When to Expect Your February Disability Payment

Around 7.4 million individuals rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to meet their financial needs, making it a crucial lifeline for those facing disabilities. If you are one of the many beneficiaries, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of SSDI payment schedules, especially with the upcoming February payment cycle. In this blog, we will break down the payment dates and offer guidance on what to do if you encounter any issues.

SSDI Payment Schedule

Since 1997, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented a staggered payment format based on beneficiaries’ dates of birth. This ensures a systematic and organized distribution of payments throughout the month. Here is the schedule it uses:

  • 3rd of the Month: Beneficiaries who began receiving SSDI benefits before May 1997 can expect their payment on the 3rd of each month.
  • 14th of the Month: Individuals born between the 1st and 10th of the month will receive their February payment on the second Wednesday, which falls on the 14th.
  • 21st of the Month: Those born between the 11th and 20th will receive their payments on the third Wednesday, which is the 21st of February.
  • 28th of the Month: Beneficiaries born between the 21st and 31st of the month can anticipate their payment on the fourth Wednesday, the 28th of February.

For those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), this benefit follows a different schedule, with payments deposited on the 1st of each month.

What to Do If You Encounter Payment Issues

It’s not uncommon for unforeseen circumstances to arise, causing delays in SSDI payments. If you find yourself in a situation where your payment hasn’t been deposited on the scheduled date, here are the steps to take:

Wait for Three Mail Days

The SSA recommends waiting until three mail days after the scheduled date before taking any action. Sometimes, delays may occur due to postal services.

Contact the SSA

If the delay persists, contact the Social Security Administration through their designated contact line or visit your local Social Security office for assistance.

Check with Your Bank

Before reaching out to the SSA, it’s advisable to contact your bank to ensure there are no issues preventing the deposit. Sometimes, banking hiccups can cause delays in receiving SSDI payments.

Contact Disability Law Group for Assistance

Understanding the SSDI payment schedule is crucial for beneficiaries to manage their finances effectively. By being aware of the specific dates based on birth month and taking appropriate action in case of payment delays, individuals can navigate the SSDI system with confidence. 

At Disability Law Group, we are committed to providing valuable information and support to ensure that those relying on SSDI benefits have the resources they need. If you have any concerns or require legal assistance related to SSDI, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your peace of mind is our priority. Contact us for your FREE consultation today!

ptsd va 100 percent rating

How To Get A 100% PTSD Rating From the VA

Military veterans suffering from service-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are likely to qualify for compensation from the VA. However, due to how the VA examines benefits applications, many vets do not receive the full compensation they deserve.

VA benefits are provided according to the veteran’s disability rating, which is expressed as a percentage. A 100% VA disability rating can mean thousands of dollars in added benefits each year.

If you know a veteran who is disabled by PTSD symptoms and does not have a 100% VA disability rating or its equivalent, you should speak to an experienced disability benefits attorney. The Disability Law Group helps veterans in Michigan file claims for PTSD disability, including in Macomb County, Wayne County, and Oakland County and across the nation. Contact us today to find out how to increase your loved one’s VA disability rating for PTSD.

What Is PTSD According to the VA?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. Deployment in a war zone, combat, training accidents, and military sexual trauma may lead to PTSD, the VA’s National Center for PTSD says.

The VA considers a vet to have experienced a traumatic event if he or she suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or was threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death.

PTSD can produce a broad range of symptoms including:

  • Re-experiencing trauma, such as flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Heightened emotions such as being easily startled or angered, having difficulty concentrating, or having difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional numbness or avoidance of certain triggers for re-experiencing the trauma.

A veteran may qualify for VA disability benefits if he or she has symptoms related to a traumatic event and:

  • The highly stressful event happened during military service, and
  • The vet can’t function as well as they once could because of their symptoms, and
  • A doctor has diagnosed the veteran with PTSD.

Understanding the VA Disability Rating for PTSD

ptsd va rating

The VA assigns benefit applicants a disability rating based on the severity of their service-connected condition. The VA disability rating determines how much disability compensation the veteran receives each month, as well as their eligibility for other VA benefits.

A 100% disability rating means the veteran’s physical and/or mental disability makes it impossible for them to maintain substantially gainful employment. The VA defines “substantially gainful” employment as employment that people who are not disabled ordinarily undertake to earn their livelihood and which pays at a rate common to that particular occupation.

The VA rates veterans with disabilities due to mental disorders as 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% disabled.

