Approximately half a million people make their homes in the State of South Dakota. Approximately 3.7 percent of these individuals receive monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In the coming year, the SSA will receive even more claims from South Dakota Social Security Disability applicants. Unfortunately, nearly 70 percent of the claims received by the Social SSA will be denied by the SSA. This leaves the majority of South Dakota Social Security Disability applicants in the position of having to file a disability appeal in order to obtain the benefits they need.
While there are indeed some South Dakota Social Security Disability applicants who are able to obtain their disability benefits in just a few short months and are granted approval during the initial application stage, most applicants will have to pursue two stages of appeals before receiving a payment from the SSA. The first stage of appeals is the Request for Reconsideration. Again, the majority of disability applicants are denied during this stage of the claim process. In fact, it has been estimated that fewer than 20 percent of reconsideration requests are granted by the SSA. The remaining applicants must go on to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The good news is that nearly two-thirds of applicants are awarded disability benefits as a result of this disability hearing. The bad news is that it can take a South Dakota Social Security Disability applicant more than a year to have this hearing scheduled.
The agency that handles the scheduling of Social Security Disability hearings is known as the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of South Dakota that you live in determines which ODAR office handles your disability case and the backlog of cases being handled by that office will determine how long you will have to wait before receiving your day in court. The ODAR offices that are responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for South Dakota Social Security Disability applicants are as follows:
- Rapid City, South Dakota
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The ODAR office in Rapid City, South Dakota is a satellite office of the ODAR office in Denver, Colorado. This office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Eagle Butte, Martin and Rapid City. It takes this office an average of 456 days to schedule a disability hearing for a South Dakota Social Security Disability applicant.
The ODAR office located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a satellite office for the ODAR office located in Fargo. This office schedules the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Aberdeen, Huron, Sisseton and Sioux Falls. It takes this office an average of thirteen months to schedule a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
Hiring a South Dakota Social Security Disability Attorney
In most cases, South Dakota Social Security Disability applicants will wait more than a year before being seen before an administrative law judge. Because of this, many of these applicants wonder if there is any possible way to avoid having to navigate the disability appeal process and bypass the wait for a disability hearing to be scheduled. In most cases, the only way to avoid a disability hearing is to have your application approved during the initial stage of the Social Security Disability claim process. Fortunately, the services of a qualified South Dakota Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
When you hire a South Dakota Social Security Disability lawyer, he or she will work with you to gather the medical evidence needed to prove your disability to the SSA and will assist in the preparation of your disability claim forms. This will increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision during the initial stage of the application process. If, for some reason, your application for benefits is not approved at this stage, your lawyer will then be able to guide you through the complex disability appeal process.
Many applicants wonder if it would be better to represent themselves during their disability appeal. The truth is that your chances of actually being awarded benefits are much greater with proper legal representation. Because these lawyers work on a contingency basis, it costs you nothing up front to retain these qualified legal services and doing so may mean the difference between being awarded disability benefits and denied during the most important stage of the disability appeal process.
If finances are your main concern, you will be happy to know that these lawyers will only collect a fee if you win your disability case. That fee is dependent upon how much back pay you are awarded by the SSA. Your South Dakota Social Security Disability attorney will receive either 25 percent of the back pay you are awarded by the SSA or $6,000 (whichever is less). If you do not win your disability case, you do not have to compensate your lawyer for the services received.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring a South Dakota Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.