Benefits of SSD (Social Security Disability) Attorney vs. Non-Attorney Disability Representatives

Applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is a lengthy process. Currently there is an estimated amount of more than a million individuals, waiting for the sanction of their reward.

Many applicants do not realize that SSDI process can take 3 to 4 years in some cases. In certain instances cases are clear-cut due to certain disabilities, many other cases move slowly through the process because of unclear answers or incomplete details.

Once denied, some SSD applicants look for the representation from a non-lawyer SSD Representative. Some of these non-lawyer SSD Representative can be out of state and provide unsatisfactory results due to their lack of knowledge and expertise in the field. Clients using out of state Representation have to understand that some of these companies will not have a representative show up to the hearing for their client.

Selecting a professional SSD Lawyer can aid you in navigating the overall system more precisely with better overall law advice and results.

Benefits of SSD Attorney (Lawyer) vs (Non-Lawyer SSD Rep) Disability Advocate

Lawyers who practice Social Security Disability law are experts whom are trained to provide the best information and provide the best chance of receiving Social Security benefits.

Many SSD applicants look for the assistance of lawyers (law firms) after the primary SSD application benefits have denied. If you want to avoid delay, it is advised to hire a lawyer at the earliest stage possible for your SSD application process. It is beneficial even if you have already been entitled to Non-Attorney Disability Representative.

SSD lawyers can work with individuals to aid them in filing the Request for Reconsideration and provide representation for their clients at their hearing with the Administrative Law Judge.

If a disability claim is denied a disability Lawyer can represent SSD client’s cases before they go to the Social Security Appeals Council.

The SSA (Social Security Administration) allow out of state Representatives without a law degree and limited experience handling disability claims represent their clients. These Disability Representative with out a law degree usually charge the same amount as attorneys.

Hence, it is highly recommended to hire a licensed lawyer who is capable of understanding every law thoroughly. The expert knowledge let them represent their clients at every level of the appeals process and build strong cases.

No matter your decision, you must inform the Social Security Administration if you decide to hire a representative or an attorney at least sixty days before your hearing process.

Why Hire a Disability Attorney?

Studies find that applicants who seek help from a lawyer receive benefits at a higher rate than self representation and/or non-attorney representation.

Examples on how a Disability Attorney will build your case:

  • Acquire an opinion of physicians on your condition

  • Gather accurate medical records

  • Assess and analyze medical records

  • Coach SSD applicants on possible questions asked by an administrative law judge

  • Ask strategic questions during the SSD hearings which can increase chances of individuals being granted SSD benefits.

Addressing Fears of Filing for Bankruptcy 

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure, created to provide a fresh begin to financially challenged individuals. Although bankruptcy can provide help in many instances for individuals in financial burden, many individuals are skeptical about filling bankruptcy.

Many people are worried about filling bankruptcy due to their lack of knowledge on bankruptcy. Most individual’s fears in filing for bankruptcy are: the fear of losing assets/property, the negative effect on their credit and concerns over the involvement in filing for bankruptcy.

Fear of Filing Bankruptcy

Fear of Losing Assets/Property

If you file for bankruptcy, you can rest assure knowing you won’t be left out on the street with nothing to your name other than your underwear. Most assets owned by debtor’s in a bankruptcy filing are exempt, and debtors hardly ever lose any of their assets or belongings. Assets exempt from creditor claims varies from state to state, but your private home, vehicles, and many other assets are free of the reach of creditors.

Even the items that debtors have that are not exempt are normally of no interest to lenders. Your lender does not want your flat display TV and smartwatches are worthless to a creditor. Most of these assets either have little intrinsic value to a defaulted creditor.

Fear of Negative Impact on your Credit

Filing for bankruptcy will undeniably have an outstanding effect on your credit score but you will be able to keep your assets and rebuild your credit. Although much of your outstanding credit will be discharged through bankruptcy (student loans debt, alimony, child support, criminal fines are not canceled through bankruptcy). With the discharge of unsecured debt, like credit cards, will give you a fresh start. With the freeing up of income from discharged unsecured debt, you will be able to work on rebuilding your credit and save for retirement of other family goals.

Bankruptcy will not adversely affect your credit. Those who file bankruptcy experience a 50 -100 point increase in their credit score. The loss of crippling debt opens up credit to new bankruptcy filers. New lenders will not loan money to those debtors with judgments, tax liens, or large credit card balances. The new creditors looking at the prospects of repayment are reticent to lend money to those debtors who have large amounts of debt owed and subject to garnishments, judgments, or repossessions. After filing bankruptcy, it will take a year to get a credit score that would allow you to buy a vehicle or a house, at favorable interest rates. With frugality and prompt payment of debt, your credit score with rise quickly. Individuals filing bankruptcy should self-examine spending habits and start working on rebuilding their credit score. Below are a few recommendations to help rebuild your credit after filing for bankruptcy.

