A Comprehensive Guide For Filing And Obtaining Disability Benefits

In Oklahoma, the federal agencies review and processes hundreds of disability applications each year. According to state statistics, 2.5% of the population receives Supplemental Security Income while 5.8% receive Social Security Disability Insurance. The average waiting time for an appeal is about one year. Of the cases that reach the appeals stage 43% of the cases are approved while 38% are denied. For this reason, it’s always smart to talk to any social security lawyers oklahoma for advice and guidance. 


Applying for Benefits


For all claimants, the process starts out the same. It’s necessary to contact the regional office for the Social Security Administration for their district and set up an appointment for applying for benefits. A caseworker is assigned to each claimant, and caseworkers ask the claimant questions to complete an application. Some districts allow claimants to apply for benefits online by submitting their information on a web form. Once the application is filed, the process begins.


Attending Doctor’s Appointments


The SSA sets up two different doctor’s appointments for the claimants. First, they visit a general medicine doctor to evaluate their overall health and any physical disabilities listed in the application. Next, claimants visit a psychologist or psychiatric doctor for mental health evaluations. The findings are reported back to the claimant’s caseworker.


A Qualifying Condition


A qualifying disability is either physical or mental and prevents the individual from becoming employed and maintaining a steady work history. Conditions that cause debilitating effects or prevent the claimant from working in any job field or industry qualify them for disability benefits. All claimants are required to submit medical records starting on the date in which they were diagnosed with the condition. If the records aren’t readily available, claimants provide information about the doctor or doctors who treated them for the disability. 


What Programs are Available?


Supplemental Security Income is a program that is income-based and provides disability benefits for children and adults who have never worked due to their disability. To qualify for the program, the SSA needs all medical records for the disability, details about the claimant’s household income, and a list of all bank accounts used by individuals who financially support the claimant. The total monthly income of the claimant’s parents, spouse, or primary caregiver determines if they meet income restrictions. It also determines the amount of their monthly benefits payments.

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program designed for individuals who have a previous work history and have developed a disability that prevents them from continuing to work. The program is vastly different from SSI. Workers paid into the Social Security program during their work history, and the total benefits accumulated during their work history is used to calculate their monthly benefits.


How Long Does It Take for a Decision?


According to statistical data, it could take up to six months before a claimant receives a decision for their claim. A decision letter is sent to the claimant explaining the exact reason for approval or denial. Claimants who are denied disability benefits consult an attorney about their options.

In Oklahoma, the SSA is the starting point for any claimant who wants to apply and receive disability benefits. If a claim is denied, claimants have a limited amount of time to file an appeal. The next alternative is to take the claim to court and file a lawsuit. Claimants who are denied benefits and need answers contact an attorney right now.

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