How COVID-19 May Affect Your Disability Hearing in Michigan

When it’s time explain to an administrative law judge (ALJ) why you need Social Security Disability benefits, the process looks different after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Normally you would go to a meeting room in a Social Security office and sit down with the judge, telling him or her about your health problems and why they make it impossible for you to work.

Just a few people would be in your disability hearing: you, the judge, your lawyer and maybe a witness or two who discuss your impairments and work limitations.

As the Social Security Administration (SSA) avoids in-person contacts that can spread the virus, the process switched to the telephone and then added hearings by video.

And with the virus disrupting the world, your need to win disability income to maintain your independence and peace is more important than ever.

When everything’s constantly changing, you want a disability lawyer who knows the process so well that they can help you regardless.

Levine Benjamin Law Firm has been helping people through hard times for over 55 years. That’s one thing that remains the same.

In Toledo, Traverse City and across Michigan and Ohio: From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.

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Challenges of Remote Hearings >

SSA Hearing Options during COVID-19

Most people who apply for Social Security Disability get denied.

Your best chance of winning benefits is to appeal that decision. And the most important part of your appeal is when you talk to an administrative law judge.

Before COVID, that was your only chance to tell your story face-to-face with a decision-maker at Social Security. During the pandemic, the in-person option went away.

When your hearing happens by phone or video, keep in mind these pluses and minuses:

  • Plus: Staying at home keeps you and others safe from the virus. That’s what’s most important.
  • Plus: Phone or video hearings can be easier for you than going to a Social Security hearing office, especially when you’re struggling with your health.
  • Minus: Your preparation is more challenging when you’re working with your lawyer remotely.
  • Minus: When the judge can’t get with you in person, it’s harder for them to get a full sense of your needs.

Going into a remote hearing, you want to make the best of the situation.

At Levine Benjamin, we can help you clearly show the judge why you should receive disability benefits, no matter how COVID-19 may be affecting your disability hearing. We’ve helped thousands of people and know what information you need to convey.

As always, you can start your claim by having our disability attorneys review your situation at no cost to you.

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How We Prepare You for Your Social Security Disability Hearing during COVID-19

Before your disability hearing, you want a lawyer who takes time getting to know you and understand your situation.

A lawyer who really listens can make the strongest case when you’re talking to the judge.

This is even more important when you’re not sitting next to your lawyer.

Levine Benjamin disability lawyers work with you before your hearing, by phone, by video call or whatever it takes. We take special care during the pandemic to build your strongest case and make sure the COVID-19 impact on your Social Security hearing doesn’t put you at a disadvantage.

We can help you explain your struggle to the judge and handle the questions that you’ll receive.

And just like in a regular, in-person hearing, we take care of the legal details with the judge and cross-examine any medical or vocational experts who Social Security asks to testify about your situation.

A government report found that people who have representatives in their disability hearings are nearly three times more likely to be awarded benefits.

Disability income brings more stability to your life. Don’t take chances with your claim. Get an experienced Levine Benjamin disability attorney.

If you have more questions about Social Security Disability and COVID, we have gathered answers.

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Curious as to how COVID-19 affects disability hearings? Check out our handy infographic to learn more.

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