A bad accident or chronic illness is never good news, and the financial stress of being unable to work can only make things worse. As a taxpayer of Oklahoma, however, you have been paying into a fund towards social security benefits with every paycheck. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally run program designed to help disabled citizens. If you are unable to maintain gainful employment due to a severe health condition, you may be eligible for a monthly allowance.
Your initial application can be filed in person, over the phone, or online, at the Social Security Administration website. To file in person, you can make an appointment, or you can wait for a walk-in appointment at your local SSA office. There is no limit on how many times you can file an initial application. Unfortunately, if you are repeatedly denied after going through the full system, your chances of receiving benefits are low.
Your initial application will determine whether you are eligible for benefits based on your application. When you file, you will be asked questions about your health, your employment status, your work history, and your citizenship status. You may need to submit health records ahead of time or authorize the SSA to request your medical records.
This application is only the start of a long process, however. Even if you are immediately approved for benefits, you will have to wait while your case is assessed before you can receive your first monthly allowance.
First, the SSA staff will determine what benefits you may be eligible for based on your work history, resources, and income. They may also work with you to collect information if you have not provided the correct documents. You should respond to the SSA staff in a timely manner to make sure your application is processed.
In Oklahoma, the SSA will then pass your information to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). The DDS team is made up of medical professionals. A physician or psychiatrist will work with a disability examiner to determine whether your medical condition is a disability. If your condition is not severe enough to prevent you from working, is not estimated to last for more than 12 months, or if you have refused to comply with a treatment plan, your benefits may be denied.
At this point in the process, a determination will be made whether to approve or deny your claim. If your claim is approved, you will receive a written notice by mail, detailing your monthly allowance and the date your benefits start.
If your claim is denied, you can either file a new initial application or file a request for reconsideration. If you have not already contacted a legal representative, this is a good time to do so.
Improving your Success Rate
Unfortunately, roughly 60% of claims are denied at this stage. To be part of the 40% of successful claimants, you will want a comprehensive, well-organized application. You will need to know your rights and be prepared to prove that your health condition prevents you from gainful employment.
If your application is denied, a Social Security Disability attorney can help you understand why your claim has been denied and how you can improve your chances of being approved. Our team has years of experience working with clients to build a strong case and demonstrate financial need.
How an Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, applying for SSDI can be complicated. If are the victim of a traumatic accident or if you have a chronic, on-going illness, the last thing you want to focus on is a complicated form or medical documentation. Recovery can be a time-consuming business, and if you have been diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness, you might prefer to spend your time with family and friends.
Our firm can help you file your initial application so that you can focus your time and energy on what really matters. Filing for SSDI benefits requires you fill out forms and have documentation on hand proving your citizenship and SSDI eligibility. We can help you gather evidence, compile salary documentation, and determine your eligibility. An attorney can help you make sure every detail is accounted for, so that your application is filed correctly the first time around.
For the strongest chance of getting approved early in the process, contact our firm before you file your initial application. A strong application will help you avoid long waiting periods and delays due to missing documentation, questionable need, or incorrect filing. If you have a spouse or dependents, your medical condition is rare, or your work history is unclear, details of your claim may change.
It is important to be prepared for any question and any status request, so that you can receive your benefits in a timely manner. Time is of the essence when you are out of work, and for each month you wait to receive benefits, you are depleting your savings.
Contact the Social Security Law Center Today
At the Social Security Law Center, we believe in helping Oklahoma citizens get the benefits they need as quickly as possible. Before applying for benefits, it is important to contact a Social Security Disability attorney, to ensure that you are prepared for the application and approval process. Our team will be with you at every step of the process to make sure your application is complete and compelling.
With offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Bartlesville, we are available to serve citizens across the state. We offer a free, one-on-one consultation to help you determine eligibility and your benefits strategy. With SSLC attorneys on your team, you can rest assured that your claim is in good hands. Call us today or reach out to us online to get started with your claim.