  1. Payday loans should be the last thing you resort to and should be avoided at all cost! The interest fees are excessive, and the credit bureaus disfavor the use of such credit arrangements and diminishes your credit score.

  2. Learn to live inside your monetary limits. Spend your money wisely and do not purchase luxury objects that are not a necessity. This is an essential lesson to learn and live by to gain financial stability in the future.

  3. Open a new checking and/or savings account. Lenders will consider this a positive when figuring out if you are responsible enough to lend cash to.

  4. After you file for bankruptcy, you will get numerous unsolicited credit cards in the mail. Some of the card will have fair interest rates (10-14%) for those rebuilding their credit and others will carry 29.9% interest. The high interest cards should be discarded. If by chance you are unable to get decent interest rates on a credit card, apply for a secured credit card and make payments on time. This will reflect positively on your credit score and assist you in establishing a reliable payment history. When applying for brand new credit, try to begin with a gas card or store credit card. These cards are easier to qualify for and can help rebuild your credit with a low monthly payment.

  5. Pay all your credit card and utility bills on time!

  6. Use a co-signer to qualify for loans and/or credit cards. This can help you get a lower APR and help individuals have lower monthly payments.

These few small suggestions will help you to reestablish your credit score records after filing for bankruptcy. Don’t give up hope; it’s going to take about a year, self-discipline, and determination and you will have low interest rates and the ability to buy a home or vehicles at favorable interest rates.


Social Security Disability and Working

ID-100202688Social Security Disability benefits are usually given to individuals who can no longer support themselves by working, due to a physical or mental handicap.  Many individuals believe they can only receive disability benefits if they are debilitated to the point where they cannot physically work. Individuals who collect SSD benefits are sometimes still able to work (part-time).  In some cases individuals who receive social security disability benefits are able to go back to work. 

Each disability case is different and the outcomes of the cases are judged by the SSA on a specific basis. There are specific guidelines that allow some people to collect disability benefits and return to their previous job.  The trial work period is when the individual with a disability can attempt to work their job. This is a momentary basis in which the individual will be examined to determine if they can continue performing the responsibilities of the job.  The trial period for receiving Social Security Disability and working is 9 months.

Benefits vary based upon Age

Month-to-month income has to be a certain amount for the trial period.  During a period of 9 months, the disabled individual will continue to receive complete benefits on top of what they earn at their job.  After the 9 month trial has actually ended, a safeguard can continue that enables another three years of risk complimentary work. If an individual is younger than retirement age (66 yrs old) and earns a decent income their monthly benefits will be reduced. When that individual reaches retirement age, their benefits will be increased. 


ID-100145425Filing a Successful Michigan Social Security Disability Claim

Applying for disability benefits due to work performance impairment can be a complicated and frustrating procedure for individuals seeking Social Security Disability.  Hiring aSocial Security Disability (SSD) lawyer in Michigan to assist you with the initial application and beyond is a good decision.

Social Security Disability lawyers will answer your Social Security Disability questions, gather needed medical evidence,  and provide professional representation at your disability hearing. Without an experienced Social Security lawyer in your corner, application for benefits can be a daunting task for those trying to acquire to acquire Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  The Social Security Administration has tightened its requirements for applicants applying for benefits, making it much more difficult for deserving claimants to receive benefits.  Half as many claimants are successful in receiving benefits over claimants from just a few years ago.

Medical Records & Evidence of a Disability

Supplying appropriate medical evaluation evidence, prescriptions and lab reports to Social Security is essential to building your successful case.   Without competent and material medical records that support the requirements of your listing or exertional limitations which constitute your impairment, which prevents you from doing substantial gainful employment, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has inadequate evidence to make a favorable finding in your case. Supplemental reports and forms supplied by your attorney for your medical providers and doctor’s for their completion are vital to a favorable disability decision.  Obtaining medical evidence from your medical professionals can supply the evidence needed to satisfy a listing (recipe for proving a recognized impairment of disability) or meet an exertional limitation that qualifies you for benefits.  The listing is essentially a directory of selected medical conditions, both physical and mental, for which SSA has provided specific approval criteria. Meeting the criteria for one of these impairments is difficult because, to do so, it requires that very specific proof be contained in your record of medical treatment. Most claimants who are approved will not be approved under the listing, but on exertional limitations preventing the claimant from completing his/her work related tasks. Greater number of deserving cases is being denied since 2012 and the trend for favorable decisions is decreasing for younger workers in particular.  Mortimer Law Firm can help level the playing field and position you for success.