Under federal law, a veteran who is released from active military service because of a mental disorder that develops in service as a result of a highly stressful event, such as PTSD, is automatically assigned a disability rating of 50% and reexamined in six months.

A 50% rating applies to occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as:

  • Panic attacks more than once a week
  • Difficulty understanding complex commands
  • Impairment of short- and long-term memory
  • Disturbances of motivation and mood
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.

A 100% rating means total occupational and social impairment. The symptoms include:

  • Gross impairment in thought processes or communication
  • Persistent delusions or hallucinations
  • Grossly inappropriate behavior
  • The persistent danger of hurting oneself or others
  • Disorientation to time or place.

How To Get the Highest Disability Rating for PTSD

VA disability ratings are based on the severity of symptoms.

The primary evidence submitted to the VA to establish a veteran’s disability comes from doctors who have examined the vet and completed a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ). These forms, which have recently been updated, are specialized according to the disability, meaning there is a specific DBQ for PTSD examinations.

If the VA questions or disputes evidence a veteran submits, it can order an examination by its own physicians. This exam is known as a C&P, or “compensation and pension” exam.

Our attorneys work closely with medical specialists and can obtain medical evidence to help you receive the highest rating possible. Whether you are preparing an initial application for disability benefits or appealing a VA disability rating decision, our dedicated attorneys at Disability Law Group stand ready to assist you. We have years of experience handling VA disability cases and are proud to stand up for the men and women who served our nation.

Qualifying for Individual Unemployability in Lieu of a 100% PTSD Rating

A veteran who cannot maintain substantially gainful employment due to a service-connected illness or injury may qualify for Individual Unemployability. The veteran may be able to get disability benefits just as a veteran who has a 100% disability rating would.

A rating of Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) requires:

  • At least one service-connected disability rated at 60% or more, or two or more service-connected disabilities — one rated at 40% or more and producing a 70% or higher rating when combined, and
  • Inability to hold down substantially gainful employment because of a service-connected disability.

Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability also may be available if the veteran cannot work because of other circumstances, such as frequent hospitalization due to PTSD symptoms.

Contact Us About a Proper VA Disability Rating for PTSD

If your loved one is disabled by service-connected PTSD, we can help you ensure that he or she is paid the full government benefit promised to them. The experienced attorneys of Disability Law Group are knowledgeable about both VA and Social Security Disability benefits and how best to recover disability payments that will ensure your and your family’s financial security.

Please contact us by phone or email, or fill out one of the contact forms on our website, so we can get started helping help you and your family.

Attorney Erika Riggs Selected for the American Bar Association on the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award

Congratulations to Erika Riggs on the monumental achievement that is being nominated for the American Bar Association On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award!

The selection was extremely rigorous and only 40 attorneys were chosen throughout the entire country! After being nominated by a peer, the selection committee goes through and hand picks the attorneys they think deserve to be recognized. They look for members of the American Bar Association who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and service to the profession and their communities. Our very own Erika Riggs was a part of those selected, from her selfless actions for the community to her fierce unwavering desire to win her client’s cases, we are so proud of what she has done for her community, family, and Disability Law Group!

smiling woman in office

Case Spotlight – March 2022

In July 2021, Disability Law Group was contacted by a woman for help with her disability claim. She was feeling defeated after recently suffering back-to-back personal tragedies, including the loss of her son and the complete debilitation of her husband as a result of an accident. To make matters worse, she was dealing with her own medical conditions and getting nowhere with her disability claim for almost two years. She was facing what seemed like yet another insurmountable obstacle in a long of adversities. She knew she needed help, and began looking for a disability attorney who specializes only in disability benefits.

When she called Disability Law Group, she was met with compassion and encouragement, giving her the confidence that she was at the right place for help with her disability claim. We immediately got to work reviewing her file. Our team requested the updated medical records and supportive evidence and submitted everything needed to Social Security in a timely manner. When assessing a Social Security case, the judge will look at both objective and subjective evidence which can be from a variety of different sources.

Objective evidence is evidence that is backed by science – such as medical testing, including MRIs, x-rays, and EKGs, as well as physical examination findings completed by a doctor. Subjective evidence is opinion evidence such as your own testimony at your hearing, letters in support from friends and family, and a journal or diary of symptoms, for example. While both types of evidence are sought, subjective evidence is often met with more scrutiny as it is based on opinion. On the other hand, objective evidence is much less heavily scrutinized. This is why taking the time to ensure that the medical record is complete, from all relevant sources, is essential to winning your disability claim.

