Each year thousands of taxpaying Southfield, Michigan residents make regular payments to the Social Security Administration (SSA). In exchange for these payments, these hard-working Southfield residents are supposed to be covered by disability and retirement benefits provided through the Social Security Administration.
If one of these Southfield workers develops a serious long-term or permanent disability, Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income should be available to help these disabled workers meet their basic living needs. Unfortunately, the way the system actually works isn't the way these disabled workers often image it would be and it can take years before benefits actually begin.
The fact is, the Social Security Administration denies nearly 70 percent of the initial disability claims that it receives each year. This results in the need for a disability appeal. With each denied disability application, an applicant who appeals the denial is added to the already-overflowing backlog of Social Security Disability cases.
As a result, it can take years before a disability applicant sees a single disability payment from the SSA. Does this mean that you are destined to wait years for your disability benefits to begin? Not necessarily. If you want to increase your chances of being awarded benefits during the initial stage of the application process, thereby avoiding the need for a long and complicated disability appeal, you may want to retain the services of a Southfield Social Security attorney.
Southfield serves as one of the commercial and business centers for the metropolitan Detroit area. The office centers of Southfield surpass the office space of Detroit itself, with many international corporations having regional offices located in Southfield. In fact, more than 100 Fortune 500 companies have corporate headquarters located in the city of Southfield. The median household income in Southfield is $51,802 while the cost of living index comes in at nearly 10 percent below the national average.
Applying for Southfield Social Security Disability Benefits
The city of Southfield is home to more than 78,000 Michigan residents. In the State of Michigan, approximately 4.8 percent of the population receives Social Security Disability benefits. These beneficiaries receive an average benefit amount of $1,121.80 per month. Unfortunately it can take Michigan disability applicants well more than a year to receive their first disability payment.
The long wait times are due to the fact that the majority of disability claims are denied benefits during the initial stage of the application process, resulting in the need for a disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
The offices that are in charge of scheduling disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants are known as ODAR offices (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). Unfortunately, applicants who are applying for benefits in the Southfield area must have their disability hearings scheduled through the Oak Park, Michigan hearing office.
This office has a significant backlog of disability cases waiting to be heard and the average wait time for a disability hearing is 727 days. This does not include the 3 to 6 months that it takes for the initial application process and the 3 to 6 months that it takes to complete the request for reconsideration stage of appeals.
Hiring a Southfield Disability Attorney
If you hope to avoid the appeal process altogether, your best bet is to retain the services of a Southfield Social Security Disability lawyer. This professional can help you fill out your disability claim forms properly, ensuring that all questions are answered in their entirety. Your lawyer will also help you obtain the medical evidence that will be needed to prove your disability to the SSA.
If, for some reason, your disability claim is still denied, your attorney can represent you through each stage of the disability appeal process. The first thing your Southfield Social Security attorney will do is file a request for reconsideration. It is important to note, however, that nearly 90 percent of these requests are denied by the SSA. This means that you will most likely need to appear at a disability hearing before an administrative law judge in order to overturn the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits.
Here is more information on hiring a social security attorney in other cities in Michigan: