Social Security Disability

If you plan to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits or were denied Social Security Benefits, our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys are here to help you. Our office handles Social Security Disability Appeals and Initial Applications as well as Supplemental Security Income appeals and Initial Applications.

How Do I Know if I am Eligible for Benefits?

If you worked for a particular length of time determined by various factors and paid Social Security taxes during the time you were employed, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. You must also have a disability that meets the requirements under Social Security Administration. The types of medical conditions that meet the Social Security Administrations requirements are listed on the Social Security website.

Your disability must be one that prohibits or limits you from performing any basic work duties such as walking, standing, sitting, and lifting for a period of 12 months or more. Additionally, the Administration will determine if you are able to perform any of your past work duties. If the Administration determines you cannot perform past work, they will then determine whether there are any other jobs out there that you could perform.

It is important to keep in mind that when applying for Social Security Disability benefits you cannot earn more that $1180 per month. If you earn more, you will not be considered for benefits.

Disabled adults and children with limited resources and income may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. Individuals that are not disabled, aged 65 and older, and meet the financial limits for SSI may also be eligible. Depending on the amount of time you have worked, you may be able to receive both Social Security Disability benefits as well as supplemental security income.

The Social Security Disability Evaluation Process

There is a Five Stop process in determining whether an individual is disabled. In order to be found “disabled” under Social Security Administration rules, the following five questions must be addressed:

  • Are monthly earnings under the “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA) threshold?
  • Is there a severe impairment?
  • Is the impairment already listed by the Social Security Administration?
  • Can claimant perform their past relevant work?
  • Can claimant perform other work?

Applying For Social Security Benefits in Michigan

Initial Application

You will first file your initial application with the Social Security Administration. The initial application can be filed in person at a local Social Security office, online, or over the phone. Even though they meet all the requirements for benefits, many applicants are denied at this stage.


If the initial application is denied, the next step is to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You have 60 days from the date of the denial to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Once the appeal and Request for Hearing have been filed, the average wait time for a hearing is typically between 12 and 18 months.

The Appeal Process

If the Social Security Administration denies your application for Social Security Disability Benefits, you have 60 days to appeal and ask for a hearing to present to an Administrative Law Judge.

It is very typical for the Social Security Administration to deny benefits at first, then approve benefits on appeal.