For most people, suddenly losing the ability to work is a traumatic and frightening experience. Whether you are unable to work because of a tragic accident or a debilitating medical condition, knowing that you can no longer bring home a paycheck may lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. The Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI, may provide relief for you and your family; however, the application process can be cumbersome and fraught with obstacles on the path to approval. Slusky and Walt, the founders of A.B.E., the American Benefit Experts, can help you get the benefits you deserve by greatly improving your odds of getting your application approved.
At Slusky& Walt, P.C., the American Benefit Experts,we understand how important your SSDI application is to you and your family which is why we are committed to seeing your application through to approval. If you believe that your disability qualifies for SSDI benefits, contact our A.B.E. team full of Social Security Lawyers at Slusky& Walt, P.C. today at 1-800-ABE-HELPS (1-800-223-4357) to schedule your free consultation.
What Is the SSDI Program?
The SSDI program is a federally funded and administered program that provides disability benefits to those who qualify. If you (or a spouse) have worked all of your life you have been paying into the program. That work record may now qualify you for benefits. For those who qualify, SSDI provides a monthly monetary benefit. As of 2014, the maximum monthly benefit was $2,642. Your benefit amount, if approved for benefits, is determined by your own work history or that of a spouse. Unlike the Supplemental Security Income program, your income and assets are not counted when determining your eligibility for SSDI.
Who Qualifies for SSDI?
Eligibility for SSDI is based on two primary factors – your earnings history and whether or not you meet the Social Security Administration, or SSA, definition of “disabled”. According to the SSA, you are disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
If you meet the definition of disabled, the second criterion looks at your earnings history. Each year that you work you may earn up to four “work credits” based on your earnings. If you have accumulated enough work credits you meet the earnings history requirement for SSDI eligibility. You may also qualify based on the earnings history of a spouse or previous spouse. Finally, if you are approved for benefits, other family members may also be eligible for monthly benefits based on your eligibility.
All too often, what appears to be an obvious disability is not viewed as such by the SSA, causing an application for SSDI benefits to be denied. The Michigan Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys at Slusky & Walt, P.C. are committed to helping you get the benefits to which you are entitled if you are unable to work. The American Benefit Experts have the experience and dedication necessary to help you with your SSDI application and/or appeal. We understand the system and are committed to helping you get approved for the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact the A.B.E. team today at 1-800-ABE-HELPS (1-800-223-4357) so that we can get started on your application or appeal today.
When applying for Social Security Disability, claimants are bombarded by many misleading ads from law firms and advocates claiming their firm can obtain benefits quicker than anyone else. The truth however is quite different.
The Social Security Administration has a fast track process which they call Quick Disability Determination (QDD) or Compassionate Allowances (CAL). They have a computer algorithm that can identify cases that might fall into either category and pay these individuals quicker. This is an expedited analysis for people with a condition that is terminal. The limited circumstances where claimants may receive a faster decision or hearing may apply only if they suffer from Stage 4 Cancer, Renal Failure or other fatal diseases. In those particular situations, Social Security will process the claims faster. The reality for all other claims is quite different.
Once a Social Security Disability claim is filed, the estimated processing time for your initial application is six months to receive a decision. The wait time for your application review varies and is determined by the number of cases filed and the number of employees that review the cases where your claim is processed. Previously, initial decisions were returned within four months. Today, in many cases it now takes 6 months or longer. The most important step in receiving favorable expedited decisions is to complete the application process effectively with correct information and conclusive evidence that is needed to prove your disability.
Disability applications are tedious to complete and contain several questions where the answer is not always readily apparent. Years of expertise regarding the disability process ensures the answer is appropriate.
Hiring an experienced social security attorney before the application is submitted will provide the best chance of winning because the lawyer can make sure that everything was submitted in a convincing manner and that the claim was processed and received by the Social Security Administration.
At Slusky and Walt, we will prepare and file your claim immediately to ensure your case enters the application process at the earliest possible moment. Once the application is complete and filed, it will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration in line with all other claims. It is misleading for anyone to suggest that they can help your case receive a faster decision, which is simply not true.
It is often believed that Social Security attorneys become involved after a claimants application is denied. This is a mistake. While many attorneys will refuse to take a case prior to a denial, a good Social Security attorney will complete applications online with their clients whenever possible. With our guidance, you will avoid the inclusion of answers which are incomplete or damaging to your case. Such answers cause delays or increase the likelihood of a denial. According to the 2011 Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program the percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 28 percent. That means an average of 72 percent of disabled-worker applications from 2001 to 2010 were denied benefits. ¹
After 75 years of combined experience in Social Security, we know the law. We make sure all of the medical evidence is submitted and we explain in detail to our clients what needs to be proven to win the case. We specialize in Social Security and take our cases very seriously.
If the Social Security Administration denies your application, your next step is to request a hearing with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). This will be in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Slusky and Walt will handle all filings and submittals to the court. We know what is needed for a favorable ruling on your case. There are seven hearing offices located in Michigan. They are in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Mt. Pleasant or Oak Park. Each hearing office has a different number of cases and quantity of judges. The time it takes for a judge to hear your case will depend on their work load. The average wait time for a court hearing is published on the ODAR web site. Below is a chart with the current wait times listed for Social Security Disability hearing at each location.
|Hearing Location||Average Hearing Wait Time|
|Mt. Pleasant||18 Months|
|Oak Park||17 Months|
We are committed to winning your case. Unlike over 90% of attorneys or Social Security advocates who are not attorneys, if we lose at the administrative level and feel that the case warrants it, we will file it in the Federal Court system rather than giving up on the claimant. In 2015, only 32.16% of all applicants in the U.S. were approved for benefits as reported on the Social Security Administration web site.²
At Slusky and Walt, P.C. we win approximately 85% of our Social Security Disability cases. We know how you can win your case, let us file it today. Call 1-800-ABE-HELPS.
 Chart 11. Final outcome of disabled-worker applications, 2001–2010. Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2011. https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2011/sect04.html#chart11
 Chart of Disabled worker beneficiary statistics by calendar year. https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/dibStat.html