Minnesota is home to more than three million residents, of which approximately 3.4 percent receive Social Security Disability benefits. Thousands of Minnesota residents will file new Social Security Disability claims this year. If history is any indication of future approval rates, more than half of these applications will be denied. The Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants who are not awarded benefits during the initial stage of the application process will need to go on to file an appeal in order to obtain the benefits they may be entitled to. The first stage of the appeal process is called a Request for Reconsideration. In the State of Minnesota, fewer than fifteen percent of reconsideration requests are granted by the Social Security Administration. Does this mean that fewer than half of the Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants will ever obtain the benefits they desperately need? No, but it does mean that most applicants will have to appear before an Administrative Law Judge at a disability hearing in order to overturn the SSA's decision to deny their disability claim.
The good news is that nearly two-thirds of Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants are awarded benefits at the hearing stage of the disability appeal process. Unfortunately, obtaining a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is not something that happens overnight. In the State of Minnesota, it takes more than a year to obtain a date for a disability hearing. It then takes another two to three months for applicants to find out whether or not the hearing was decided in their favor.
What takes so long for Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants to be scheduled for a disability hearing? The extensive wait times are due to the significant backlog of disability claims awaiting a hearing date in front of an ALJ. The SSA's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is the agency responsible for scheduling disability hearings for the Social Security Administration. The area that you live in determines which ODAR office handles your disability case, and thereby determines just how long you will have to wait for your hearing to be scheduled.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
The ODAR office that schedules the hearings for Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Austin, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Duluth, Edina, Fairmont, Hibbing, Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Winona. It takes this office an average of 534 days to schedule a disability hearing for Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants.
Hiring a Minnesota Social Security Disability Attorney
While the initial application process only takes Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants an average of three months to complete, the majority of applicants are not approved for disability benefits without an appeal. Because of this, it takes most Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants more than a year to see their first disability payment from the Social Security Administration.
Many applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid the lengthy and complicated disability appeal process. In order to avoid a disability appeal, you must be approved for benefits during the initial stage of the application process. While this will not be possible for every disability applicant, some claimants may be able to avoid an appeal by retaining the services of a qualified Minnesota Social Security Disability attorney.
When you hire a Minnesota Social Security Disability attorney, your lawyer will work with you in the preparation of your disability claim. They will ensure that your application for disability benefits are filled out properly and that you have all of the medical evidence needed to support your claim for disability benefits. If, for some reason, your claim for benefits is denied, your Minnesota Social Security Disability lawyer will be able to help you through the disability appeal process, increasing your chances of filing a successful appeal with the Social Security Administration.
While you are allowed to represent yourself in your disability appeal, your chances of successfully obtaining disability benefits are significantly increased with proper legal representation. Statistics show that Minnesota Social Security Disability applicants who retain the services of a disability attorney are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.
If you have not yet applied for Social Security Disability benefits, consider hiring a Minnesota Social Security Disability attorney before doing so. The advice and guidance of a qualified disability attorney may help you to avoid the stress and complication of a lengthy disability appeal. If you have already been denied at the initial stage of the application process, you should consult with a Minnesota Social Security Disability lawyer as soon as possible if you want to increase your chances of successfully appealing the SSA's decision to deny your disability claim.
If you would like to learn more about hiring a Minnesota Social Security Disability attorney, click here to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.