If you live in the state of Utah, you may apply for Social Security disability benefits in that state. Most states offer disability benefits to applicants who are eligible. However, the decision may take some time as all applicants should be able to meet the requirements laid down in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book listings before their social security benefits claim will be accepted.
If your disability fails to match a listing the SSA you may be asked to undertake a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment conducted by your physician. This decides if your physical and mental abilities are sufficient for you to go to work.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Utah
The Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices in Utah make the decisions regarding disability benefits claims based on the following information made available to them:
- the applicant’s personal statement concerning the constraints of their disability;
- the applicant’s current status and medical records;
- medical and psychological evidence which the applicant’s doctor has provided;,
- an ongoing disability review.
Initial claims typically take 30 to 90 days to process so, if your initial claim is approved, the decision will have been made in 90 days. However, if your claim isn’t approved you will have to go through the often lengthy appeals process.
In Utah, as in other states, in order to qualify for a social security disability benefit (SSDI) program, you must have worked a precise number of years in a job where you paid Social Security taxes (FICA) and have built up enough work credits. If you haven't worked for long enough once you become disabled, and your income and assets are below a certain threshold you may find you are entitled to submit an application for supplemental security income (SSI) instead.
Utah Social Security Field Offices
There are 5 Social Security Field Offices in Utah, 1 Disability Determination Service (DDS), and 1 place where hearings are heard.
The local offices can be found in the following cities:
- Saint George,
- Salt Lake City,
- South Jordan.
The DDS office is located in Salt Lake City.
Utah Disability Statistics
According to the Utah Department of Public Health, almost 1 out of 5 Utah residents live with a disability. Utah beneficiaries receive $426 million in disability benefits every year.
In Utah, the success rate for winning a disability benefits claim is shown below.
- At the first application stage, 38 percent of Utah residents are approved which is higher than the national average of 35 percent.
- At the 1st appeal stage, reconsideration stage, (the first level of appeal), being approved for disability benefits is about 10 percent.
- At the appeals hearing stage 53 percent of applicants are approved compared to 45 percent nationally. The wait period for a Social Security hearing date in Utah is on average 16 months compared to 18 months nationally.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Decision in Utah
In Utah, the SSA allows those disability benefits applicants who have had their claim denied to apply for reconsideration of a claim as the first stage of the appeals process. If the reconsideration of a case is rejected then an appeal may be granted and this is when the case is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ). So if you were recently denied Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Utah you may request an appeal. Generally, you are given 60 days after receiving the decision notice to lodge the appeal.
The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) undertakes social security disability (SSD) hearings and supplemental security income (SSI) hearings in one office in Utah. At the moment in Utah, the average wait time for a SSDI or SSI hearing is twelve months. The average processing time in Utah for a hearing is 459 days. The average in Utah for winning a disability hearing is 40 percent.
Help Filing for Disability Benefits in Utah
It is not a simple procedure filing for disability benefits in Utah as there are so many features of your disability claim that have to be approved before you are granted any disability benefits. A disability lawyer may be able to help you win your disability benefits entitlements in Utah and can try to win a disability claim on your behalf so that an appeal can be avoided. However, if your claim is denied at the 1st stage and you file an appeal the disability lawyer can work hard to win an appeal in this often-long process so that you get the disability benefits you deserve.
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