Spokane is the second largest city in the state of Washington, behind Seattle. As of 2010, its population is just under 209,000. Located in the westernmost part of Washington, it is the principle city in a section of the country known as the “Inland Northwest.”
The city is a model for demonstrating the ability to remain flexible through changing economic times. Originally a mining center, it has adapted to include several modern businesses and industries. While mining is still important to the region, Spokane is home to several companies in biotechnology and other high tech fields.
Spokane’s economy is diverse for a city of its size. In addition to mining and high tech industries, Spokane’s economy is bolstered by forestry, local agriculture, metal refining and fabrication, manufacture of wood products, brewing and food processing. As with most large cities, retail and service industries also employ many of the area residents.
The largest employers in the Spokane area include the US Air Force (Fairchild AFB is nearby), F5 Networks, Cisco, Itron, Kaiser Aluminum, Goodrich, Triumph Composite Systems, and Telect. Local hospitals, health clinics, and schools are also amongst major employers in the area.
Spokane boasts better than average educational levels, with 88% percent of working age adults possessing a high school diploma and over 25% possessing a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Over 9% have graduate level degrees.
Unfortunately, Spokane also has higher than average instances of disability, with over 21% of the population reporting some sort of disability. Due to the abundance of white collar and high tech work available in the area, however, many disabled persons are able to find suitable employment. Nearly 80% of disabled people in the Spokane area are gainfully employed.
For those whose disabilities preclude them from being able to do any meaningful work, Social Security disability benefits are an option. To qualify for disability benefits through the SSA, you must be able to prove that you are completely incapable of performing any kind of substantial gainful activity, which is available anywhere in the country to a person of your education level and physical/mental abilities.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be time consuming. In most cases, it takes at least three months to receive an answer. Often, it takes six months or longer. Over two thirds of all claims are denied, often because of lack of adequate medical evidence or improperly filled out paperwork.
Those who are denied may elect to go through an appeals process. There are several steps to the appeals process including a request for reconsideration, a disability hearing and an Appeals Council Review.
Apply for Spokane Social Security Disability Benefits
To give your claim the best chances of being approved, consult a Spokane Social Security disability attorney. While being represented by a Spokane disability lawyer does not guarantee that your claim will be approved, the chances of a disability claim being accepted are greatly improved.
Most claimants have very little experience dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s bureaucracy. A Spokane Social Security disability attorney who understands the system will help level the playing field, thus significantly improving the odds that a claim or appeal will be approved.
Many claimants shy away from hiring a disability lawyer because of the mistaken notion that they can’t afford it. After all, when you’re disabled and have little or no income, how can you pay for a lawyer?
The truth is that SSA regulations don’t allow Spokane Social Security lawyers to charge you a fee unless your benefits are awarded. When your benefits are approved, your Social Security attorney collects his fees as a percentage of the back pay which is owed to you. In no case will his fees exceed 25% of your back pay. You will not have to pay anything to your lawyer out of your ongoing benefit payments.
The first two things most claimants should do are to go to the nearest SSA office and notify them of their intent to file and contact a Spokane disability lawyer. Local SSA offices can be found at:
Spokane Social Security Disability
714 North Iron Bridge Way Suite 100
Spokane, WA 99202
Spokane Social Security Disability Resources
When claiming disability, it is important that you are under a physician’s care. Medical records form a significant portion of the evidence you will need to provide to show the SSA that you are completely disabled. Failure to receive medical care or to follow doctor’s instructions can result in your benefits being delayed or denied.
If you are in the unfortunate position of needing medical attention for your disability but being unable to afford it, you are not alone. For most who lack major medical insurance, the best way to continue medical treatment is to utilize free or reduced cost health clinics. Some health clinics you may consider in the Spokane area include:
CHAS Denny Murphy Medical Clinic
1001 W 2nd Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Spokane Falls Medical Clinic
120 W. Mission Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Community Health Association of Spokane
3919 N. Maple St.
Spokane, WA 99205
Your Spokane Disability Claim
While many disabled Spokane residents choose to make a disability without representation, statistics show that most unrepresented claims are denied. You can seek the help of a Spokane Social Security disability lawyer at any point in the claims and appeals process, but in most cases it’s best to be represented from the beginning of the claims process.
Click here for a free evaluation of your disability claim by an attorney or advocate in your area.