The potentially bad news for Michigan citizens who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits: wait times for a hearing and resulting benefits determination are the second longest of any state in the country at an average of 576 days. The good news: wait times are decreasing, and applicants can take charge of the situation by acting quickly and consulting with a Michigan SSD lawyer to make sure that applications are thorough and accurate.
The Social Security Administration released data in early 2010 that revealed a national average wait of 442 days, down from 514 days in 2008. On a state-by-state basis, however, Michigan was exceeded only by Ohio, where the latest measure showed an average wait of 591 days, down from a troubling 758 days. Delaware was the lowest at 299 days.
Hearings are not always necessary – experienced Michigan disability attorneys can tell you that maybe one of five applications are approved within several months of the initial application. But SSD claim denials are far more common, and the appeals process is where the real waiting begins. While a lawyer’s clear advice can provide helpful insights from the outset, professional experience becomes particularly important if you have to prepare for an appeal and await a hearing.
Proof Positive: Accurate and Thorough Documentation of Disability Is Vital
The details of your disability may be quite obvious to you if you cannot perform your job any longer and you need the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve. But the SSD claims process will require you to submit clear evidence of your condition presented in a way that meets the expectations of bureaucrats who review thousands of cases every year.
That high volume means that even many valid claims may only be awarded after a successful appeal. An SSDI appeals lawyer can help you verify that your file contains comprehensive proof of disability, ensure that you understand how the SSA defines various disabilities and prepare you to appear before an administrative law judge for your appeal.
Long waits for disability benefits that may be crucial to your financial health can be a trying experience, but it is extremely important to prepare yourself for the long haul. By arranging a free, no-obligation consultation with a Detroit SSDI law firm, you can learn about your prospects and assess your options.