Answers to Detroit Social Security Disability Questions

If you find all the rules, forms and steps to applying for Social Security disability confusing, you’re not alone.

On this page, you can get answers to commonly asked questions about qualifying, appealing and applying for Social Security
Disability benefits in Toledo, Traverse City and across Michigan and Ohio.

For more information, contact Levine Benjamin Law Firm free of charge.

From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.


Who is eligible for disability benefits from Social Security?

Under Social Security rules, you’re only considered disabled (and eligible for benefits) if a medical condition or injury is expected to keep you from working for at least 12 months. The disability can be a physical condition, a mental condition, or a combination of each. Learn more about qualifying for Social Security disability benefits.

I’m over 50. How does my age affect my disability benefits application?

Special rules apply to people over 50 who need Social Security disability benefits. Your age can be an advantage in winning benefits.

Work with a lawyer who knows how to apply your age to your disability case.

Read more about Social Security disability benefits for people over 50.

Are mental illnesses eligible for disability benefits?

Yes. Mental illness is a frequently used basis for getting Social Security disability benefits.

What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for people who have a disability and can no longer work. You may qualify for this program if you’ve worked a long time and paid sufficient Social Security taxes. But the government denies most people who apply.

If you haven’t paid enough money into the Social Security system to qualify for disability benefits, you may still be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is for people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. The government will look at your financial situation when determining your eligibility.

How do unemployment benefits affect disability benefits?

Getting both unemployment and Social Security Disability benefits is tricky.

That’s because qualifying for unemployment means you’re able to work. Qualifying for disability benefits means you can’t.

In certain situations, though, you may be able to get both kinds of benefits.

Learn More

What are the biggest Social Security Disability myths?

People say a lot of things about Social Security Disability benefits and how they work. But that doesn’t mean it’s all true.

Read this page for the facts about some of the most common Social Security Disability myths.

Can I collect long-term disability with Social Security Disability benefits?

When you can’t work, you could get benefits from both private long-term disability insurance if you have coverage and the government’s Social Security Disability program.

The two types of disability benefits can affect each other, though. Read more to find out how.

What can I expect from the Social Security Disability process?

The Social Security Disability process includes looking at your work history and financial situation, looking at your health problems, filing an initial application and appealing if you are denied.

Can Dependents of Disability Benefits Recipients Also Get Benefits?

Family members of people who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits can sometimes get benefits themselves.

If I Work a Little, Can I Still Receive SSD Benefits?

Social Security Disability benefits are designed for people with health problems that prevent them from working. It’s possible to work a limited amount and still be eligible for benefits. But be careful not to disqualify yourself.

What Happens in a Continuing Disability Review?

If you’re already receiving Social Security Disability benefits, every now and then the government will check to see if you still qualify. This is called a continuing disability review (CDR).

Reviews happen after certain intervals of time, or when there’s a change in your health, employment, and sometimes financial status. Usually Social Security doesn’t end people’s benefits after CDRs.

Find out more about how to handle the CDR process:

How Can Social Security Stop My Disability Benefits?

If your health situation improves, or you start working more than the basic allowed amount, you could lose Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security may check on your disability claim every several years as part of a regular process. Or other changes may trigger them to look closer at whether you should keep receiving benefits.

But if they’re stopping your benefits, and you believe you still need benefits to survive, you can appeal Social Security’s decision.

What Happens to My Disability Benefits if I Receive Food Stamps?

Receiving food stamps—from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—generally doesn’t affect your Social Security Disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, which require you to have limited economic resources, don’t count food stamps as resources that disqualify you.

Income you get from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) could affect your eligibility for food stamps. But people often are able to get both.


If I need to apply for disability benefits, what should I do?

You need to gather information about your medical conditions, treatment, medications and work history. Then you’ll fill out the application for benefits, which you can do in person at a Social Security office or online.

At Levine Benjamin, we can take care of all the details and file your application for you. Discussing your case with us is free. We only charge an attorney’s fee when you win disability income.

When should I contact an attorney for help with Social Security Disability?

You should contact an experienced disability attorney before you file a claim with the Social Security Administration.

The Detroit-based disability lawyers at Levine Benjamin can help you plan a strategy to win your case from the very beginning.

Some law firms will tell you to file for benefits on your own and only talk to a lawyer when you’re denied.

But if you wait to get an attorney until your claim is denied, you may harm your case by providing damaging statements or other information. Later when you need to appeal, that information can be used against you.

If I win my disability benefits case, how much money will I receive?

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, how much you get depends on how much you’ve worked and earned in the past. The national average in 2024 reached $1,537, but your monthly checks will certainly vary from that.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits have a base amount that individuals with little other income receive. In 2024, that amount was set at $943 per month for a single person. That’s the same for everyone.

Other factors come into play. If you receive workers’ compensation benefits because of an injury on the job, for example, that could reduce the size of your SSDI checks. If you have any other income sources, that could lower your SSI.

Learn more about how SSDI benefits are calculated, and SSI.

Can I get both Social Security Disability and unemployment?

It’s possible, but tricky. Many factors come into play.

An experienced disability attorney, like the ones at Levine Benjamin, can help you navigate Social Security disability and unemployment.

Read more about how unemployment benefits and disability benefits affect each other.

How Long Does It Take to Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Find out when you can expect to get a response to your application for disability benefits.

Read more

Should I hire a disability attorney for an initial application?

A lawyer can help you avoid mistakes in your disability application and improve your chances of winning benefits.

But some law firms will tell you to apply on your own before going to them. Levine Benjamin helps people from the very first step.

Read about what a lawyer can do for you when you’re applying for Social Security Disability.

How can I win my disability hearing?

You can’t control what a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) will decide after your disability hearing.

But you can go into your hearing prepared to make a strong case for why you need benefits.

Learn More

How do I avoid making a mistake on my Social Security Disability application?

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complicated process, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Mistakes can hurt your chances of winning benefits in the end.

But there are ways to avoid unnecessary problems.

At Levine Benjamin Law Firm, we’ve helped thousands of people get through the disability applying process.

To see 10 of our top tips on steering clear of errors, follow the link below:

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits during coronavirus shutdowns?

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has disrupted all of our lives, but disability claims are still being processed.

See our answers to common questions about the coronavirus crisis and Social Security Disability.

Is disability income taxable?

People applying to get monthly income support from disability benefits often want to know, “Is Social Security Disability taxable?

You get Social Security Disability because you can’t work. That often means you don’t have income—so you don’t owe income taxes.

But if your household has income other than your monthly disability checks—for example from a spouse’s job or investment returns—it may push you to declare a portion of your disability benefits for taxes.

The exact amount depends on how much you have in additional sources of income.

Our Michigan disability law firm helps you get benefits in the first place, but you need to talk to a tax professional for questions about how your benefits will affect your taxes. As a resource for you, we prepared this basic introduction to disability benefits and taxation.

Can I get access to health care coverage with Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

If you’re approved for disability benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you automatically qualify for Medicaid to provide for your health care needs.

Both programs are for people with few financial means, so Medicaid comes with SSI as long as you can prove that you have health problems that shut out the possibility of working and earning more income.


Why do I need a disability lawyer to help me? Why should I hire Levine Benjamin?

Social Security statistics have shown that people with lawyers win disability benefits more often than those who don’t have any representation.

A lawyer takes the burden of applying or appealing off of you. Your lawyer takes care of gathering all your medical evidence and work records, filing all your forms correctly and preparing you to testify in front of a Social Security administrative law judge if needed.

The disability attorneys at Levine Benjamin have helped more than 80,000 people win benefits since 1964.

What’s the difference between a lawyer and non-attorney advocate?

Non-attorney disability advocates are trained in the Social Security process but have not received a law degree. They can help you file your initial claim, but if your claim is denied (and most are) you may need sound legal counsel to proceed to the next step.

If your appeal goes all the way to federal court, you will definitely need an attorney.

If you have questions about your eligibility or doubts about your employer’s intentions, you should probably be working with a disability attorney.

Is Levine Benjamin very experienced in Social Security Disability?

Yes. Social Security has its own separate legal system for handling disability applications, and Levine Benjamin attorneys have extensive knowledge of that system.

Many of our attorneys focus entirely on Social Security disability cases.

Our firm has helped more than 80,000 people win benefits since 1964.

We help you apply or appeal if you were denied. We’re with you every step of the way.

What if I can’t afford an attorney for my Social Security Disability claim?

When you’re dealing with serious health problems and you can’t work, it’s understandable to wonder how you’ll pay for a lawyer

But you don’t have to worry.

At Levine Benjamin, we start by evaluating your case for free. You don’t pay any attorney fee until you win disability income. There’s no fee if you lose.

Even when you win benefits, federal law limits the fee attorneys can collect to 25% of the past due disability benefits you’re awarded.

Learn More

Does Levine Benjamin offer telephone appointments?

Yes. You can speak to an attorney from the beginning of your claim for Social Security disability benefits.

From what areas does Levine Benjamin accept clients?

We accept clients from anywhere in the United States.

I’m interested in talking with Levine Benjamin. What should I do next?

At Levine Benjamin, we’ll arrange a FREE consultation to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

If you do, we’ll help you from the very start of the process. We’ll file your claim for you. And we’ll work hard to give you the best chance of winning benefits.

From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.

Should I work with a national or local Social Security Disability lawyer?

We think it’s always best to go local. Find out why.

Levine Benjamin has helped over 80,000 people with health problems and financial worries since 1964.

Let us help you.

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