Professional Legal Support at the Hearing Level

The process of applying for SSD (Social Security Disability) usually takes 8-14 months.   Waiting times can be longer if there is a need to appeal a challenged decision.  Having a social security attorney is incredibly vital at the hearing and appeals levels.  However, the advantages of having a lawyer assist you in gathering the proper medical records and seeing competent medical providers to substantiate your claims often is the difference between winning and losing. All too often claimants come into our office for assistance on the eve of their hearings, most times they are without the adequate evidence they need to meet a listing or prove their case.  By not seeing an attorney early enough in the claims process means that the claimant will not see the specialist or medical provider needed to prove his/her case or complete their medical tests or procedures for the completion of  reports and other medical evidence needed to prove their disability.  These claimants are deserving of benefits, but are unable to prove their case with competent medical evidence for lack of direction.  Not knowing what to do, they fail to get ready for the hearing and never receive their back pay and monthly benefits amounting to thousands of dollars for lack of proof.  Also, Social Security Disability Attorneys can provide insight and direction to the Administrative Law Judge in their decision making process with memorandums of law and good lawyering at your hearing.


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two sorts of programs available to people who can no longer work due to exertional limitations or impairments that prevent the claimant from engaging in substantial gainful activity.  Both programs supply monthly financial assistance, but vary in their amounts and demands for eligibility. The SSA assesses the claimant’s impediments to work and work history of claimants planning to acquire SSDI.  On the other hand, people getting SSI are approved or denied based on their impairments and their limited resources, allowing claimants benefits with only basic possessions and a home.  SSI is a needs based program intending to help people in financial need.  SSDI is an insurance program funded with social security withholdings and insured workers who have paid into the plan are allowed benefits if they are disabled and unable to do substantial gainful activity.


At What Age can you Collect Social Security?

A young employee working on a pile of paper works Individuals under 50 years old and applying for social security disability benefits could have a more difficult case than a claimant whose is more than 50 years of age.  There is no specific age you have to be to collect social security disability benefits.  Individuals between 19 and 50 are considered “young workers” and have more exertional and mental hurdles to overcome than older claimants. Individuals, whether they are under 50 (and considered younger workers) or those workers over 50 (and considered workers approaching advanced age) who are seeking disability benefits should have strong medical documentation from their health care providers and seek the assistance of a social security lawyer to help build a strong disability case.  It is harder to receive disability benefits than at any time in history.  The percentage of claimants receiving disability benefits today is much lower than just 2 years ago and continues to get more difficult.  It is critical now to have good legal representation; otherwise, you could be denied benefits from unfavorable decisions and be without monthly benefits for years – costing you tens of thousands in income.  The stakes are too high to be without an experienced social security attorney working for you to get the benefits you deserve.

Benefits are awarded more easily to workers over 50 years of age because the Administrative Law Judge looks closely at the claimant’s ability to do his or her own occupation or regular job.  If the over 50 year old claimant is unable to perform his or her occupation or vocation due to physical or mental impairments, the claimant will be more likely to get disability benefits.  Whereas a younger claimant (under age 50 years of age) who is unable to do his or her regular job duties, will not be able to rely on his or her inability to work his or her own occupation but will have to do any other job that he or she is capable of preforming, mentally or physically.  Under fifty years of age, the court will assess your exertional and non exertional abilities to see if you can perform the activities of a sedentary occupation, or if you are capable of light or medium work. If you are under the age of fifty, it is not important whether you could execute your previous job responsibilities, but whether you are capable of doing any type of full-time work (sedentary, light or medium work) based upon your limitations or impairments. 

The nature and extent of functional limitations can be the determining factor in whether a significant number of jobs are available for people under the age of 50. The SSA relies on vocational expert testimony to determine if there is significant depletion of job skills allowing the claimant to preform sedentary, light, or medium job occupation skills.   The ability to do skilled or semi-skilled jobs, light work or medium work, opens more job options for the claimant and makes a determination of disability more difficult.  The more a claimant can do makes it more difficult for him or her to get a favorable decision.  After all, if you can work, you are not entitled to benefits.

SSA Impairment Listings

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will make an initial decision on whether your impairments are on the “listing of impairments.”  On the “listing of impairments” are a number of medical conditions that the SSA will approve for a disability.  If the individual meets the requirements on the impairments listing they can get benefits at any age.   The listing does have some detailed requirements and there is also a “Compassionate Allowances List.”  Individuals with severe medical conditions on the “Compassionate Allowances List” can be awarded benefits by the SSA at any age.

