Social Security Disability Insurance in the State of Idaho
Air pollution is not good for health and Idaho’s air pollution levels are the second worst in the nation putting this state at number 17 on America’s State Health Rankings. Air pollution can have serious consequences on health hampering your ability to work and earn a living. About 14% on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary list are those with disabilities that stem from nervous disorders and respiratory health concerns, conditions often associated with air pollution. Other diagnostics on the SSDI recipient list include those who are disabled because of poor mental health (37%), diseases that are related to the musculoskeletal system (29%), and many more.
If you suffer from a disability in Idaho and are not able to work for at least one year, federal programs such as the SSDI can financially assist during the time you are disabled. You can apply for SSDI benefits if you’ve earned enough work credits in the Social Security system and meet the following conditions of eligibility:
- You are not able to engage in substantial gainful activity because of your disability for at least one year.
- Your disability meets or is equivalent to a medical condition listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book.
In Idaho about 35% of the applicants are approved for SSDI benefits at the initial application level.
Filing a Social Security Disability Insurance Claim in Idaho
About 13.2% of residents in Idaho suffer from a disability. Not all of them can qualify for SSDI benefits, only those who fit the criteria can apply. There are two ways in which benefits can be approved. The first way is you meet an exact listing in the Blue Book. The SSA is able to filter out such cases and move them quickly through the claims process. In fact, if you have a medical condition that is terminal or extremely severe, the SSA will expedite the claims process so that you are able to have access to benefits very quickly.
The other way to get approved for benefits is through what is called a medical vocational allowance. Most claimants will get their benefits this way. This is when you do not meet an exact listing in the Blue Book, but have a disability that is comparable to a listing. The SSA will review your medical history as well as the last 15 years of your work records. They will determine your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to find out how capable you are mentally and physically to perform your work functions as well as daily activities. When you do not meet an exact condition in the Blue Book, but have a disability that is equally debilitating, one that prevents you from working, you will receive a medical vocational allowance.
The entire process can take 90 to 120 days. Delays are common and can be caused by the claimant not filing complete information or providing information that is inaccurate. Delays can be caused because of a backlog in the SSA systems. To be confident you have filed all the information that the SSA needs it is important to know how the entire SSDI claims process works and how the information you provide is used to make a decision.
Click here to know more about the SSDI application process or watch the informative video below.
The application process starts by you filing an application online, by phone or in person at a Social Security office near you. In Idaho, there are 12 Social Security offices. While the application is received by the Social Security office, your case will be assigned to a Social Security disability examiner who works for a state agency usually called the Disability Determinations Services (DDS). The disability examiner will request for your medical records from the treatment centers you have listed. The examiner will call you for an interview which may be via video or telephone if you are not able to come in person. Determinations generally take anywhere between 3 to 5 months. This may take longer if there are a number of backlogs in the system.
Only 34.7% of SSDI claims are awarded benefits at the initial application level in Idaho so the rest have to go through the appeals process where the odds of winning your claim are much greater. The process of appeals consists of 4 stages.
- Reconsideration: This procedure followed at this first stage of appeal will be identical to the initial application process except another disability examiner will review your case. Since the qualification criteria remain the same, the chances of getting an approval are typically slim. In Idaho, 13.5% get their claim approved on average.
- The Court Hearing: The second stage in the appeals process will be conducted outside the DDS. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hear your case at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). This stage presents the highest chance for claims approval because the judge usually gives considerable weight to the testimony of your treatment physician(s) and other evidence you submit. The average rate of approval is usually 48.9%.
- The Appeals Council: The Council, located in Falls Church, Virginia, will determine whether the decision made by the ALJ was fairly determined by looking at all the evidence once again. The Council can reverse the decision of the ALJ or send your case to another ALJ.
- Federal Review: Most claimants usually appeal at the first and second level. Very few apply at the fourth stage, which is expensive and time-consuming and unlikely to end in your favor.
An appeal at every stage must be filed with the SSA within 60 days of the date of the denial notice. If you did not seek the help of an advocate for the initial application and reconsideration stage, you should seek one for the hearing stage. Claimants who have an advocate have a 60% higher chance of approval. This is obviously because advocates who are specialized in SSDI matters can help you gather all the necessary documentation and evidence. Advocates can make a logical argument that clearly shows the judge that you meet the SSDI definition of disability. Advocates at Disability United are well-experienced and have a proven track record of success.
Before you can start getting SSDI benefits, you need to find out whether your condition qualifies for receiving benefits. Fill out our free disability evaluation form today.
If you know right now that your disability could last a year or more, fill the form on the right and let us help you get the benefits you deserve.
Helpful Resources for those with Disabilities in Idaho
If you’re not qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance or would like additional support, the Idaho State Administration offers several other programs to help people with different disabilities. Follow the links below to know more about these helpful programs:
- Resources for Individuals with Disabilities: This website provides a wide range of resources for people with developmental disabilities looking for assistance in job training, residential services and more.
- The LIHEAP assistance program: This is a federally funded energy bill assistance program. You may be able to receive financial help in the form of a grant or credit on an account. Low-income homes that have a disabled family member, an elderly person or a young child are given priority.
- Food Stamp Program: This federal program may help seniors, low-income workers, those who are disabled, and others put nutritious food on the table. Benefits are given every month through an electronic benefits card which can be used at authorized local food stores.