Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was created to provide regular financial support and medical care to people under the age of 65 who are suffering from a disability that requires substantial time off work. Unfortunately, the reality is that even those who need this support most are often initially denied benefits.
If you have a qualifying disability and sufficient work credits, you are rightfully entitled to the benefits provided to you under Social Security Disability Insurance, and we want to help make sure you receive them. Contact Nolan & Shafer, PLC to learn more about how an attorney from our office can assist in your pursuit of SSDI benefits.
Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Disability Insurance program provides benefits to injured individuals so long as they have worked long enough (and recently enough) and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. While this may sound simple enough, people often find it difficult to get their SSDI claims approved, even when the need is clear. A lawyer from our office can help.
Conditions that may qualify for SSDI benefits include but are not limited to:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Back Pain
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Unexplained Weight Loss
Work credits, which change yearly and are based on your total annual wages OR self-employment income, are one of the components used to determine if you qualify for benefits. The number of work credits you’ll need depends on the age at which you became disabled.
Disability conditions that must be met in order to qualify for SSDI benefits:
- Your disability prevents you from doing the same work you were doing prior to the injury or illness.
- The SSDI program determines that your disability prevents you from being able to reasonably adjust to other work.
- Your disability has lasted, or is projected to last, for at least one year OR will result in death.
It is important to note that SSDI benefits do not cover partial or short-term disability. They are only provided to those suffering from total disability.
We Can Help You Appeal a Decision
If your SSDI claim was denied, don’t panic. You may still have time to appeal the decision, and we are here to help you complete the process as quickly as possible. Please note: If you plan to request an appeal, you must do so within 60 days of receiving the decision.
There are four levels to the appeals process, and we can help you prepare for every single one of them:
- Reconsideration. During the reconsideration phase, a new person will be assigned to conduct a complete review of your claim, along with existing evidence and any new evidence that we help you put together for the appeal.
- Hearing before an administrative law judge. If you still disagree with the determination made at the reconsideration level, you have the option to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. This can be conducted online or in person.
- Review by Appeals Council. All requests that are submitted for review will be looked at by the Appeals Council, but only some will be heard. The Council has the right to deny any requests that it believes to be supported by the original decision.
- Review by the federal courts. If all else fails, we can help you file a civil suit in a federal district court. This is reserved for situations in which you again disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision or the Council denied further review of your case.
We can also help people who qualify under the SSDI program’s “special situations,” including: widows/widowers, persons who are blind or have low vision, people with a disabled child, and veterans or wounded warriors.
Work with One of West Michigan’s Most Successful Social Security Disability Law Firms
At Nolan & Shafer, PLC, we are committed to helping those who are disabled claim their rightful Social Security Disability benefits. We will help you gather the appropriate medical evidence to support your claim, prepare you to testify before an administrative law judge, and meet with you multiple times throughout the process to ensure you are well-equipped to handle every stage of your claim.
“I would highly recommend Nolan & Shafer! Matt was my attorney and he was always accommodating, very kind, and helpful.”Courtney S.
“Great job Matt and Nolan’s & Shafer. If you need representation give them a call!”Steve G.
“He is someone I trust and now am happy to call him a friend.”Marvin D.
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