Social Security Disability From Start to Finish
The timeline involved in getting Social Security disability (SSD) benefits seems simple on the surface: an application is submitted and the Social Security administration provides a response. Unfortunately, that response is often negative. The timeline then expands to include the complex SSD appeals process.
The attorneys at Bleakley Law Offices are here to help you through the process, no matter where you are at in the timeline. Whether you're just starting or you've submitted your application and received a rejection, we can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Submitting an SSD Claim
The first step is filling out the necessary forms and gathering the required documents to send to the Social Security office. Then you simply have to wait for their initial determination.
The wait for the initial determination can vary from one Michigan Social Security office to another. For example, the Muskegon office may have a shorter wait time than the Grand Rapids office, or vice versa. Typically, the wait time is three to seven months.
If the Social Security administration approves your disability benefits, then it is just a matter of waiting for them to start. If your claim is denied, you have 60 days to begin the appeals process.
Appealing a Denied SSD Claim
The first level of SSD appeals involves a Social Security hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The wait for a hearing can be up to two years. To prepare, our lawyers will work with you to gather information and build a strong case. We want to make it clear to the judge why you need benefits.
Typically, the timeline ends with the decision issued by the administrative law judge. However, there are additional options if this initial appeal is unsuccessful:
- Within 60 days, an appeal can be filed with the Appeals Council. Again, this stage requires thorough preparation to either show that there was an error in the ruling of the administrative law judge, or that the judge didn't have sufficient evidence to support the decision made.
- If the Appeals Council denies our request, a complaint can be filed with the United States District Court. This is a federal lawsuit. This is particularly challenging, because the Social Security administration will be defended by the U.S. District Attorney's Office.
- If we are unsuccessful in United States District Court, the matter can be taken to the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. This step is extremely rare, but it is one our lawyers can take if necessary.
Having handled hundreds of Social Security benefits cases, we are confident in our ability to move through this timeline efficiently and effectively in order to get the results you need. Call us now, toll free, at 1-877-544-3733 or send us an e-mail to schedule a free consultation.