Filing a Disability Claim in Iowa

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits make it possible for you to meet your daily living expenses if injury or illness leave you unable to work.

If you are living in Iowa at the time, you can file your disability claim at one of the state’s multiple field offices.

SSD is a federal assistance program, but applications are managed at the state level, and a state agency will process your claim after it’s been reviewed by your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office.

Where Can You File for SSD Benefits in Iowa?

The SSA divides the country into 10 sections, each one presided over by a regional office. Iowa is in Region 7, along with Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. It has 15 field offices. The regional office is located in Kansas City, Missouri.

When you’re filing a disability claim in Iowa, you can do so at your closest field office. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Des Moines and Omaha, Nebraska (which covers certain Iowa cities) will make the final decision on your application after the field office reviews it for technical accuracy (e.g., you meet the required income levels and work history).

Once you file your application, any questions about status, etc., should be directed to the DDS office.

Iowa Disability Statistics

T,p>he statistics below will give you an idea of what to expect with your Iowa disability claim in terms of processing time, wait time for a hearing, and more. This information covers the 09/26/2020 through 10/30/2020 period.

Average Processing Time (in days)

  • West Des Moines: 293 (serves most of the state)
  • Omaha: 235 (serves Carroll, Council Bluffs, Creston, and Sioux City)

Average Wait Time for Hearing (in months)

  • West Des Moines: 7
  • Omaha: 9

Hearings Held In-Person or Via Video

  • West Des Moines: In Person (163) Video (46) Total: 209
  • Omaha: In Person (131) Video (110) Total: 241
  • ODAR Office Approval Ratings

    (Indicates percentage of claims approved)

    • West Des Moines: 58%
    • Omaha: 48%

    Appealing Denied Social Security Disability Benefits in Iowa

    The Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) office in West Des Moines, which helps the SSA determine whether or not you qualify for benefits, processes an average of 40,000 claims per year.

    If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, there is still hope. An estimated 60% of all applicants are denied the first time around, so you’re actually in the majority.

    While every claimant’s case is unique, common reasons for denial include:

    • Documents missing from the application package
    • Errors on the application form and other documentation
    • You or the field office miscalculated your income

    The initial approval rate for disability applications in the state is 39%, which is higher than the national average of 35% per year.

    However, this also means that 61% of SD claims are initially denied in Iowa and, in many cases, the denial may have nothing to do with your actual medical condition.

    This is why the SSA has an appeals process in place- to ensure fairness in the final disposition of your case.

    If this happens to you, the law gives you up to 60 days to appeal a denied disability claim in Iowa.

    It is critical that you file your appeal within this time frame- otherwise you risk losing your chance to get the benefits you need.

    Of those who request reconsideration in Iowa, only 9% are approved, which is below the national average of 13%. However, at the hearing stage, your chances of being approved are 55%, which is higher than the national average of 45%.

    You also don’t have to wait as long for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): in Iowa, the average wait time is around 15 months.

    Help Filing for Disability Benefits in Iowa

    Are you preparing to file a disability claim in Iowa or appeal a denial? If so, your best course of action is to retain an Iowa disability benefits lawyer who will ensure that you have all the necessary medical evidence and your application contains all the information the SSA needs to make a disability determination.

    If an appeal is necessary, your SSD attorney can represent you at all hearings and make sure that your rights are protected. To learn more about how legal counsel can make a difference in the success of your claim, get a free case evaluation today.

    Additional Resources