Sometimes it can seem as if obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is a matter of persistence and tenacity, and statistics regarding SSD benefits approval in Oklahoma certainly support that feeling. Nationally, the denial rate of initial disability claims is approximately 65 percent, and in Oklahoma, a claimant’s chance of approval is even lower. Only 28.6 percent of Oklahomans are approved for benefits at the initial application, compared with 32.1 percent as a national average. This means that nearly three-quarters of all SSD applicants in the state are first denied benefits and must continue through a process of reconsideration requests and appeals if they ever wish to obtain the disability benefits they need. Even after a request for reconsideration, fewer than 10 percent of Oklahomans are granted benefits, which again, is lower than the national average of 11.3 percent.
If you are denied benefits, what can you do? There are three options when you receive a denial notice from the Social Security Administration:
- Give up and resign yourself to trying to support your family without needed income benefits.
- Start the application process over, and go back into the pool of the nearly 75 percent of claimants who will be denied. Again.
- File a request for reconsideration within 60 days from the date of your denial letter.
Clearly, the first two options will not provide you with the results you want or the benefits you need. Filing a request for reconsideration will allow you the opportunity to move through the disability application process and will maximize your potential for ultimately obtaining approval.
Though more than 90 percent of reconsideration requests are still denied, a disability hearing has more promising results. At this stage, more than half of appeals are granted, and the approval rate is even higher for claimants represented by an Oklahoma Social Security Disability lawyer.
The initial application is reviewed and approved or denied by the state Disability Determination Division (DDD), a part of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. The Oklahoma Office of Disability Determination Services is located in Oklahoma City.
Disability hearings are conducted by the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). There are three Oklahoma ODAR locations serving the state:
- Oklahoma City – serving Ardmore, Chickasha, Clinton, Duncan, Enid, Lawton, Moore, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Shawnee
- McAlester – serving Ada, Durant, Hugo, and McAlester
- Tulsa – serving Bartlesville, Miami, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Poteau, Stillwater, Tulsa
Whether you are just beginning your disability application or whether you have already received a notice of denial from the Social Security Administration, having a disability lawyer on your side can smooth the process and boost your chances for gaining approval as quickly as possible. Contact attorney J. Patrick Quillian for a free consultation or visit OklahomaCityLegalGroup.com to submit a confidential case evaluation form.