There’s nothing easy about the process of filing for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify, you have to prove that you are completely disabled and that you cannot reasonably be expected to perform any kind of work which is available. To make things worse, the process of applying for benefits is generally lengthy, with each step taking weeks or even months. Most disability claims are denied in the initial stages (70.4% denied in Oklahoma) and during the first reconsideration stage (89.6% denied in Oklahoma), with the majority of approved claims receiving approval during the third stage of the claims and appeals process, the hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is the only stage of the process at which you get the opportunity to make your case, face to face, before another human being. Oklahoma has three Social Security offices where hearings are held. These are located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and McAlester.
The high denial rates discourage many Social Security disability claimants. However, many claims which are denied in the first two stages are approved during the hearing before an ALJ. In Oklahoma, 52.2% of all hearings result in an approved disability claim. While this is still lower than the national average of 57.8%, it still represents your best chance to have your disability claim approved. On average, you can expect to wait 337 days to receive a hearing in Oklahoma (compared with a national average of 350 days). The approval rates vary somewhat from one hearing office to another. Here is a breakdown of the approval rates of Oklahoma’s Hearing Offices:
|Hearing Office||Approval Rate||Processing Time in Days|
Altogether, Oklahoma has 30 ALJs who hear disability cases. Most of them operate out of a single office. Three of them operate out of two offices. Oklahoma City has thirteen ALJs, Tulsa has nine, and McAlester has eleven. To maximize the chances of having a successful hearing, consider using the services of a local Social Security attorney. Local disability lawyers are familiar with the administrative law judge who hear cases and what they each of them is looking for. For more information on hiring an attorney in your area, click on one of the cities below:
To receive a free consultation from a disability attorney in your area, simply fill out the form on this website. A local attorney will contact you and review your case, free of charge. Should you decide to retain the lawyer’s services, you will only be charged if you are approved for Social Security disability benefits.