The Social Security Administration “Grids”

The “grids” are tables of information the SSA uses to determine if a claimant is disabled based on age, education, and previous work experience.  The “grids” are generally not as favorable for an individual under 50 years old, as the “grids” will generally find the individual able to work. For example, in a grid for sedentary work, a younger individual who is illiterate or unable to communicate in English and is unskilled would be disabled.  If the claimant is not illiterate or if he or she can communicate in English, then they would not be disabled.  A “grid” finding is not the final ruling in a Social Security Disability case for individuals under 50 years old.  Other impairments, like depression or personality disorders can tip the scale in favor of the claimant, allowing a ruling that he or she is disabled.  A lawyer specializing in social security disability can challenge the grid in his or her attempt to get the claimants benefits they deserve.  

Less than Sedentary Residual Functional Capacity

If an individual cannot work a sedentary job the Social Security Administration could consider them disabled no matter the age.  A sedentary job is normally considered to be a job where the worker sits most of the day. However, more precisely, sedentary work is limited to:  lifting no more than 10 pounds at one time, or occasionally carrying small items such as files or small tools, for no longer than a total of 2 hours in any workday, and sitting for approximately 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, and standing or walking for a total of 2 hours in an 8-hour work day .

The ability to do sedentary work can be hampered by mental disabilities.   If an individual cannot follow directions, stay on task or complete simple tasks on time, then he or she would not be competitive in the workplace and SSA might award the claimant benefits.  Medical documentation of disabilities and impairments is vital to win Social Security Disability cases.  The more medical documentation the individual has will help the SSD attorney in building a strong case.  Your social security attorney can give reports for your physician or care provider to complete that indicates how severe your condition is and what exertional and non exertional limitations would prevent you from doing substantial gainful activity.


Individuals who believe they are disabled to work should see healthcare professionals and doctors to be evaluated.  If the individual is seeking disability they should contact a lawyer specializing in Social Security Disability.  Lawyers can help you collect social security benefits you deserve.

Mortimer Law Firm, PLC- Michigan Social Security Lawyers

Phone: (989) 358-2100



Mental Disorders and Social Security Disability

ID-10076341“Mental disorders” and “mental illness” are very broad terms that can represent many different illnesses of the mind.  Individuals who suffer from mental disorders could be approved for Social Security Disability benefits if the disorder is considered “disabling.”  Keep in mind it is harder to collect disability for mental disorders than for physical disorders.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t always understand the severity of mental illnesses and the impact it has on the individual’s life.  Individuals who want to collect disability for mental disorders would benefit from treatment with doctors and using lawyers to help them get the benefits they deserve.

Why do Mental Disorder claims get Denied?

  • Lack of supporting evidence of disability such as doctor synopsis
  • Lack of Mental Health Records
  • Not taking Prescribed Medications
  • Inability to show supporting evidence of a Mental Disorder

Medical Documentation for Mental Disorders

If you are an individual with a mental illness or think you may have a mental illness it is important to meet regularly with a mental health professional.  To build a strong case proper medical documentation is needed such as mental health history, mental exams, psychological testing and prescription information. Your lawyer can send reports for your mental health professional to complete that helps prove your case.

Social Security Disability Attorneys

If you are diagnosed with a mental condition and believe you are disabled to work, it is important to talk to a Social Security Disability Attorney.  Social Security Disability Attorneys gather information to help clients receive disability benefits by proving to the SSA their client is disabled and unable to work.  Disability attorneys have experience helping clients receive the benefits they deserve. Attorney’s and their professional team help build a strong case to present to the Social Security Administration.

Examples of Mental Illnesses

General Disorders



-Bipolar Disorder


-Panic Disorder


-Panic Disorder

-Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

-Seasonal Affective Disorder

-Social Phobia

Sleep Disorders


-Sleep Terror Disorder


-Alzheimer’s Disease

Personality Disorders

-Schizoid Disorder

-Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

-Histrionic Personality Disorder

-Borderline Personality Disorder

-Antisocial Personality Disorder

-Narcissistic Personality Disorder


LawSome patients with back pain who have issues performing on the job are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.  Workers who primarily perform heavy physical labor could have serious issues working with back pain.  Individuals who continue to work could continue to worsen their back problem so it is important to see a doctor.  A number of disability claims dealing with back pain are rejected in the initial application stage.  However disability claims can be granted in the appeals process at a judicial hearing.

