There are almost half a million residents living in the State of Alaska. Of these residents, approximately 2.6 percent receive monthly disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This year alone, there will be hundreds of more Alaska Social Security Disability applicants pouring into the Social Security system. According to statistics, the SSA denies nearly 70 percent of the claims that are received each year. These denied applicants must then pursue the lengthy and complex disability appeal process in order to obtain the disability benefits they so desperately need.
In the State of Alaska, the first stage of the disability appeal process is called a Request for Reconsideration. More than 80 percent of these appeals are also denied by the SSA. In order to obtain the disability benefits they are rightfully entitled to, most Alaska Social Security Disability applicants must go on to request a disability hearing before an administrative law judge, which is the second stage of the disability appeal process.
While nearly two-thirds of disability appeals are won at the hearing stage of the disability appeal process, it can take Alaska residents more than one year to obtain a date in court. In fact, it takes an Alaska Social Security Disability applicant an average of sixteen months to be scheduled for a disability hearing.
The reason for the extensive wait times in the State of Alaska has to do with the backlog of disability appeals being processed by the SSA. The agency that is in charge of scheduling the disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of the nation that you live in determines which ODAR office handles your disability case.
The ODAR office in charge of scheduling the disability hearings for Alaska Social Security Disability applicants is the ODAR office located in Anchorage, Alaska. This ODAR office handles the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan. It takes this office an average of sixteen months to schedule a hearing for an Alaska Social Security Disability applicant.
Hiring an Alaska Social Security Disability Attorney
When an Alaska Social Security Disability applicant files an initial disability claim, it takes three to four months to be advised as to the outcome of the claim. If the initial disability claim is denied, the Request for Reconsideration appeal must be completed as the first stage of disability appeals. This process takes another three to four months to complete. This means that most Alaska Social Security Disability applicants are already eight months into the claim process before requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. It then takes another sixteen months to be scheduled for the disability hearing and another 45 to 90 days to be notified as to whether or not you will be awarded benefits as a result of your hearing in front of the administrative law judge. This means that some Alaska Social Security Disability applicants wait two years or more before being awarded the benefits they need to pay their bills and put food on the table.
Many Alaska Social Security Disability applicants wonder if there is any way to bypass the disability appeal process and obtain disability benefits more quickly. In some cases, the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney may be able to help accomplish this goal.
When you work with an Alaska Social Security Disability lawyer, the professional you hire will work with you in the preparation of your disability claim. He or she will ensure that your claim forms are filled out properly and that your application is presented to the SSA in the best light possible. Your lawyer will also help you gather the medical evidence that will be needed to prove your disability claim to the SSA.
Fortunately, hiring a qualified Alaska Social Security Disability lawyer doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, it doesn't have to cause any financial hardship at all. Most of these lawyers work on a contingency basis, collecting either 25 percent of the back pay that you are awarded by the SSA or $6,000 (whichever is less). If you do not win your disability case, your attorney receives no compensation. Not only does this mean that you can afford the best legal services available for your disability claim, but it also means that your Alaska Social Security Disability attorney has a personal interest in representing you to the best of his or her ability.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring an Alaska Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.