Assistance with Social Security

If you are having problems with an issue relating to the Social Security Administration (SSA), my office may be able to help.

Some examples of situations my office may be able to help with are: checking the status of applications for disability and retirement benefits, contacting the SSA payment center to locate and/or aid with distribution of monthly payments, contacting your local SSA office to try to help resolve an over/under payment issues and providing information on the appeals process.

In order for my office to make an inquiry with the SSA, you must first fill out the Privacy Release Form authorizing myself or my staff to receive information on your behalf. You can access a privacy release form online, or by contacting my district office, if you would like it mailed to you. Once you have filled out the privacy release form, you can mail, fax, or drop it off to my district office in Roseville:

Congressman Sander Levin
27085 Gratiot Avenue., Suite C
Roseville, MI 48066
(586) 498-7123 (Fax)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I apply for benefits?

A. You can apply for benefits in person, by mail, over the internet or by telephone. Most of the application forms can be completed online, depending on the type of benefit for which you apply. Below is a list of the different types of benefits:

Social Security Disability Benefits
You can complete both the application and Adult Disability and Work History Report online.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security Office to set up an appointment to complete the SSI application form in person or over the phone.

Disability Benefits for Children
You can complete the Child Disability Report online. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security Office to set up an appointment to complete the rest of the application in person or over the phone.

Please note that my office is able to contact SSA to obtain information for you, but cannot fill out any paperwork needed to file for benefits or an appeal. All appeals must filed at your local SSA office.

Q. What can I do if I disagree with the decision that SSA has made on my application for benefits?

A. Each time a decision is made on a person's Social Security Disability or SSI claim, a written notice is sent to the claimant. If the claimant does not agree with the decision, they have a right to appeal. Each time an appeal is filed a new decision is made and the claimant is provided a written notice of the appeal decision.

There are three possible steps in the disability appeals process. They must be completed in the order listed below if you disagree with the determination on your case. It is important to note that the claimant usually has only 60 days from the date they receive a notice to appeal the decision. The appeal steps are:

  1. File for an Appeal hearing
  2. File for a hearing with the Appeals Council Review
  3. File a case with U.S. District Court

Q. Can I expedite my appeal hearing?

A. My office can contact SSA’s Office of Adjudication and Review on your behalf and forward information providing evidence of dire medical need, including new or updated medical documentation. Along with that information, my office can request that your hearing be expedited. There is no guarantee the request for expedition will be granted. SSA currently has a very large backlog for disability hearings and requests for expedition are very rarely granted. The average wait for an appeal hearing is 2-3 years after an initial appeal filing. Please be assured that it continues to be a top priority of mine to address this horrendous situation caused by underfunding during the Bush Administration We have started to improve the investment in staffing and technology, and I have met with the Social Security Commissioner twice to track their progress.

Q. What if I believe my benefit amount is wrong or that I qualify for a higher benefit?

A. My office can contact SSA and gather information for you regarding the benefits you are receiving. This includes SSI, SSDI, a one-time death benefit, and survivor/children’s benefits.

Q. Once I am approved for benefits, how long will it take to receive my check?

A. Typically, it takes 60 to 90 days following your receipt of a letter stating you were approved for benefits and for your monthly payments to begin. It can take up to 6 months to receive your retroactive benefits, depending on whether there is an SSI offset or any attorney fees. My office can contact the payment center to find out the status of your payment request an expedition of your payment.

(Updated April 26, 2013)