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Filing For Disability Benefits

Sept. 30, 2022

As a disability attorney here in Michigan for the last 23 years, I have been asked more times than I can count how one goes about filing for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits.  This blog will explain the SSD and SSI application process.   

The first step when someone wants to file for disability benefits is to determine which Social Security Disability program that person may be eligible for.  Social Security has two separate disability programs; SSDIB and SSI.  Both programs are based on whether or not someone is disabled, however, the non-medical criteria used for each program is distinctly different.   

In order to be eligible for SSDIB or SSI benefits, one must be disabled from performing any work.  However, to be eligible for SSDIB you must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years to have the requisite 20 work credits.  If you did not work at least 5 out of the last 10 years with taxes being taken out, then you will not have the 20 work credits you need and you will not be eligible for SSDIB despite how disabled you may be.  Social Security will determine if you have enough work credits prior to even considering whether or not you are disabled.   

On the other hand, SSI does not require that someone applying for benefits has worked in the past.  Instead, when applying for SSI benefits, Social Security will look at whether the person is disabled and whether they are below a certain asset level.  To determine this, Social Security will look at whether you own stocks, bonds, IRA's, 401K's, property, checking accounts, savings account, and vehicles. If it is determined you are below the asset level required to be eligible for SSI benefits, Social Security will then determine if you are disabled.   

Regardless of whether you are applying for SSD or SSI benefits, the process is the same.  The first step is to actually file a disability application.  Here at the Grech Law Firm, we pride ourselves on representing our clients at every step of the disability process, which includes filing an SSD or SSI application for our clients.  We can file your SSD or SSI application over the phone for you or you can come into my office and we can file the application for you in person. Whichever way you choose, the Grech Law Firm will happily file your Social Security Disability application for you.    

If you are interested in trying to determine if you may be eligible for disability benefits, please call me and I will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.