Previously on this blog, we have discussed the basic process for filing appeals from an Ohio denial of disability benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA). So, you know that first you would request a reconsideration of your case, and it will be looked at by another officer with the agency. Should this fail, which is likely, you may then request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This happens often, because claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are, in general, more likely to be approved by an ALJ, than by the agency during its first look at the case. But, how much better are your chances on appeal, and how long can you expect to wait? The answers to those questions may depend on where you live.
The good news is that Ohio is right in line with the national average in terms of the approval rate of initial filings. The bad news is that this rate hovers around 32 percent. Requests for reconsideration are approved about 11 percent of the time. As we have said before, your best chance for approval rests with an ALJ. Nonetheless, that chance can vary a bit depending upon where the case is heard. Out of the six hearing offices in the state, Akron has the highest rate of approval, at close to 50 percent. It has the longest average wait time, though, at about 14 months. In contrast, appellants in Cleveland can expect to wait only about 9 months, but will be approved only around 37 percent of the time.
In the Columbus hearing office, the ALJs will approve appeals in around 45 percent of cases. The wait time in the state capital is about 11 months. It is important not be disheartened by these statistics. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you need to make sure you put the best case forward that you can, especially at the SSDI hearing stage. To help with that, you may wish to consider an experienced Columbus disability attorney who can aid in gathering and presenting the evidence you need to your assigned ALJ.
Source: SSDfacts.com, “Ohio SSDI Disability Statistics: ALJ Approval Rates, Wait Times and More ,” accessed on Jan. 12, 2015