Suffering a serious illness or injury can turn into a life-altering experience. The inability to work creates a huge gap in finances that coupled with rapidly rising medical bills, can put you in severe financial duress.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) runs a safety net program that helps sick and injured workers return to work with a clean bill of financial health.
Filing a disability claim in North Dakota follows many of the same procedures established by other states. With most claims coming back denied by the SSA, you should prepare for the filing of an appeal for reconsideration and possibly a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits in North Dakota
The answer to the question “How to file for Social Security disability benefits in North Dakota” should start with what you need to submit with your claim.
A team of medical examiners from the SSA refers to a guide called the Blue Book to determine whether you are eligible to receive financial assistance. The Blue Book not only lists eligible medical conditions, but it also establishes the severity of symptoms that are required to get a North Dakota disability benefits claim approved by the SSA.
Like other states, North Dakota residents have three options when it comes to filing a disability claim. You can access the claim form online by visiting ssa.gov. During the Coronavirus pandemic, filing a claim online has become the most popular method for filing a disability benefits in North Dakota claim.
Finally, you can visit one of the seven Social Security Field Offices located in North Dakota. Make sure the field office located the closest to where you live is accepting walk-in claim filings.
North Dakota Disability Benefits Claim Statistics
Residents of North Dakota go through the claim process a little bit quicker than the national average. The average claim processing time in North Dakota is 395 days, while North Dakota residents wait an average of 12 months before their hearings start. Forty-two of all cases in North Dakota receive approval and 40 percent come back denied by the SSA. The claim approval rate is under the national average. Outright case dismissals in North Dakota sit at 18 percent.
Reversing a Social Security Disability Denied Claim
Reversing a Social Security disability denied claim starts by filing an appeal for reconsideration. The first step of the appeals process is similar to the process used by the SSA to review your initial claim. A team of medical examiners once again reviews the medical evidence to determine whether you qualify for financial assistance.
Like initial claims, most appeals for reconsideration are denied by the SSA. However, there is a way to bolster the medical evidence that you submit for the appeal for reconsideration.
Whether the SSA requests it or your Social Security attorney suggests it, you can undergo a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment before filing your appeal for reconsideration. Conducted by a physician employed by the SSA, an RFC can demonstrate your inability to continue working while recovering from a serious injury or illness.
For example, if you suffer from heart disease, the physician conducting your RFC assessment might put you through a couple of aerobic exercises to measure your stamina. An RFC assessment can make the difference between moving on in the appeals process or having your appeal for reconsideration approved by the SSA.
If the SSA denies your appeal for reconsideration, then you take your case in front of an ALJ. During the ALJ hearing, you have the opportunity to present more evidence that can lead to an overturning of the previous decisions made by the SSA. Your ALJ hearing takes place at the Office of Disability Adjudication Review (ODAR), which is located in Fargo at 655 1st Avenue N #150.
Getting Help Filing a Disability Claim in Idaho
Getting a North Dakota disability benefits appeal approved requires you to work with a Social Security lawyer. A Social Security attorney is an especially important legal support system during the appeals process.
Your lawyer represents you during the ALJ hearing by calling witnesses to the stand, as well as highlighting the convincing medical evidence that can help you win an appeal.