Quite a few disability applicants go into the claim process believing that being awarded disability benefits is merely a matter of submitting an application and waiting for approval. The truth is that the Social Security Disability claim process is usually much more complicated than most applicants expect. In the State of Montana a mere 34.8 percent of initial applications are actually approved by the Social Security Administration.
The 65.2 percent of applicants who are denied benefits must appear before an Administrative Law Judge in order to appeal the denial of their benefits. This is what is referred to as a disability hearing.
A disability hearing takes place at your local ODAR office (also referred to as the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). In the State of Montana there is only one ODAR office. This office is located in the City of Billings. Because only one office handles the claims for the entire state, there is quite an extensive waiting period before a hearing is scheduled. The average processing time for this office is 351 days.
The table below outlines the approval rates and processing times for the ODAR office in the State of Montana versus the national averages.
|Hearing Office||Approval Rate||Processing Time in Days|
There are currently seven Administrative Law Judges who are responsible for hearing the cases of Montana Social Security Disability applicants. When attending a disability hearing it is important that you utilize the services of a Social Security Disability attorney. A disability attorney in your area will be familiar with the different Administrative Law Judges in the Billings ODAR office and will know what your judge will need to see in order to award your disability claim.
While some applicants try to represent themselves at their disability hearings, statistics have proven that applicants are more successful when they attend their hearing with proper legal representation. If you want the best chances of being awarded benefits from the Social Security Administration, it is crucial that you retain the services of a Montana Social Security Disability lawyer.
If you would like a free consultation with a disability attorney in Montana, please fill out the free evaluation form provided on this site. The initial consultation with a disability attorney is always free and your attorney will work on a contingency basis and will not collect any fees unless you are awarded disability benefits by the Social Security Administration.