How Do I Qualify?

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability benefits are intended to help support people who cannot work for medical reasons. The type of benefits you could receive depends on whether you worked in the past but have become disabled or you have no substantial recent work history and very little income or assets.

Michigan Social Security Disability Requirements Are Set at the Federal Level

Anyone seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must demonstrate that he or she cannot work due to a physical injury, illness, mental impairment or age. Although this may seem straightforward, most people who apply are initially denied benefits. It is important to recognize that evaluators will decide whether your condition:

  • Severely limits your ability to perform work for a full year or longer
  • Prevents you from working successfully at any job — not just in the occupation you most recently held
  • Is included on the current Social Security Administration (SSA) list of impairments or is “of equal severity” to a condition on that list

Medical Knowledge and Experience With the System Can Be Essential

There are separate lists of qualifying medical impairments for adults and children. On the adult list there are 14 separate categories covering various injuries, diseases of different body systems and mental disorders. With experience in thousands of cases, we focus on:

  • Ensuring that you have and can show evidence of a diagnosis that matches a medical condition on the list, or
  • Acquiring and assembling test results and other medical evidence that will make the severity of your disability clear to a government evaluator, such as a judge at your hearing

Do You Qualify as Disabled? Should You Appeal a Claim Denial?

We encourage you to contact us if you live in southeast Michigan and have questions about whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits — or if you have applied and received a denial letter. At the Adler Firm, PLLC, in Traverse City and Detroit, our lawyers have decades of experience helping people navigate a very complex government system and get the financial help they need.