Building your Disability Benefits Case for Back Pain

To build a strong disability case clinical evidence should originate from appropriate medical resources such as an accredited doctor.  The more specialized your doctor is, the more valued their opinion will be.  If you are experiencing back pain it is important for you to see a doctor.   You might have to see several specialists and go through rehab programs for your back.  If you think your back pain is severe and you can’t work it is important to contact a Social Security Disability Law Firm. When filing a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim entailing back pain, it is extremely important to a lawyer and medical records from a doctor.

Common Back Pain Issues/Disabilities

– Degenerative disc disease

– Stenosis of the spine

– Spinal Fractures

– Muscle Strains

– Nerve problems

– Scoliosis

– Herniated discs

– Osteoarthritis

– Cracked Vertebrae

– Spine arachnoiditis

Have you been denied Social Security Disability Benefits for Back Pain in Michigan or any state in the USA?

In order to receive social security disability benefits for back pain it is important to see a professional law firm.  If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits for back pain or any other impairment, do not quit. With the help of a professional disability legal representative, there is an excellent possibility that you can be granted you disability claim.  Contact Mortimer Law Firm in Northern Michigan at (989)358-2100.


Fibromyalgia Information and Disability Benefits

Doctor_FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a medical disorder with many different symptoms.  Some of the major symptoms include:   chronic muscle pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep disorders.  Research indicates sometimes symptoms of Fibromyalgia can occur after a physical trauma, prolonged stress and/or infection.   Fibromyalgia patients that are disabled to work could be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits in the United States.  Fibromyalgia is a serious condition that needs to be addressed by a doctor.

Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose and there is a blood test used called FM/a that can help with diagnosis.  Many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia have a hard time performing work as some of their symptoms include memory impairment, brain fog, fatigue and pain.  Web MD suggests in their article “Fibromyalgia: Work and Disability”    that employed fibromyalgia patients should be allowed to take breaks/naps at work, allowed flexible workloads, reduce physical exertion, etc.  Many employers won’t allow naps on the job and flexible hours which makes it hard for fibromyalgia patients to keep a job or to find a job.   Individuals with fibromyalgia are able to apply for social security disability benefits in Michigan and other states.  If you have a disability and have a hard time working we strongly suggest you call a Social Security Law Firm.

Fibromyalgia is viewed more serious by the SSA today than years ago

The SSA issued SSR 12-2P in July of 2012 entitling fibromyalgia patients to receive SSDI benefits.  There are many determining factors whether or not individuals with fibromyalgia are granted SSD benefits.   The more varied the treatment method used by the patient, the more likely the SSA is to award benefits to the individual.  In some cases if a patient’s symptoms are not absolutely taken care of with a prescribed medicine or supplement, a much more holistic method is implemented. This could include the use of physical treatment to develop muscular tissue tone, a program of medicine, stress administration techniques, mind-calming exercise, yoga, stretched muscular tissues, acupressure, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.

Some of the Fibromyalgia Symptoms we found through our Research: (Not Limited To)


-Cold hands

-Heart palpitations

-Join Pain

-Diffuse swelling


-Brain fog

-Carpal Tunnel


-Excessive sleeping


-Blurred Vision

-Altered level of consciousness

-Memory problems

-Attacks of uncontrollable rage


-Panic attacks


-Irritable bladder

-Sensitivity to light


If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are unable to work you should contact an experience Social Security Disability Firm such as Mortimer Law Firm to help get you the benefits you deserve.  Mortimer Law Firm has 3 offices in Northern Michigan specializing in Social Security Disability.  If you think you have any of the symptoms listed above you should contact your primary care physician.

 WebMD. (2013). Fibromyalgia: Work and Disability. Retrieved from WebMD:


When many individuals in Northern Michigan think of people declaring impairment advantages, they likely think of individuals who have a physical condition or injury that prevents them from working. There are, nonetheless, many people in Northern Michigan who are incapable to work because of a handful of neurological disorders, consisting of significant depression. Significant depression is likewise known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder and it can seriously affect a person’s capability to work, so much so that she or he need to make an application for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

Major depressive disorder isn’t always long-term and can contain sporadic episodes of depression throughout that individual’s life. If your depression is severe enough to disable you from working, contact a handicap benefits attorney to resolve what will be essential to successfully apply for perks.

One of the pieces of evidence that the Social Security Administration could start to require is a blood test that will assist to identify individuals with depression. The blood test is known as the MDDScore, enables an individual’s body chemicals to be measured and made use of within a mathematical equation to come up with a rating that will indicate whether the individual has major depressive disorder.

Even if the test is not required when applying for Social Security disability insurance advantages, it may be a vital piece of supporting proof. Unlike the more traditional interview-based diagnosis, this test is biological and is unbiased. Eventually, nevertheless, a handicap perks lawyer can help to determine what proof will be crucial in producing a successful application.