In this case, we did just that! The claimant had also done her part by keeping up with her medical appointments and treatment and we worked together to ascertain what needed to be ordered, as well as additional supportive evidence that could help her case. Once the records were in, Attorney Lutfi reviewed the entire file, prepared her client for the upcoming hearing, and submitted a written memorandum to the judge outlining the claimant’s treatment and arguments in support of her disability.

By the time of the new hearing, the claimant was prepared to testify, knowing that all pertinent records had been submitted and reviewed. However, shortly prior to the hearing, Disability Law Group learned that the judge would be granting what is called an “On the Record” decision in the matter. This is a fully favorable finding of disability that a judge makes without a hearing needed. Upon reviewing the medical file and memorandum, the judge agreed that the claimant was in fact disabled and was issuing an expedited decision confirming the same. She could not be more ecstatic and now could devote her time to her own healing process, as well as the care of her family after having gone through so much unimaginable tragedy in such a short time. She felt relieved, validated, and thankful for our help.

If you or someone you know has chronic pain, suffered loss, or other serious problems that keep you from being able to work and affect your ability to function normally, contact Disability Law Group today for your free consultation. Our attorneys and staff specialize strictly in disability benefits, and we will fight to help you win every benefit you deserve. We pride ourselves on helping disabled individuals receive disability benefits as quickly as possible. Whether you have been denied, or if you would like advice from the very start, contact us today to understand your rights and get the representation that you deserve.

covid and mental health awareness

COVID-19 and ending the Mental Health Stigma

Even with COVID-19 vaccination rates increasing, lockdowns being lifted and a trend towards “normalcy” returning, many say there is now a “second pandemic.” Health experts fear the grave mental health repercussions and residual effects of this already prevalent pandemic. While this public health crisis has existed long before pre-pandemic social distancing and isolation, ravaging those who fear to ask for help, many have barriers in the way of seeking help and treatment even in the wake of COVID-19. The SAMHSA reports that nearly 43.7% of adult Michiganders with a mental health diagnosis receive some form of treatment while 56.3% do not. For too long there has been a stigma attached to those who seek out professional health providers to address mental illnesses and conditions. Having a mental health illness or condition has incorrectly been labeled as a weakness in society.

This is not a modern day issue, as there are examples in ancient texts and literature, however there may not be a scientific diagnosis attached to the symptoms or behaviors demonstrated by some individuals suffering in silence. Many scholars believe that the ancient Greek hero Odysseus suffered from PTSD after his long journey back home from the Trojan War. This too is true not only for current veterans of war or active military personnel, but for our current healthcare and frontline workers shouldering the load against COVID-19, and so many others for a variety of reasons. Exposure to higher levels of trauma and despair has led healthcare professionals to increased rates of burnout. A MHA survey completed by 1,119 healthcare workers from June to September 2020, reported that 76% of participants experienced exhaustion and burnout (The Mental Health of Healthcare Workers in COVID-19). No matter your profession or place within society, we each carry markers of our past that are invisible to the eye. Not all disabilities and symptoms are visible, and this is especially true for mental health conditions.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s imperative to talk about mental health and prioritize mental health treatment and resources available to the community. The mental health toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on all walks of life and age groups. Currently major depressive disorder impacts 14.8 million adults and is the number one reported disability for individuals 15-44 years old (Mental Health Facts, University of Michigan Counseling and Psychological Services). Unfortunately, these numbers are only projected to increase while we continue to venture into the “new normal” and begin to unpack the psychological baggage of life in lockdown. But, together, we hope to end the stigma surrounding mental health care and treatment, and help promote mental health awareness and resources available.

At Disability Law Group, we encourage all individuals to take proactive measures in mental health prevention, education, and treatment. We know how important it is to be aware of the signs of mental health illness and to ask for help. Below we have included a brief list of resources available to the community and those in need throughout the state of Michigan. While this list is not exhaustive or a complete list, it can be a great way to seek help and additional mental health resources in Michigan.

