Applying for Westland Social Security Disability Benefits
Each and every year millions of hard-working Westland residents pay taxes into the Social Security system. In exchange for these tax payments, these workers are covered by the disability and retirement benefits that are provided by the Social Security Administration. While obtaining retirement benefits is usually a simple task, obtaining Social Security Disability benefits isn’t always as easy, as claimants must meet the requirements of the SSA's blue book. When a disabled worker submits a claim for Social Security Disability payments, the process is often anything but fast and easy.
In fact, it can take some disability applicants well over two years to see their first disability payment. If you are considering an application for Social Security Disability benefits in the Westland, Michigan area, you should consider the services of a Westland Social Security Disability attorney in order to protect your rights to the benefits you need.
The economy of Westland is most heavily impacted by the retail sector. Westland Shopping Center is home to a number of the area’s employers. Some of the top employers in Westland include Lowes, Meijer, Kohl’s, Macy’s, K-Mart, Target and Sears. The median household income in Westland is just over $46,000, which is about the same as the United States average. The cost of living index in Westland, however, is four percent higher than the national average.
There are more than 84,000 Michigan residents who call Westland home. In the State of Michigan, approximately 4.8 percent of the population receives Social Security Disability benefits. The average monthly payment amount for a Michigan Social Security Disability recipient is $1,121.80 per month.
Ann Arbor residents who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits will normally deal with the Detroit, Michigan ODAR office. It takes this office an average of 498 days to process a request for a disability hearing, not counting the time it takes to complete the initial application process and the Request for Reconsideration. This means that the average Westland disability applicant will wait more than two years before seeing their first disability payment from the Social Security Administration.
While the initial application process for Social Security Disability benefits only takes three to four months to complete, most applications are denied by the Social Security Administration during the initial stage of the application process. In fact, nearly 70 percent of disability applicants must file an appeal in order to obtain the disability benefits they need. Because of this, it is in an applicant's best interests to retain the services of a Westland Social Security Disability lawyer in order to increase chances of approval at the initial stage of the application process and to decrease the chances of having to file an appeal.
Hiring a Westland Disability Attorney
When you hire a Westland Social Security attorney, your lawyer will go over your disability claim with you and will help you gather the medical evidence that you will need in order to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration. Your lawyer can also help you prepare your disability claim forms, helping you present your claim in such a way that the adjudicator who reviews your file will understand the severity of your disabling condition. These steps will increase your chances of being awarded benefits during the initial stage of the application process.
If your initial claim for disability benefits is denied, even with the help of an attorney, your Westland Social Security lawyer will work with you to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits. For most Westland disability applicants, the appeal process will consist of a Request for Reconsideration and attendance at a disability hearing before an administrative law judge.
It is important to understand that a Request for Reconsideration is normally just a formality. Fewer than 20 percent of reconsideration requests are actually granted by the Social Security Administration. Your lawyer will mainly be focusing on the hearing stage of your disability appeal. For Westland residents, the new ODAR office located in Detroit is the office in charge of scheduling these hearings.
Because it will take well over a year before you have your chance to plead your case to an administrative law judge, it is crucial that you do everything you can to ensure that your hearing goes as smoothly as possible. This means working with your Westland disability attorney to gather additional medical and vocational factors for the administrative law judge to review and, if necessary, retaining expert witnesses to testify as to why a vocational adjustment is not possible.
Your Westland disability attorney will also prepare you for your hearing on a personal level, helping you understand what you should expect at your hearing and how you should respond to the questions that are asked by the administrative law judge.
Many Social Security Disability applicants question whether or not they actually need legal representation at this hearing. The truth is, proper legal representation is crucial to the outcome of your disability case. While it is true that nearly two-thirds of disability hearings are decided in the favor of the disability applicant, statistics show that your chances of a favorable hearing outcome are significantly lower if you represent yourself and do not have proper legal representation.
Here is more information on hiring a social security attorney in other cities in Michigan: