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Donald H. Peters

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Can I get both worker's compensation and Social Security Disability benefits?

Yes.  There is an offset, which reduces Social Security Disability benefits because of worker's compensation benefits paid, but in virtually all cases, there are still some Social Security Disability benefits to be paid.  In a few states the offset works the other way - - worker's compensation benefits are reduced because of Social Security Disability benefits.

How can I tell if I will be found disabled by Social Security?

Unless your disability is catastrophic (such as terminal cancer, a heart condition so bad that you are on a heart transplant waiting list, total paralysis of both legs, etc.), there is no easy way for you to tell whether you will be found disabled by Social Security.  In the end, the decision of whether or not to apply for Social Security Disability benefits should not be based upon whether or not the person feels that Social Security will find them disabled.  Attorneys familiar with Social Security Disability can make predictions about who will win and who will lose, but even they can seldom be sure.  An individual should make the decision about whether or not to file for Social Security Disability based upon his/her own belief about his/her condition.  If the individual feels that he or she is disabled and is not going to be able to return to work in the near future, the individual should file for Social Security Disability benefits.  If denied, the individual should consult with an attorney familiar with Social Security Disability to get an opinion as to the chances of success on appeal.

What are the types of disabling conditions that will qualify for Social Security Disability?

Disabling conditions can be physical or mental or both.  Social Security speaks in terms of a “medically determinable” condition.  Any condition can result in a finding of disability if the condition is severe enough to preclude all work.

Do you have to be permanently disabled to get Social Security Disability benefits?

No.  You have to have been disabled for at least a year or are expected to be disabled for at least a year or have a condition that can be expected to result in death within a year.

I have several health problems, but no one of them disables me.  It is the combination that disables me.  Can I get Social Security disability benefits?

Social Security is supposed to consider the combination of impairments that an individual suffers in determining disability.  Many, perhaps most claimants for Social Security disability benefits have more than one health problem and the combined effects of all of the health problems must be considered.

I got hurt in an automobile accident.  I am disabled now, but I expect that I will be able to return to work after I recover.  Should I file for Social Security disability benefits?

If you expect to be out of work for a year or more on account of illness or injury, you should file for Social Security disability benefits.  Even if you expect to go back to work, this does not mean you are not entitled to benefits.  If your disability ends such that you can go back to work, you may still be entitled to a “closed period” of benefits for the period that you could not work.

How does Social Security determine if I am disabled?

Social Security is supposed to gather your medical records and carefully consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience.  In general, Social Security is supposed to decide whether you are able to do your past work.  If Social Security decides that you are unable to do your past work, they are supposed to consider whether there is any other work which you can do considering your health problems and your age, education, and work experience.

Who decides if I am disabled?

After an individual files a Social Security disability claim, the case is sent to a disability examiner at the Disability Determination agency in your state.  This individual, working with a doctor, makes the initial decision on the claim.  In Michigan, if the claim is denied and the individual requests a hearing, the case is sent to an Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security.  The Administrative Law Judge makes an independent decision upon the claim.  This is the only level at which the claimant and the decision maker get to see each other.  This is also the level at which you have the best shot at winning your case.  Consequently, you want to give it your best and you should be represented by an Attorney to make sure your case is properly presented to the Judge.

End FAQ

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Southfield Lawyer Donald Peters of the Law Office of Donald H. Peters, P.C. in Southfield, Michigan, handles Social Security Disability claims throughout Michigan and in the Tri-County Metro Detroit area including Detroit, Southfield, Novi, Warren, Royal Oak, Roseville, Livonia, Mount Clemens, Sterling Heights, Farmington Hills, Birmingham, Berkley, Oak Park, West Bloomfield, Ann Arbor, Eastpointe, Waterford, Flint, Canton, Taylor, Romulus, Westland, Clinton Township, Troy, Dearborn, Brighton, Howell, Pontiac, Rochester Hills,  as well as Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Ingham County, and Livingston County, Michigan.

Disclaimer

Material presented on the Social Security Professionals website is intended for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended as professional advice in any manner and should not be construed as such.  Individuals should never act upon any information provided in a website except that you should seek the advice of an Attorney. 

For the most up to date content regarding Social Security Disability please reference the Social Security Administration's website.

You may call Social Security Professionals and discuss your claim for free at:

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