Sometimes you find yourself suffering an injury, illness, or disability that is beyond your control and limits your ability to work. If you find yourself in this situation, you have options for support, including Social Security disability income (SSDI) payments.
Not every disabled individual receives payments for Social Security disability in Oklahoma, but do not give up if you receive a Social Security disability denial.
If you are denied SSDI benefits, you can appeal.
Who Can Receive SSDI Payments?
If you have a disabling condition, you and certain qualifying family members can receive SSDI payments. Individuals with disabilities who are eligible to receive SSDI payments are those who:
- Have paid Social Security taxes out of their work income;
- Have worked long enough to earn 40 Social Security credits; and
- Are unable to work for at least one year because of a disability.
Typically, you have to have earned at least 20 of your Social Security credits within the last 10 years, and how much you need to have worked to earn credits changes on a yearly basis.
In 2021, every $1,470 of work income you earn is worth one credit. You cannot earn more than four credits in a year.
Receiving Social Security Disability in Oklahoma
If you live in Oklahoma, Social Security Disability eligibility partly depends on Oklahoma’s Disability Determination Services. You apply for SSDI through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
Once you gather the proper information and submit your SSDI application, the SSA reviews your application to evaluate your current work activities and determine whether you have enough Social Security credits to receive benefits.
After the SSA evaluates your work history, it forwards your application to the Oklahoma Disability Determination Services to determine if your disability qualifies for benefits. Some individuals receive SSDI benefits after an initial review of their application, and some do not.
Reasons for a Denial
On average, the SSA denies benefits to 81% of SSDI applicants after their initial application. The most common nonmedical reason for denial of benefits is that the disabled worker did not have enough recent Social Security credits to qualify.
If you are trying to apply for SSDI and you are unsure if you have enough Social Security credits, you should consult an experienced Social Security Disability attorney immediately. Depending on your age, you may still qualify for SSDI with fewer than 40 credits.
If you have enough Social Security credits to qualify for SSDI benefits, the SSA may still deny benefits to you for medical reasons. Medical reasons to deny SSDI benefits may include a determination that:
- Your impairment is not expected to last at least 12 months;
- Your impairment is not severe enough;
- You are still able to perform your usual work;
- You are able to perform another kind of work;
- Your impairment comes from substance abuse;
- You have not submitted enough medical information; or
- You refuse to comply with prescribed treatments.
If the SSA denies SSDI benefits to you for medical reasons, do not be discouraged. You have multiple options to appeal a denial, and an attorney can help you.
How to Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial
If the SSA denies you SSDI benefits, they send you a Social Security Disability denial letter. There are four levels of appeal following a denial:
- Request reconsideration of an initial denial;
- Request a hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ) regarding a determination made during reconsideration;
- Request a review by the Appeals Council regarding an ALJ’s decision; and
- Request that a federal court review a decision (or lack thereof) by the Appeals Council.
Normally, you have only 60 days from the date you receive a denial letter to make any kind of appeal. If you are struggling with a disability that limits your ability to work, you have enough to worry about in regard to supporting your household and maintaining your health.
While you handle your household, an experienced attorney can meet the deadlines for your appeals and present the best arguments to help you obtain benefits.
Find an Attorney to Fight for Your Livelihood and Comfort
At the Cottrell Law Office, we know that you need results in your SSDI case, and we are among the best at winning results for our clients. We have over 32 years of experience, and we strive to make your fight for benefits as painless as possible. Reach out to us online, or call us at 855-503-8140. We want to win for you.