Social Security Disability

Grand Rapids Social Security Disability Lawyer

Compassionate Legal Counsel in Grand Rapids

Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSDI & SSI) benefits are often denied before you even get a chance to plead your case, whether or not there is an attorney present. Most cases must be taken before an administrative law judge (ALJ) before benefits are granted.

Our Grand Rapids social security disability lawyers at Nolan & Shafer, PLC can help you strengthen your chances of receiving benefits when you need them most. We sympathize with your situation, and we will work with you until you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

When you are seeking to appeal a denial, or preparing to apply for benefits, it pays to have a social security disability attorney in Grand Rapids who knows about what questions to ask, what the judge is looking for, what medical information is needed, and why your claim may be denied.

Don’t let an initial denial discourage you, contact our team at (231) 403-0040 for help.

Avoid These 5 Reasons to Be Denied Benefits

There are several reasons why your Social Security Disability case may be denied. If you believe any of the following reasons are involved in your case, contact our team to discuss your options:

  1. The Social Security Administration (SSA) cannot reach you: If you are filing a claim, and the Social Security Administration or Disability Determination Services cannot get in touch to communicate about your claim, you may be denied. Make sure that you, or your representative, is available and that the SSA and DDS have your current address, phone number, and email.
  2. You do not follow your treatment plans: If you fail to follow your prescribed therapy when you can physically do so, your claim may be denied. Luckily, there are some acceptable medical and non-medical excuses for not following. Discuss your reason for non-compliance with our team to see if it qualifies with the SSA.
  3. There is a question of drug or alcohol addiction: The SSA will deny benefits if a drug or alcohol addiction has caused or contributed to your disability. Your DDS-assigned medical consultant assigned must determine whether or not you would be disabled if not battling an addiction.
  4. Your disability will not last longer than 12 months: For SSI or SSDI benefits to apply, your disability must be severe enough to last 12 months or longer. Cases are evaluated on an individual basis, and if your injuries or illness will last longer than 6 months (or you will take that long to recover) then SSI or SSDI may be applicable. Discuss your ailments with our team to learn more about how recovery is determined.
  5. Your case lacks medical evidence: You may be denied because you are lacking the medical documentation required, so you will need to be sure that your doctor provides ample evidence for your claim. If you are wondering what evidence they need, or team can supply proven, experience-based questions to ask your doctor.

Beware: Even Valid Cases Can Be Denied

The Grand Rapids Social Security Disability hearings office (ODAR) is located at:

1925 Breton Road SE, #200

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

As of January 2020, the ODAR has 2,269 pending cases and a processing time of 343 days. Although these numbers suggest that applicants have to wait long periods of time for a decision on their initial application, many residents of Kent County find Social Security Disability benefits to be worth waiting for.

In 2019, 15,345 Kent County residents received SSDI and 12,767 others received SSI.

Still, when your Social Security Disability case goes to the level of a hearing with a judge in Grand Rapids, you’re up against a difficult system.

Numbers from early 2020* showed how tough the judges can be:

  • It took an average of 10 months to get a hearing with a Grand Rapids Social Security disability judge.
  • Grand Rapids Social Security disability judges approved benefits only 44% of the time.
  • Nationally, Social Security disability judges granted benefits approximately 47% of the time.

*Like all statistics, the numbers above are subject to change. For updated information, please check here

You can also contact the ODAR directly:

  • By phone: (866) 613-2860
  • By fax: (616) 456-9061
  • By eFile fax: (877) 904-5481

Why Get an SSI/SSDI Lawyer?

With so many people being denied benefits from the Social Security Administration, it only makes sense to get an experienced law firm to help you apply or appeal for disability benefits.

In fact, statistics from the SSA suggest that you’re more likely to win disability benefits when you have a lawyer.

At Nolan & Shafer, PLC, we have handled more than 700 cases from start to finish. Unlike larger firms, we give you an experienced and responsive attorney to handle your case from beginning to end.

If you or a loved one need help winning Social Security Disability benefits, contactus at (231) 403-0040 today for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.

Why Choose Nolan & Shafer, PLC?

Nolan & Shafer PLC is a successful SSI and SSDI law firm with offices in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan. We currently serve clients in and around Ada, Grand Rapids, Caledonia, Lowell, Alto, Byron Center, Belmont, Cannonsburg, Grandville, Comstock Park, Rockford, Moline, and Kent County.

Our firm has over 35 years of experience helping Michigan residents with their legal problems. At Nolan & Shafer, our attorneys take great pride in helping people with disabilities get the benefits they deserve, allowing them to provide for their families and get the medical care they need.

If you need skilled representation before the Social Security Administration, call us or contact us online today for a free consultation.

Our team feels honored to provide caring, personalized legal counsel to those battling with the insurance agents and government representatives who deny them their SSI or SSDI benefits. We understand circumstances out of your control may be preventing you from getting the financial help that you deserve.

As such, we offer our clients:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Returned calls and emails within 24 hours
  • Contingency based representation: you don’t pay unless we win on your behalf
  • Limited caseload, so clients receive ample attention and dedication

Our social security disability lawyer in Grand Rapids, Attorney Matthew Swartz, has been selected to the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list for 2015-2019. He has handled over 700 Social Security Disability claims. When you need experienced, knowledgeable legal representation regarding Social Security, we are the team you can count on.

Contact our team at (231) 403-0040 for a free claim evaluation with our Muskegon SSDI attorney.


Our Reviews
  • “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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Proudly Representing Muskegon & Surrounding West Michigan Areas

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