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Social Security Disability FAQ

Answers from a Detroit Social Security Disability Lawyer

Here are a few of the most commonly-asked questions regarding Social Security Disability Insurance and some simple answers from our Detroit social security disability attorneys.

How Long Will My Case Take?

This might be the most commonly-asked question but it’s also one of the hardest to answer simply because each case is so different and unique. Generally, the more serious your condition, the more likely your claim will be approved quickly. Sometimes a case can be won in as little as 30 days, but other times a case can take up to two years to be decided.

Do I Qualify for Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a number of criteria to determine whether or not someone actually qualifies to receive social security benefits. They will often take a look at whether or not you can be “gainfully” employed, the severity of your condition, your age, and a number of other factors when determining both whether or not you qualify for benefits, and if you do, how much you will receive. The best way to know for sure if you qualify is to talk to a legal professional who is familiar with the SSA and their policies and procedures.

Do Some Conditions Qualify for Automatic Disability Approval?

Yes. For starters, some people will qualify for expedited decisions when they have extremely serious conditions through a program known as “compassionate allowances.” Furthermore, certain other conditions qualify for automatic social security benefits with just the proof that they happened or exist, such as having a liver, kidney, heart, or lung transplant, or even having a cochlear implant installed.

Can I Work While Receiving Benefits?

Yes, but your employment cannot be considered “substantial gainful activity” or SGA. For the year 2018, SGA is set at $1,970 per month for blind applicants and $1,180 for applicants with other disabilities. If you’re making more than this amount, the person examining your case will likely determine that you’re not really disabled and likely deny your case. Furthermore, if you’re receiving benefits and begin working beyond this SGA limit, the SSA will likely cut you off.

Should I Appeal My Case?

Has your initial application been denied? Don’t worry: over 60 percent of the over one million applications that the SSA receives per year are denied the first time. It’s not unusual by any means. If you are suffering from a severe condition, you should consider appealing your case. In fact, if your condition prevents you from working at a “substantially gainful activity” level, you should consider appealing your case and pursuing the benefits you deserve. It’s strongly advised you speak with an attorney about your exact situation before making your decision whether or not to appeal.

How Long Do Appeals Take?

There are four different appeal levels, with the shortest one taking an average of about six months to complete and the longest taking nearly two years for a normal case. They’re not quick processes, and you shouldn’t be surprised if things take a while to resolve themselves. Working with a skilled attorney can help keep your case on track, but don’t expect a result within a month or two after waiting so long only to have your case rejected.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

While you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits on your own, it’s not recommended. Most people make simple or avoidable mistakes that they didn’t otherwise know about because they’re simply not familiar with the process. Having an attorney on your side can be invaluable when it comes to analyzing your case, submitting your initial application, and then preparing for any necessary appeals you may wish to pursue.

For more information or to discuss your case further, talk to a Detroit Social Security Disability attorney from Goodman Acker, P.C. Call us at (248) 793-2010 or contact us online today.