As the COVID-19 continues to spread around the nation, more and more operations remain to stay shutdown. On March 17th, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) closed 1,200 field offices to protect their workers and the public. While the virus hit everyone hard, it is extremely difficult for those in the at-risk population group. With individuals needing financial safety now more than ever, it’s crucial to have a lawyer to streamline the process, so you get benefits sooner.
COVID-19’s Impact On The Social Security Process
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Social Security Disability in several ways. Recent data shows that new benefit awards for SSI are down nearly 30 percent during the pandemic, compared to the same time last year. Yet, it’s not because there were fewer people in need of benefits. In what was an already backlogged system, the time it takes to process applications for disability, appeals, and hearings has increased significantly due to COVID-19. The longer an applicant sits in the backlog, the more bankruptcies, foreclosures, and general financial instability occur.
The pandemic has changed day-to-day life in innumerable ways. Now, the majority of the SSA’s work is conducted remotely, including hearings. However, medical records don’t always tell the entire story. You aren’t required to have a telephone hearing. One of the advantages of an in-person hearing is to allow the judge to observe the person who is seeking assistance more closely, and that can make all of the difference between winning and losing a decision. If you want an in-person hearing, it may not be scheduled for several months, which means applicants have to rely on providing sufficient evidence of their disability. Yet, the pandemic has made it difficult for applicants to get their required medical documents.
The Benefits of Having an SSD Disability Lawyer During COVID-19
Applying for benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic raises more challenges for applicants than before. An experienced Michigan Social Security Disability lawyer can be helpful in many ways during this challenging time, including:
Preparation of Your Application. A lawyer can start your claim by filing it for you. They will make sure your application contains the information necessary to minimize your wait time and maximize the money you may receive.
Filing of Appeals. If you have talked to anyone who receives disability benefits, you’ve most likely heard how stressful the appeals process can be. The overwhelming majority of applications are denied, making preparing for appeals an essential part of any good attorney’s job.
Gathering of Evidence. Your attorney will make sure the SSA has the evidence it needs to award you benefits. They can provide comprehensive information about your doctors or hospitalizations to obtain the appropriate medical records.
Representation At Your Hearing. While there is no denying that the pandemic has dramatically changed how the justice system is handled, lawyers have quickly adapted and attended virtual hearings frequently. Your lawyer can stand by your side, even if it’s not physically, when you go have a phone or virtual hearing.
The benefits of having a skilled Michigan Social Security Disability lawyer by your side can truly make the difference between an approval and denial of your claim. Filing a claim for disability benefits is an essential step in improving your life. If you need assistance, don’t let the pandemic stop you from applying. Acting quickly and working with an experienced lawyer now may save months of stress and uncertainty in the future.
Contact The Experienced Michigan Disability Attorneys Today
COVID-19 brings new obstacles for everyone, but people with disabilities are at an even more significant disadvantage when applying for benefits. Fortunately, at Disability Attorneys of Michigan, we know the SSD process’s ins and outs by heart. Whether you’re wondering if you qualify for benefits, are struggling to understand how to file a claim, or have already been denied and want to appeal the SSA’s decision, we’ll help you. Contact us for a free case consultation at 800-949-2900. We charge nothing for our legal services unless and until we recover benefits for our clients.