Sioux City, Iowa, lies on the shoes of the Missouri River, and spans both Plymouth and Woodbury counties. Each year, thousands of Sioux City, Iowa residents apply for Social Security disability benefits. These disabled workers may not realize what a difficult process this can be. After seeing Social Security taxes deducted from their paychecks for years, many may wrongly assume that the benefits will simply be there when they need them. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
The fact is, approximately 70% of Social Security disability applications are denied nationwide. Although this isn’t the end of the road for these claimants, the Social Security appeals process is stressful and can be very lengthy. Statistics show that disability applicants who are represented by a Social Security attorney have a greater chance of having their application approved and avoiding the appeals process altogether.
The first step of the appeals process is called Reconsideration, and those applicants who file a “Request for Reconsideration,” then will then wait another one to three months for this second decision, after the two to four month wait they endured for their initial decision. It can be very difficult for those applying for disability benefits in the Sioux City, Iowa area to support themselves and their families on little to no income while waiting for these decisions. And if their claim is denied at Reconsideration level, they’ll be in for an even longer wait.
The Sioux City economy benefits from diverse industries such as educational, health care, and manufacturing. Many Sioux workers are employed at local factories such as those operated by the American Popcorn Company and Tyson Fresh meats. The Sioux City School District and Mercy Medical Center also provide employment to many area residents. The median household income is a modest $40,907, but those residing in Sioux City appreciate a cost-of-living that’s nearly 20% lower than the national average.
Applying for Sioux City Social Security Disability Benefits
Approximately 4.3% of Iowa residents are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, and their average monthly payment is $1,127.30. Many of these beneficiaries were likely granted benefits at the third level of the Social Security disability application process. When a Reconsideration denial is received, the applicant or their disability attorney can file a “Request for Administrative Law Judge Hearing.” The SSA office that schedules these hearings for Sioux City Social Security disability applicants is the ODAR office in Omaha. The average wait time between the filing of this request and the scheduling of the hearing is a whopping 438 days, meaning that disabled Iowa workers are often forced to survive on little or no income for over a year while in the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits.
Hiring a Sioux City Disability Attorney
When the big day finally arrives, most claimants are nervous about appearing in front of a judge. Being represented by a Sioux City Social Security attorney can make the hearing process much less intimidating. A skilled Sioux City disability lawyer can prepare you for the hearing and can give you an idea of what types of questions the judge may ask.
They can also highlight the relevant portions of your medical records and obtain any additional necessary evidence. Sometimes the SSA will hire medical or vocational (employment) to appear at the hearing, and having a Sioux City disability attorney on your side to cross-examine these witnesses can be of great benefit to your claim.
The best practice, however, may be to retain the services of a Sioux City Social Security attorney in the beginning stages of your claim. If your disability claim is approved at initial or reconsideration level, you could avoid the year-plus wait for a hearing and the stress of appearing in front of a judge.
Disabled Iowa workers may wonder if they can afford to hire a Sioux City Social Security lawyer. The good news is that there is no upfront payment required. A Sioux City Social Security disability attorney is only paid if you are awarded benefits, and their fee is deducted from money you may be paid for past months that you were determined to have been disabled. In addition, the amount of their fee cannot exceed $6,000.
Sioux City Social Security disability lawyers also handle claims in Le Mars, Omaha NE, Springdale, Holiday Village, Mount Lucia, and Riverside. They also represent other Plymouth, Woodbury, Ida, Sioux, and Cherokee county Social Security disability applicants.