Each year millions of Americans submit claims for disability benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA). In Idaho, approximately four percent of the population receives monthly Social Security Disability payments. Thousands more will apply for disability benefits in Idaho this year and an overwhelming 70 percent of these claims will be denied if history is any indication of future approval rates. These applicants must then pursue the lengthy and complicated disability appeal process in order to obtain the benefits they may truly be entitled to.
The first step of the disability appeal process for an Idaho Social Security Disability applicant is called a Request for Reconsideration. Unfortunately, fewer than 20 percent of applicants will be awarded benefits as a result of this stage of appeals. The majority of Idaho Social Security Disability applicants who hope to obtain disability benefits from the SSA must appear before an administrative law judge during the second stage of the appeal process.
The majority of Idaho Social Security Disability applicants must wait more than a year before being scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Once you have had your case heard in court, it can take another 45 to 90 days to receive notice regarding whether or not the judge hearing your case has decided in your favor. For some Idaho Social Security Disability applicants, it can take more than two years to receive their first disability payment because of these extensive wait times.
Many disability applicants do not understand why it takes so long to obtain a hearing before an administrative law judge. While the reasons vary, the primary factor for the extensive wait times is the backlog of cases waiting to be heard. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review is the Social Security Agency in charge of scheduling the hearings for disability applicants. The backlog of the ODAR office managing your case is what determines how long it takes for your hearing to be scheduled. The ODAR offices that schedule the disability hearings for Idaho Social Security Disability applicants are as follows:
- Spokane, Washington
This office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Idaho Social Security field offices in Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston. It takes this office an average of 480 days to schedule a hearing for an Idaho Social Security Disability applicant.
Hiring an Idaho Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits in the State of Idaho, you are more likely to be approved for benefits during the initial stage of the application process if you work with a qualified Idaho Social Security Disability lawyer. This professional will help you prepare your disability application so that it may be presented in the best light possible to the SSA. Your Idaho Social Security Disability attorney will also assist you in gathering the medical evidence needed to support your disability claim.
Working with a qualified Idaho Social Security Disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining an approval of your disability claim at the initial stage of the application process. If, for some reason, your application is still denied, your attorney can represent you through the complexities of the disability appeal process.
The first stage of appeal for Idaho Social Security Disability applicants, as mentioned earlier, is a Request for Reconsideration. Unfortunately, most of these requests are not granted by the SSA. The stage of appeal that you and your lawyer will be focused on is the disability hearing. Your attorney will work with you to prepare you for this hearing and will ensure that the hearing is handled as smoothly as possible. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of disability applicants are awarded benefits as a result of this hearing and your chances of being among them are significantly increased with proper legal representation.
If hiring an Idaho Social Security lawyer is so important, why don't more people do it? Many people are afraid that they will not be able to afford the services of qualified legal representation. The truth is, Social Security lawyers work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back pay you are awarded by the SSA (not to exceed $6,000). For example, if you are awarded $10,000 in back payments from the SSA, your lawyer would receive $2,500 of that amount. If you are awarded $30,000, your lawyer would only receive a total of $6,000 of your back payment. If you do not win your case, your lawyer does not get paid. This gives your attorney a personal interest in representing you to the best of his or her ability and winning your disability case for you.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring an Idaho Social Security Disability attorney and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.