  • Michigan.gov: list of readily available 24/7 virtual counseling services and mental health resources:  https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_99557—,00.html.
  • Michigan.gov Coronavirus: an extensive Behavioral Health Guide for adults, older adults, health care workers, first responders, parents, youth, teachers, caregivers, expectant and new mother, those already in recovery, corrections staff and for veterans: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_99557_104975-549331–,00.html
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Call: 1-800-273-8255 – Available 24/7  – Text TALK to 741741
  • Oakland County Community Health Network: 5505 Corporate Drive Troy, Michigan 48098

24-hour crisis number: 248-456-1991 or 800-231-1127

  • The Rebound Detroit, Managing Mental Health Help Hotline: 1-888-535-6136 Press 8
  • Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority dba Detroit-Wayne Integrated Health Network: 707 West Milwaukee Detroit, Michigan 48202 24-hour crisis numbers: 313-224-7000 or 800-241-4949
  • Michigan Crisis Text Line: Text the keyword RESTORE to 741741. Open 24/7
  • Michigan PEER Warmline: For those living with serious mental illness or substance use challenges, call: 1-888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753). Available daily from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Headspace: Michiganders can get free access to headspace, a mental health and meditation app, by visiting www.headspace.com/mi.


  • Mental Health Facts, University of Michigan Counseling and Psychological Services
    • https://caps.umich.edu/content/mental-health-facts
  • The Mental Health of Healthcare Workers in COVID-19
    • https://mhanational.org/mental-health-healthcare-workers-covid-19
  • Behavioral Health Barometer, SAMHSA
    • https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2015_Michigan_BHBarometer.pdf
Man typing on computer in living room disability law group logo

When Your Family is Entitled to Benefits On Your Record

When you start receiving Social Security disability benefits or retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. In order to receive the benefit, an application must be filed with the Social Security Administration. A spouse may be eligible to collect survivor benefits even if they have never worked under Social Security or paid FICA taxes long enough or recently, but they must be at least 62 years of age. Social Security will pay benefits to your spouse at any age if there is a child in his or her care. The child must be under age 16 or disabled before age 22, and entitled to benefits. Further, when you qualify for Social Security retirement or disability benefits, your child(ren) may also qualify as dependents to receive benefits on your record (this includes a biological child, adopted child, stepchild, and even dependent grandchild). In order to be eligible, the dependent child must be:

  • unmarried; and
  • under the age of 18; or
  • under 19 years of age and a full-time student (12th grade or below); or
  • 18 years or older and disabled with the disability beginning before age 22.

For the spouse to be eligible, you must be receiving or eligible to receive retirement or disability benefits. If the spouse is eligible for benefits on their own record, they will be paid that amount first. Next, Social Security will look to see if the benefit on your record is higher. Any additional amount on your record is paid to the spouse, making them potentially eligible for more than they would have otherwise received. Your benefit amount will not decrease once benefits are paid to an eligible spouse or family member. In fact, the additional amount due to an eligible family member, added to your own benefit amount, may help you decide to apply earlier instead of waiting to take your benefit. The amount your spouse will receive may be offset or reduced by other variables, such as a pension for work not covered by Social Security (e.g. government employment), and any ongoing work activity by the spouse or eligible family member.

You will need to ensure that the eligible spouse or family member has an application filed for them or on their behalf with the Social Security Administration. While the amount the eligible member can receive varies, generally the total amount that you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your full retirement benefit. Similarly, a divorced spouse who may also qualify for benefits on your record depending on various factors, will not impact the benefit amount payable to you or your family members. If you are divorced, regardless of whether you are remarried, your ex-spouse may be entitled to collect benefits from your record so long as the following criteria is met:

  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits;
  • The amount your ex-spouse is eligible to collect from your record is more than the benefit they would receive on their own record;
  • The marriage to your ex-spouse lasted at least 10 years;
  • Your ex-spouse is at least 62 years of age; and
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried;

Additionally, the amount your ex-spouse receives from your record will have no bearing on the amount of benefits you or your eligible spouse may receive. You and your spouse may apply online for disability or retirement benefits together or separately, and Social Security will review all applications filed based on eligibility factors. Once your spouse files for benefits on your record, they will want to be ready to supply information to the Social Security Administration to verify their eligibility and receive an approval. Examples of documents you may need to provide to Social Security include:

  • Birth Certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not both in the U.S.;
  • W-2 Forms and/or self-employment tax returns for any years in question;
  • Final Divorce Decree, if applying as a divorced spouse; and
  • Marriage Certificate.

Whether you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability, retirement, or survivors benefits for you or a loved one, the process can be overwhelming and lengthy. Having an experience lawyer on your side to explain what to expect and help you along every step of the way is invaluable. Our caring attorneys and support staff are equipped with the tools and resources to cut through the red-tape and help you get the benefits you deserve. We care about every single case as if it were our own. Call us today or any time for a free consultation.