Known as the Gateway to the West, Fargo is home to more than 122,000 people. With a steadily growing economy, the population continues to expand in this large North Dakota city. With a wide array of industries from education and health care to IT and manufacturing, Fargo has a lower-than-average unemployment rate.
Despite its robust economy, there are individuals in Fargo who are unable to work as a result of a severe illness or injury. For many of these individuals, their inability to work was sudden and unexpected. As such, many of these workers were not prepared for the financial fallout that comes with becoming disabled.
Thankfully, Fargo is home to many excellent health care providers and hospitals. Further, disabled individuals may find relief through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides financial assistance to qualifying individuals who have become permanently disabled as the result of a serious health condition.
Health Resources for Individuals Living in Fargo
Approximately half of the residents of North Dakota live in what is considered a rural part of the state. While there are some small hospitals and health clinics scattered throughout North Dakota, many people obtain their care in the largest city, Fargo.
Individuals seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits must have regular access to a doctor. All disability applicants must submit a significant amount of medical evidence to support their claim. The SSA will want to review medical test results, treatment plans, emergency room visit notes, and surgical records. Additionally, they will pay careful attention to the progress notes from all of your medical providers.
While medical notes may provide information on the status of your health at a particular moment, the SSA prefers to see several notes so that they can track your health progress or decline over time. Therefore, it’s best to have regular visits with your primary physician. The SSA will want to have access to the most recent medical information available.
If you have not yet done so, it makes sense to discuss your intention to seek Social Security disability benefits with your doctor. While you would expect your physician to be familiar with the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process, many are not.
When meeting with your doctor, it is best if you are prepared to explain your reasons for applying, as well as what limitations and symptoms you have that might qualify you for an award. You can find this information by reviewing the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. This online manual includes all of the qualifying disabling conditions, as well as what evidence you must have to support applying with a given condition. Some individuals find it helpful to review this information with their doctor.
Chances are you are already working with a health care provider in Fargo. However, if this is not the case, here are three local practices that might be of assistance:
Sanford Internal Medicine Broadway
737 Broadway North
Fargo, ND 58102
Essentia Health- South University Clinic
1702 University Drive South
Fargo, ND 58103
N Hall St 93291
Independent Family Doctors
1711 Gold Drive South, Suite 160
Fargo, ND 58103
Applying for Social Security Disability in Fargo
While one would hope that all individuals seeking disability assistance would be provided with financial help, this is not the case. Due to the very high number of people seeking benefits, the SSA must carefully review each application and offer awards to those who are most in need. It should be reassuring to learn, however, that your chance of approval during the initial states of the application process is higher in North Dakota than it is in other states across the nation. In fact, approximately 43% of claimants are awarded disability benefits when they initially apply.
Applicants who are denied an SSDI award may file for an appeal. While close to 2/3 of applicants will win their case at this stage of the application process, the wait times are long. North Dakota residents can expect to wait close to 10 months for an appeal hearing. Therefore, it’s best to file for Social Security disability as soon as you become disabled.
It’s important to know that Social Security disability benefits were created for individuals who are facing permanent illness. Individuals with short-term illnesses such as pneumonia or those facing knee-replacement surgeries will not be eligible for SSDI benefits. Your doctor must be willing to assert that the symptoms from your health condition will prevent you from working for at least one year.
There are a handful of ways to begin the Social Security disability application process. Perhaps the most straight-forward way to apply is online. However, many individuals have questions about their application or would like to request assistance. You may visit a local Social Security office to get face-to-face help. Here are three offices within driving distance to Fargo:
Fargo Social Security Office 58102
657 North 2nd Ave, Room 320
Fargo, ND 58102
Grand Forks Social Security Office 58201
402 Demers Ave
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Bismarck Social Security Office 58503
4207 Boulder Ridge Road, Suite 100
Bismarck, ND 58503
Can a Social Security Lawyer Help Me Win My Claim in Fargo?
While some individuals have had success in navigating the complex Social Security disability application process on their own, many others have been left frustrated as they read their denial letter.
There are numerous benefits to hiring an experienced Social Security lawyer or advocate. First and foremost, a qualified attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for benefits. If so, your lawyer can help you complete your application, ensuring that all of the required documentation is complete. Finally, if you are denied benefits, your lawyer can represent you at your appeals hearing. Individuals who seek the services of a disability lawyer are much more likely to win an award than those who attempt to go-it-alone.