the child is a full-time high school student, then the maximum age goes up to 19.

Benefits for the Blind

Workers with poor vision may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In most cases (but not all), the person must be “legally blind” and have worked long enough in a job where the person paid Social Security taxes. Unlike other social security disability claims, a blind individual may be eligible for benefits even if they have not worked in several years.

What Happens If I Get Other Types Of Disability?

Are you receiving some other type of disability benefit? That might include workers’ compensation, payments from a pension, or perhaps disability payments from a private insurance company. In almost all cases, it’s not a problem, and you’re better off claiming SSD benefits, too.

  • Workers’ Compensation – If you qualify for both workers’ compensation and SSD benefits, the government might limit the total benefits that you get. Usually the limit is 80 percent of the amount you earned when you were working. The government uses complicated rules to calculate what is called an “offset.” That’s a reduction in your SSD benefits so you don’t get too much in benefits every month. In almost all cases, even if the Social Security Administration offsets your SSD because you receive workers’ compensation, you’ll still get more every month than if you rely on workers’ compensation alone.
  • Private Disability Insurance – Disability payments from private sources, such as private insurance or pension benefits, do not affect your Social Security Disability benefits. Instead, it’s likely that your private insurance company will be the one that takes an offset against your SSD benefits. That is, the insurer will want to know how much SSD you receive, and it will reduce what it pays you each month to account for that. But no matter what, you should not receive less money each month, in total, just because you claim and receive SSD.  If you have to pay back the private insurance company after you win, almost always they will deduct any attorney fee that was paid, thus our services to you will end up being free.

In all cases, it’s important to receive SSD when you qualify, even if you also get workers’ compensation or private insurance payments. That’s because when you reach retirement age, you’ll get all of your Social Security retirement benefits (with no offsets). With SSD, too, you may get other benefits for your family, and those are not subject to an offset.

Will I Lose My SSD Benefits If I Work?

That’s a complicated question. You can get the best answer by talking to a skilled Michigan Social Security Disability benefits attorney, who can tell you what to expect based on your situation.

In general, if you work while receiving SSD benefits, or while applying for disability, the federal government will try to figure out if you are working at a “substantial gainful activity.” If so, you won’t qualify for SSD.

But what does that mean? If you’re an employee (not self-employed), it usually means you earn money at a job where you do something meaningful for your employer, and without having someone supervise you more than what’s normal for the job. To be “disabled,” you have to prove that you can’t even do sedentary work – work that does not require physical activity – on a full-time basis. So if your job requires more than that – say you do part-time heavy work – you probably won’t be considered disabled and you won’t qualify for SSD benefits.

It’s even more complicated if you own your own business and work for it part-time. You can work part-time in a self-employed job and still receive SSD benefits, but you’ll need to know whether the SSA believes you’re doing a “substantial gainful activity,” and how that will affect benefits in your case.

If you do work, you’ll also need to know the Social Security Administration’s rules about reporting your earnings while receiving SSD benefits.

Questions? We Can Help.

J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, are experienced, skilled, and dedicated Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers who can answer any questions you might have about applying for SSD or SSI benefits. Simply call us at 800-331-3530, or use our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation about your case.

We have local offices throughout Southeastern Michigan – in Macomb Township, Livonia, Novi, Troy, Downriver, and Detroit. So from anywhere in Southeastern Michigan, get in touch and let us know when you’d like to meet. If you can’t visit one of our offices, we’ll be pleased to talk with you by phone. We’ll let you know whether you can expect to receive Social Security Disability benefits, and how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.

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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