Time is of the Essence in Michigan Social Security Appeals

Disability lawyers understand that applying for benefits can be difficult, but it can be a depressing and frustrating experience for those unfamiliar with the process. On average, the Social Security Administration rejects more than two thirds of initial applications. In Michigan, less than 30 percent of initial applications are approved. However, applicants can appeal initial determinations and, in many instances, an initial denial will be overturned on appeal and benefits will be granted to the Social Security Disability (SSD) applicant.

The Michigan Social Security Disability appeals process may include a hearing before an administrative law judge, review by the SSA’s appeals council, as well as formal lawsuits in federal court. An appeal of the denial of a Supplemental Security Income application may follow a similar course.

It is prudent to begin the appeals process as soon as you are notified of the SSA’s initial determination; there is a 60-day-window established by law in which to appeal the denial of Social Security benefits. As a practical matter, you may be pushing out the start date of benefits by delaying an appeal, as well as losing valuable time developing new or more complete evidence.

If you were not represented by an attorney during your initial application for benefits, it can be very helpful to contact a Michigan Social Security Disability attorney as soon after denial as possible so that he or she may evaluate your initial petition, correct any previous errors or shortcomings and prepare a strong appeal. In doing so, an experienced attorney will be able to advise you of what lies ahead and provide reasonable timelines for SSA’s response.

If you are concerned about the cost of involving an attorney in your Social Security benefits application and/or appeals process, you should not be. Fees for SSD or SSI work cannot be collected until you receive benefits from the SSA, and then must first be approved by the Social Security Administration.

Understanding the ins and outs of the Michigan Social Security benefits process can be complex and overwhelming for someone trying to navigate the system for the first time. An experienced Michigan SSD or SSI attorney will have handled many applications for benefits and appeals of denied benefits and can explain the road ahead as well as work with you to get your application approved by the SSA.