Every person’s experience in applying for social security disability benefits is unique, given that everyone’s medical and work history is unique. There are three main stages in the application process: initial application, reconsideration, and the hearing. When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits in Oklahoma, it takes four to five months for your initial claim to be reviewed.
Only around 38% of disability claims are approved at the initial stage. If your initial application is denied, you can request that your claim be reconsidered, though most claims are still denied at this stage. If your claim is denied during the first and the second review, you can appeal before an Administrative Law Judge for the final determination of your claim.
Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits under the SSA guidelines, you must prove that you have been unable to hold a job for more than a year because of a permanent or long-term disability. When you submit your application at the Oklahoma City SSA office, the officers will review it for completeness before forwarding it to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) Office. The DDS will assess the medical documentation outlining your disability. To receive the SSDI or SSI benefits, you must prove that you have been receiving regular or ongoing treatment for your disabling condition.
Calculation of Disability Benefits
After you have gone through the evaluation process and qualified for SSDI or SSI benefits, you may wonder how much compensation you will receive. The SSA uses a weighted formula when determining how much you can receive in benefits. This formula is intricate and is constantly adjusted to account for things like changes in your average income, inflation, and any other disability benefits you receive.
In the case of SSDI benefits, your monthly benefits will depend on your average lifetime earnings prior to becoming disabled. However, the government determines the SSI benefits based on your need. SSI is purely need-based, and your past earnings do not matter. The SSA considers your current earnings, living arrangements, and marital status when calculating your SSI benefits.
A common myth regarding social security benefits is that the severity or extent of your disability determines the amount you receive. However, even if this is true for most insurance settlements and workers’ compensation, it is not the case for SSDI and SSI benefits. A disability lawyer will explain the factors that can affect your benefits and any exemptions that may apply to your situation.
Average SSDI and SSI Benefits
There are limits to how much you can receive in SSDI and SSI benefits every month. The average amount you could receive in SSDI benefits in 2022 is around $1,356, while the average amount of SSI benefits is $841 for an individual and $1261 for a couple. You will probably qualify for back pay as well when you are approved for the benefits. Backpay is the compensation for overdue payments or the money you would have received between when you submitted your application and when the application was approved. However, these figures change annually, so you should check with your lawyer for the latest statistics.
Contact an Oklahoma Social Security Lawyer
Social security disability law is intricate, which is why you need the help of a lawyer when filing a claim. At the Social Security Law Center, we have years of experience in handling disability benefits cases. Contact us for information on how Social Security Disability benefits work in Oklahoma.