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New Online Appeals Process Aims to Streamline Social Security Disability Denial Appeals Process

by Keith Adkins

Considering more than half of all initial Social Security Disability claims are denied, it comes as no surprise that getting these benefits can be a long and arduous process. It seems as though a new process in filing appeals of a Social Security Disability denial is helping to relieve these wait times though.

The Social Security Administration has begun to use an online system that allows applicants to file an appeal of the agency’s decisions. According to an article from the Las Cruces Sun-News, as many as 90,000 applicants are using the online portal per month.

The system was introduced in 2007, but problems led to the system being underused. Those issues have been addressed in order to streamline the appeals process. Now, users can more easily navigate the system and are less frequently asked for duplicate information. You can also submit documents that support your case with your appeals request. Reports indicate that workers living outside the United States are also now able to access the system to file an appeal.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys understand the frustrations that can accompany a Social Security Disability denial. That’s why we’re hopeful the revamped online appeals system will make the process of filing an appeal easier on disabled workers in the United States.

 

Three Common Reasons for a Social Security Disability Denial

by Keith Adkins

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance to millions of Americans who are permanently unable to return work because of an illness or injury; however, it’s important to know that getting these Social Security Disability benefits can often be a complicated and arduous process. In fact, a Social Security Disability denial is issued to as many as 65 percent of initial claims the SSA receives.

Getting a rejection in response to your claim may leave you wondering, “Why was I denied?” At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, our legal staff explains there are three common reasons a denial is given and they include:

  • Lack of Work Credits- In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have first worked enough and paid enough into the system. Typically, an individual must have 40 work credits to qualify for benefits. The SSA says that in 2015, workers will receive one credit for every $1,220 in earnings they bring in. A worker can only earn four credits per year as well. In order to qualify for disability, an individual must have earned 20 credits in the last ten years. The only exception to this rule is if the claimant is less than 31 years old.
  • Earning too Much Income- Another reason many workers are denied is because either they make too much money or their combined income with a spouse is too high. Disability recipients were only recently approved to have more than $2,000 in assets to their name.
  • Your Condition Doesn’t Qualify As Disabling- The Social Security Administration uses a series of five questions to determine your disability level. If you aren’t found to meet these requirements, your claim may be denied

If you’ve had your Social Security Disability claim denied, our Social Security Disability lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys would like to remind you there’s still hope for your claim through the appeals process. It may be wise to discuss your claim with a qualified attorney before beginning to appeal your claim though. Doing so will help ensure you have all the information and evidence that is needed for a successful filing.

Social Security Disability Benefit Payments Expected to Rise Next Year

by Keith Adkins

Making ends meet on Social Security Disability benefits can be a struggle. Payments may only be a fraction of the income an individual is used to, but must still be used to pay the same bills they did while they were working and before they were disabled. That’s why many of the nearly 70 million recipients from the program were relieved to find out their benefit payments will be increasing slightly next year.

An article from News 9 explains the Social Security Administration’s Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for 2015 is set to boost benefit payments by 1.7 percent. The COLA is an adjustment to the total benefits each disabled or retired American gets each month and is based off of fluctuations in the costs of goods and services that are necessary for everyday living. Those changes in cost are then plugged into an equation that is used to determine the percentage increase each individual should receive.

The increases will be seen beginning with January payments and will provide an estimated extra $20 per month to beneficiaries.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we understand the difficulties many disabled individuals face with covering the costs of everyday living. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are hopeful this year’s COLA will help relieve the pressure a lack of income resources can pose to the disabled.

New Social Security Office Opens in Oklahoma County

by Keith Adkins

When a person is left permanently unable to return to work because of an injury or illness, they may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits; however, problems can arise when beneficiaries don’t have access to information about the programs and services they are entitled to.

This problem shouldn’t be an issue for Social Security Disability recipients in Oklahoma County soon enough, as a new Social Security office opened earlier this week. According to an article from OK News, the facility opened this past Monday on North Kelley Avenue. It will be open on weekdays from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M., except Wednesdays when the facility will close at noon.

To make getting to the office easier for those in Canadian, Kingfisher, and Logan counties, free transportation will be provided as well. The route has changed though, and developers have set aside funds to create new route maps for bus users.

While the new facility will offer locals a better way to discuss and examine their benefits in a face-to-face environment, the processes for being approved for these benefits can be quite complicated and speaking with an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer may prove to be beneficial.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we have a team of lawyers who are available to answer your questions about your disability benefits. So if you’re disabled and in need of resources for income, feel free to give us a call at (877) 579-6800 to learn more about what we can do for you.

Oklahoma City Social Security Office Moving to New Location

by Staff

Getting what you need from the Social Security Administration can be difficult enough without the added obstacles associated with navigating to the office’s location. That’s why our team of Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys want to make you aware that the Oklahoma City Social Security office has moved.

According to KOCO News, the new office is located at 12301 N. Kelley Avenue, on the east side of U.S. 77, and will be open beginning on September 15. The new facility will feature free public parking and will also be handicap accessible.

The move means operations will be limited for several days. Beginning September 11, new claims processing will be halted and transactions will be limited until September 14.

If you wish to find a more efficient way to handle your Social Security needs, there are several options available. One solution is to hire a Social Security Disability attorney if you are considering applying for benefits or for an appeal of a decision that was reached in your case. Doing so will not only help to streamline the processes and documentation for you, but will also help to ensure all of your legal questions and concerns are addressed. You can also utilize online services to obtain information and submit documents to the SSA during the time of the move.

We at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys hope this information helps you in your quest for benefits.

Veterans to Receive Expedited Processing of Social Security Disability Claims

by Staff

Soldiers who are left unable to perform their job duties due to injuries or condition related to their military service are not only entitled to health care through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), but they may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits. A lack of communication and cooperation between these two organizations has led to numerous reports of soldiers and veterans struggling to get the benefits they are entitled to.

In an effort to correct this problem, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that many veterans who are deemed disabled may be entitled to receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. Officials stated that veterans who are classified 100 percent disabled by the VA will be able to take part in the streamlined approval process.

While having a claim placed into the expedited claims process does not guarantee a claims approval, it will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for decisions in these cases to be reached.

Estimates show that hundreds of thousands of veterans are expected to benefit from the move.

The Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers applaud the efforts being made to get veterans the benefits they are rightfully entitled to, and are hopeful the new approval process is a success!

Oklahoma Records a Rise in Social Security Disability Claims

by Staff

Data shows that the number of Oklahomans receiving Social Security Disability Benefits has continued to rise in recent years. In fact, the number of recipients has swelled by as much as 73 percent in the past decade. An article published by The Oklahoman examined these gains, potential reasons for the increase, and what effects they may have on present and future recipients.

According to the most recent tally, a total of 187,000 Oklahomans are receiving Social Security Disability. Some counties in the state have as many as 15 percent of the working-age population receiving benefits from the program.

Some experts are attributing the rise in claim numbers to the deteriorating health of baby boomers who have not reached the age of retirement yet. Other reasons include changes to law that allowed citizens to receive the benefits for certain mental disorders and a growing number of women who entered the workforce in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The growing number of claims has put a strain on the system that may result in cuts to the program.

The Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers recognize that an increased volume of recipients coupled with budgetary issues could make it more difficult than ever before for a person applying for Social Security Disability benefits to receive an approval. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your legal options with an attorney.