There are fewer than one-million residents living in the State of Hawaii. Of these residents, approximately 2.8 percent receive monthly Social Security Disability payments from the Social Security Administration. Each and every year, the Hawaii Social Security offices receive more Social Security Disability claims to process, and many are denied.
The fact of the matter is that the Social Security Administration denies approximately 70 percent of the claims received each year. The reasons vary, but regardless of why a claim is denied, the end result is the same: the applicant either gives up hope of receiving the disability benefits or they go on to appeal the SSA's decision to deny their Social Security Disability payments.
In the state of Hawaii, the first stage of appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. When Hawaii Social Security Disability applicants file this request they will most likely again be denied benefits by the Social Security Administration. Statistics show that more than 80 percent of the reconsideration requests filed by disability applicants are not granted. In order for most disability applicants to be awarded the disability benefits they desperately need, they must appear before an Administrative Law Judge at a disability hearing. In the State of Hawaii, it can take more than a year for this hearing to be scheduled.
Why must Hawaii Social Security Disability applicants wait more than a year for a hearing in front of an ALJ? The reason is due to the backlog of disability claims going through the SSA's appeal process. The agency responsible for scheduling disability hearings is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area that you live in determines which ODAR office handles your disability hearing and how long you must wait for that hearing to be scheduled.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
The ODAR office located in Honolulu, Hawaii schedules the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Hilo, Honolulu, Kapolei, Lihue (Kauai) and Wailuku (Maui). It takes this office an average of 315 days to schedule a disability hearing for Hawaii Social Security Disability applicants.
Hiring a Hawaii Social Security Disability Attorney
The Social Security Disability claim process can be a lengthy and complicated one. It takes three to four months just to complete the initial stage of the application process. It then takes another three to four months to complete the first stage of disability appeals. This means that most Hawaii Social Security Disability applicants are already at least eight months into the process before requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Many Hawaii Social Security Disability applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid the exhausting disability appeal process. The good news is that there is a way to increase your chances of obtaining an approval at the initial stage of the application process.
If you wish to avoid the need for a disability appeal, you may want to consider retaining the services of a qualified Hawaii Social Security Disability lawyer. Your lawyer will work with you in the preparation of your disability claim, ensuring that the paperwork is filled out properly and that it is presented in the best light possible to the Social Security Administration. Your Hawaii Social Security Disability attorney will also work with you to gather the medical evidence that will be needed to support your disability application.
If, for some reason, your initial claim for disability benefits is denied, your Hawaii Social Security Disability attorney can represent you through the complex disability appeal process. While you are technically allowed to represent yourself throughout your appeal, statistics show that your chances of actually being awarded benefits as a result of this hearing are much greater with proper legal representation.
Fortunately, hiring a qualified Hawaii Social Security Disability attorney does not have to cause you any undue financial stress. These professionals work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back pay you are awarded by the Social Security Administration (up to a limit of $6,000). For example, if you are awarded $8,000 in disability back payments, your disability attorney would receive $2,000 of that amount. If you are awarded $40,000, your attorney would only receive $6,000 instead of the full 25 percent. If you do not win your disability case, your attorney does not receive any compensation. This ensures that your attorney will be doing everything in their power to win your disability case for you.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring a Hawaii Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.