How do I File a Social Security Disability Claim in Oklahoma?
If you live in Oklahoma and cannot work because you are disabled, you may qualify for two federal disability programs. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the second is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance
Over three million people live in Oklahoma, and 5.8% of them receive benefits from SSDI. If you look at your paycheck and see that there is a deduction that goes into Social Security, then you have been paying into the social security program and may be considered “insured” if you become disabled. The SSDI pays benefits to you and your loved ones if you work for long enough and pay social security taxes.
To qualify for social security benefits, you first must have worked in jobs that are covered by the Social Security program for a ten-year period prior to the date you can prove you became disabled. The Social Security Administration uses a formula based on work history and disability age to determine whether you qualify. Based on that calculation, the SSA determines the last date that you were insured. If you became disabled after that last date that you were insured, then you do not qualify for SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income
If you do not qualify for SSDI because you became disabled after your last insured date, you can still apply for SSI. In Oklahoma, 2.5% of the population relies on SSI. SSI pays benefits based on your financial need of those benefits. It is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues—not your social security taxes. It is designed to help people with disabilities who have little to no income, and provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
What Qualifies as Being Disabled?
In order to prove your disability, you will need to collect medical records that establish your disability, documentation of your qualifying employment, and if your injury or illness occurred during or through your occupation, your worker’s compensation records.
If you are unsure of whether your disability counts, you can reference the SSA’s list of qualifying impairment. While this list is not exhaustive, if your impairment is found in the SSA “listing of impairments,” you have a very high chance of being awarded benefits. Otherwise, you are responsible for proving to the
How do I Apply for Disability in Oklahoma?
There are three ways you can apply for disability benefits:
- Online at ssa.gov
- Telephone at 1-800-772-1213
- In-Person at your local field office
Social Security will review your application and make sure that you meet the technical requirements in your application, such as income limits and work requirements. Upon approval, the application is sent to the Oklahoma Disability Determination Division under the Department of Rehabilitative Services, which handles the initial applications for social security and disability benefits. The DDD will check to make sure that you meet the medical qualifications for Disability. If the DDD decides that you cannot work based on your medical record, you will receive disability benefits. Compared to the national average, which is a 35% approval rate, initial applications in Oklahoma have a 29% approval rate.
Disability Determination Division
3535 N.W. 58th Street
Oklahoma City, OK
The SSA will require information about you and your disability. You will be expected to provide personal information such as your name, gender, social security number, date and place of birth, and citizenship status. For a full list of questions that you may be asked, visit https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-16.html.
Additionally, you may be expected to give documents showing:
- Birth certificate or proof of birth
- W-2 forms for the last year
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- US Military Discharge papers
- Adult Disability Report which will ask about your disabilities, such as your functional limitations, how your disability affects your ability to work, the contact information from your medical providers, lab and test results documenting your illness or disability, and the social security numbers and proof of age for family members who may also qualify for benefits
The appeals process comes in four stages: Reconsideration, Hearing, Appeals Council Review, and filing a District Court Case. If you are denied benefits during your initial application, it will be reviewed again by a claims examiner who is seeing your case for the first time. This is called Reconsideration. Before being reconsidered, you may add and modify your application. Oklahoma approval rates after reconsideration (the first appeal) drops to an 11% approval rate, and the national average drops to 13%.
If your application gets denied at any stage, the Office of Hearings Operations will handle the appeal hearings. These offices are in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and McAlester. If your application is denied after the reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), where you and other experts may testify on behalf of your application. However, after the hearing process (the second appeal) Oklahoma has a 58% approval rate, but the wait time is 16 months.
McAlester Hearing Office
524 S. 2nd Street
McAlester, OK 74501
Oklahoma City Hearing Office
301 N.W. 6th Street, Suite 300
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Tulsa Hearing Office
Eastgate Metroplex, Suite 500
14002 E. 21st Street
Tulsa, OK 74134
If your case fails at the hearing, you can ask the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council to review your case for a third chance. The Council can decide not to hear your appeal, but if they do, they can conduct a review, decide, or remand the claim back to the ALJ.
If you are still unsatisfied with the results of your application, the final step available is to file a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration. This is filed in a Federal District Court, and you can litigate by presenting evidence and testimony.
How Our Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help You
The lawyers at Cannon & Associates can help you file an application for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits and increase your chances of success. Additionally, if an individual receives a negative Social Security Administration ruling on the benefits, we can help appeal that ruling and fight to get your benefits. If that ruling gets reversed, we can also secure disability “backpay” after a wrongfully denied claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Help with a Social Security Disability Claim?
In order to get your benefits as soon as possible, you need to file your claim in a complete and accurate manner, or else it will not be approved. Even when complete and accurate, however, many claims are still denied or insufficient. This is where our Social Security Disability attorneys can step in to help, to make the process less burdensome and make sure you have the strongest claim to receive as many of the benefits as you need.
Services our Disability Lawyers Provide
Our lawyers can help make the process of applying for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits easier by assisting in the following:
- Gathering documents related to your claim;
- Determining the strength of your claim by consulting with medical professionals who know what information is successful in an SSD and SSI application and who can give advice on how to strengthen it;
- Certifying your application is complete and accurate;
- Revising any errors and discrepancies that may harm your chances of being awarded benefits;
- Representing your claim on appeal if it has been denied, and providing fierce representation for your application’s reconsideration; and
- Fighting for the maximum value of your benefits.
The lawyers at Cannon & Associates are fierce advocates for every client and their rights. If you are concerned about your Social Security application, did not get the decision you want from the SSA, or just don’t want to deal with the complex process of applying on your own, we are here to help. Please contact us for any additional information.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys
Experience matters when you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma social security disability lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of disability law and social security disability. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for those in need of assistance obtaining social security disability and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight for your disability compensation. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at (405) 906-4051 for a free confidential case evaluation.