If you are applying to receive social security disability benefits in Maine, you should know from the start that most initial disability claims are denied. In Maine, more than 70% of initial disability claims are denied compared with 67.8% nationally. Many applicants who are denied benefits in their initial claim will choose to submit their case for reconsideration. Less than 12% of the disability cases that go up for reconsideration in Maine are awarded. Of those that are denied, there is yet another opportunity to finally win your social security disability case by having it heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ) at a local ODAR or hearing office. The only hearing office serving the state of Main is in Portland.
More than 72% of the cases heard by ALJs in the state of Maine are actually awarded. Nationally, the average is 58.1%, so you stand a pretty good chance of receiving benefits if you take your case to the hearing level. However, the processing time to have your case heard at that level is more than a year. In Maine, it takes an average of 368 days for a case to be processed compared to 349 days nationally. The processing times and approval rates will generally vary from hearing office to hearing office. Since Maine only has one hearing office, the chart below presents the average approval rates and processing time at the local, state and national levels.
|Hearing Office||Approval Rate||Processing Time in Days|
There are 8 administrative law judges serving in the Portland office. If you choose to hire a Maine social security disability attorney on your case, you stand to benefit from your lawyer’s experience if he or she has regularly attended disability hearings in the Portland office. Disability attorneys will often become familiar with the Judges’ preferences and requirements, allowing your SSD lawyer to present your disability case in a way that would most appeal to the preferences of that judge.
You can schedule for yourself a free initial consultation with a disability attorney in Maine by filling out the evaluation form on this site. Your initial consultation is free and you are not required to pay any attorney’s fees unless your disability benefits are awarded. Click on the city closest to you if you would like a free evaluation by a Maine disability attorney.