Hundreds of Americans apply for disability benefits everyday. Remember, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not make it easy. That is why applicants need a Social Security Attorney in Macomb County MI.
Applicants for disability must have paid social security taxes when they worked. Indeed, the amount of a check is based on the applicant’s work history. On the other hand, the elderly and others may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI.)
SSI is a joint benefits program of the state and federal governments. Disability benefits are available for those who never worked. Further, low income individuals, the elderly and the blind may qualify.
Substantial Gainful Activity
Disability applicants must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA.) SGA is defined as being able to earn $1170 per month for most applicants. SSA has different SGA qualifications for the blind and non-blind.
Claims Review Process
Each state has a disability claims review office where applications are scrutinized. Claims examiners look at the evidence to determine medical and vocational disability. Moreover, medical and vocational experts are used to analyze the evidence.
Claimants who are initially denied may file an appeal. A social security attorney in Macomb County MI is helpful during the appeals process. The attorney is trained to represent clients before SSA and reviews files for evidence gaps. The attorney wants to see many things including a record of on-going medical treatment.
The first appeal is called a Request For Reconsideration. During the reconsideration, a second claims examiner reviews the file. Usually, the second reviewer agrees with the first.
Request For A Hearing
There is no doubt that patience is necessary during the lengthy appeals process. Applicants who are turned down a second time file a Request For A Hearing. Unfortunately, it takes well over a year to get a hearing date.
At the hearing, an administrative law judge hears evidence about the applicant’s condition. In fact, the applicant gets the first opportunity to testify. Also, the attorney may question the vocational and medical experts. In addition, the judge clarifies applicants’ disability onset dates.
If approved, applicants are entitled to back-pay from the disability onset date.