Michigan Ranks In Top 10 For Long Waits in Social Security Disability Backlog
Data compiled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) say more than 1.1 million Americans who have applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) are waiting out an approval they may never see. According to SSA quarterly data, average wait times are nearly 600 days but could potentially take more than two years, an all-time high for claimants waiting in the messy disability hearing backlog.
Michigan is in the top 10 with the most people stuck in the SSDI hearing backlog as are: California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. The wait for will be too long for some disabled Michiganders in great need.
Start Your Initial Application With an Attorney
People often apply to receive disability benefits after they have been diagnosed with a disabling condition that affects their ability to work. This disability can often leave both individuals and their family members without financial support. To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must have paid FICA payroll taxes, generally worked five of the past 10 years, and have a severe work-disrupting illness or injury expected to last at least 12 months or is terminal. The process to apply starts with an initial application for disability benefits, and these additional steps are available in the case of denials.
- Initial application. At this point, your application will be reviewed first for technical eligibility, meaning whether you qualify at a basic level for benefits. These determinations are non-medical and are made prior to evaluating your medical condition. Technical denials are usually only appealable in the case of an error or mistake.
- Hearing before a judge. If your initial application is denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge within 60 days of denial for disability benefits. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to provide your own testimony and medical evidence of disability.
- Appeals Council. If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Appeals Council within 60 days of the judge’s decision. The Appeals Council will consider all evidence submitted previously, including the hearing record, before deciding to deny your appeal or send it back for another review.
- Subsequent Appeals. If the Appeals Council does not rule in your favor, you may make further appeals, which are filed in the federal courts, beginning with the U.S. District Court.
We see many clients who could have saved themselves months of frustration and waiting if only they had sought the assistance of an experienced Michigan Social Security attorney while completing their initial application for benefits.
Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney is Critical
The attorneys at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm can significantly increase your odds of success in your Social Security Disability claim. Contact our offices at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form to get started with a free consultation. As always, you pay nothing until we settle your Social Security Disability case.