Suffering a disabling illness or injury has kept you out of work for at least one year. The lack of income combined with rapidly rising medical bills has put you on the brink of financial collapse. Do you have anywhere to turn for financial assistance?
The answer is yes by filing a disability claim in Montana. Under a safety net program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Montana disability benefits go to residents that can demonstrate an illness or injury has prevented them from working their most recent job. Montana disability benefits take care of most expenses, including the costs associated with daily living purchases.
Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits in Montana
Receiving disability benefits in Montana requires you to submit a convincing claim that includes copies of your medical records. Documents such as the results of diagnostic tests can make the difference between gaining approval for a claim and having to go through the appeals process.
A written statement from your employer can help persuade the team of medical examiners from the SSA that your injury or illness has caused you to miss a substantial amount of time at work. You must accurately complete every section of the application for the SSA to consider your claim. Incomplete and/or inaccurate information can lead to a dismissed Social Security disability denied claim in Montana.
After gathering and organizing medical documentation, the next step in the claim process is to submit your claim to the SSA. Montana is home to nine SSA field offices that accept Social Security disability claims.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the nine Montana SSA field offices accepted in-person claims. As of May 2021, most of the nine field offices remain closed or have recently opened while operating under a limited schedule.
Montana Disability Benefits Claim Statistics
Filing a disability claim in Montana more often than not ends up with a denied claim. This is true in every other state in the nation. Thirty-seven percent of applicants receive approval for financial assistance, which is close to the national average for approved Social Security disability claims.
Approval for the first stage of the appeals process sits on average at 18 percent, which is five percentage points higher than the national average. If you take your appeal to the second stage of the process, you have a 45% of getting the appeal approved by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The start of an ALJ hearing for denied disability benefits in Montana takes an average of 15 months.
Reversing a Social Security Disability Denied Claim
A denied disability in Montana claim is not the end of the world. The SSA has established a four-step process that gives claimants the opportunity to receive financial assistance after having an initial claim denied by the SSA. As the first step of the process, an appeal for reconsideration goes through the same channels as the channels your initial application went through.
A different team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your appeal for reconsideration. If you submit the same documentation with your appeal for reconsideration that you submitted with the initial application, you can expect the SSA to deny your appeal. You need to collect and organize additional medical evidence that persuades the SSA to green light your appeal and award you financial assistance.
The second step in the Montana disability benefits appeal process is taking your case in front of an ALJ. As a legal proceeding that takes place in front of an objective judge, an ALJ hearing allows you to argue your case.
You also have the chance to call medical experts to the stand that can confirm the severity of your illness or injury and support your claim that you can no longer complete basic job functions. One of the keys to gaining approval for financial assistance from an ALJ is to hire a Social Security attorney.
Working with a Social Security Lawyer
A Social Security attorney is not just there for you when your appeal reaches the second step of the process. Your lawyer can help you prepare a compelling initial claim that gets you the money that you deserve.
In addition to helping your gather medical evidence, your attorney also ensures that you file an appeal for a denied claim within 60 days of you receiving a denial letter from the SSA.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with a Social Security lawyer to determine the strength of your disability benefits claim.