How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Filing a disability appeal in Michigan with or without a Lawyer

Filing a Disability Appeal without a Disability Lawyer or Disability Representative

If you receive a denial on your SSI or Social Security Disability claim in Michigan and are not represented by a disability lawyer you should immediately contact the social security administration and request that appeal forms be mailed out to you.

You are not required to call a local office to request appeal forms. A claimant can always go online to complete the appeal, or even download the forms and then mail them to the social security administration.

Calling and requesting forms, however, puts SSA on notice that an appeal is being requested and also allows the claimant to ask any questions they might have about the appeal process from a "live individual".

Once the appeal forms are received, the claimant should immediately complete and sign them. Social Security has purposely designed the appeal forms for ease of completion and the forms can typically be completed in under forty minutes. Claimants who are doing their own appeal should be sure to make a copy of anything that they are mailing in before it is mailed (if SSA claims not to have received the appeal, having a copy can prevent the necessity of having to complete the paperwork all over again from scratch).

Also, after mailing the appeal, the claimant should make a followup call to the social security office within 10-20 days to verify that the appeal was actually received and is being processed. This is extremely important since there is a 60 day deadline in which to file the appeal and doing a followup can help ensure that the deadline is not missed.

Should an appeal be done by a claimant or by a disability attorney?

To some extent, this depends on the perspective of the claimant. Some claimants in Michigan will avoid representation until right before the hearing stage. In so doing, they may give up some opportunity to win their claim at the reconsideration appeal level (the step prior to the hearing level). However, whether they really are giving up any opportunity would depend on whether or not they might have had a representative who was determined to develop the case at that earlier level.

Certainly, claimants whose claims will be heard by an administrative law judge at a social security hearing should consider finding a representative who specializes in handling social security claims for disability. And, typically, the likelihood is that if a claimant is denied on a disability application, they will eventually have to request a disability hearing. This is because the first appeal, the reconsideration, is denied at a rate of higher than 80 percent, making the second appeal, the disability hearing, usually necessary in order for benefits to be won.

Essential Questions

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Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

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Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

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How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

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Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

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Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.