Social Security Disability Insurance in the State of Ohio
Ohio is known for many reasons, such as being the 7th most populous state, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, home to the first man to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong) as well as the birthplace of 7 of our nation’s presidents. However, what is not known as much is that it also has a large percentage of its population that is disabled and may be qualified for government assistance.
For its disabled residents, the state has initiated several programs that provide assistance for housing, nursing, education and training in order to improve the quality of life. A few of these programs are listed at the bottom of this page.
If you suffer from a serious disability, you may be able to qualify for federal programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), provided you meet certain conditions of eligibility such as:
- Your disability has lasted or is likely to last for at least one year.
- You disability prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful employment.
- Your disability must meet or is equivalent in severity to a medical condition listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book.
- You have paid into the Social Security system and have earned enough work credits.
In Ohio about 27% of the applicants are approved for SSDI benefits at the initial application level. This is lower than the national average which is around 30%. The top two diagnostics on the SSDI beneficiary list in Ohio are disabilities that stem from a mental disorder (38%) and musculoskeletal system diseases (25%).
Filing a Social Security Disability Insurance Claim in Ohio
About 13.7% of residents in Ohio suffer from a disability, but not all disabilities are awarded SSDI benefits. If your disability is an exact match to any one or more of the listings in the Blue Book, your chances of a quick approval are extremely good. In some severe cases, you may request to expedite your case which puts your SSDI file on the fast track process to approval. The SSA recognizes that some extremely severe cases need immediate access to funds and treatment.
The majority of people, however, will not meet the exact conditions in the Blue Book but can qualify for SSDI benefits through the medical vocational allowance if you can prove that your condition is comparable to any one of the listings in the Blue Book and prevents you from working and earning a substantial income. The SSA will examine your work experience in the last 15 years to see whether you may be able to qualify for other jobs. The SSA will also evaluate your Residual Functional Capacity to assess your physical limitations and may determine that you are capable of doing other jobs for which you may need to learn new skills. You may also be requested to go through further diagnostics that would help the examiner to make a fair determination on your case. When you do not meet an exact condition in the Blue Book, but have a disability that is equally debilitating, the SSA will award you SSDI benefits.
The entire process can take several months. One of the major reasons for the delay is because the claimant has filed incomplete information. It is therefore necessary that you know the type of paperwork that is required in order to facilitate a faster disability claims process.
Click here to know more about the SSDI application process or watch the informative video below.
The procedure for starting the SSDI claims application process is the same in every state. In the state of Ohio there are 57 Social Security offices. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at a Social Security office near you. Your case will be assigned to a social security disability examiner who works for a state agency. The disability examiner will request for your medical records from the treatment centers you have listed and other details you have provided. The examiner will call you for an interview which may be via video or telephone if you are not able to come in person. The examiner will determine whether your condition qualifies for SSDI benefits. Determinations generally take anywhere between 3 to 5 months. This may take longer if there are a number of backlogs in the system.
Only 27% of SSDI claims are awarded benefits at the initial application level in Ohio. Those who receive a denial notice will need to go through the appeals system in order to get benefits they are entitled to. The process of appeals consists of 4 stages.
- Reconsideration: Your case is transferred to another disability examiner to check whether any evidence has been overlooked by the first examiner. New medical evidence may be presented at this stage only if enough time has elapsed and your file no longer contains recent medical records. Recent is defined as not older than 90 days. The rate of approval at this stage in Ohio is 11.1%. The 88.9% of claimants who are denied their claim may appeal at the next level.
- The Court Hearing: It may take several months to receive a date for a court hearing. It may take longer than a year if there is a backlog in the system. Your case will be presented before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is the best opportunity you have to present your case and you must make sure that recent medical evidence reaches the judge before the hearing date. In Ohio, the approval rate at the disability hearing level is 47.4%, lower than the national average of 59%.
- The Appeals Council: The Council will determine whether the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge (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: The last and final stage of appeal is the federal court. Not many choose to go to this last stage because it is expensive and slow and the verdict is less likely to be in favor of the claimant.
An appeal at every stage must be filed with the SSA within 60 days of the date of the denial notice. Because so much relies on the proper presentation of your case, getting legal representation will greatly increase your chances of getting approved. Advocates or those specialized in the SSDI claims process will understand why your claim was denied in the first place and help you prepare a case that clearly demonstrates that you meet the criteria thereby increasing your chances for a ruling in your favor. Legal representation can save you time, money, and stress.
Fill out our free disability evaluation form today! The SSDI claims process can take several months so do not wait any further to apply. 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 Ohio
If you’re not qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance or would like additional support, the Ohio State Administration offers several other programs to help people with different disabilities. Follow the links below to know more about these helpful programs:
- Ohio Department of Developmental 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.
- SNAP Benefits: 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.