How Are SSDI Payments Calculated in Oklahoma?

Purpose

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of the SSI program is to assure a minimum level of income to persons who are elderly or have a disability and have limited income and resources. Specific eligibility criteria must be met. Individuals under age 65 must meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled” or “blind”. There is no disability waiting period for SSI. People may be eligible for SSI even if they have never worked, and may also receive social security payments IF they are eligible for both.

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OHO Contact Information

Below is the contact information for the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) offices that serve those in Oklahoma.

McAlester Hearing Office

524 South 2nd StreetMcAlester, OK 74501Telephone: 877-748-9767

Services the Social Security offices in McAlester

Oklahoma City Hearing Office

301 NW 6th StreetSuite 300Oklahoma City, OK 73102Telephone: 866-701-8094

Services the Social Security offices in: Ada, Ardmore, Chickasha, Clinton, Enid, Lawton, Moore, Oklahoma City, and Shawnee

Tulsa Hearing Office

Eastgate Metroplex, Suite 50014002 E. 21st StreetTulsa, OK 74134Telephone: 888-286-1124

Services the Social Security offices in: Bartlesville, Miami, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Poteau, Stillwater, and Tulsa

How Much Can I Receive Through Oklahoma Disability Benefits?

The size of the Social Security Disability Insurance checks you are eligible to receive is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by the Social Security system. Most disabled Oklahomans who receive SSDI benefits receive between $700 and $1,700 per month. Disabled Oklahoma workers received an average monthly Social Security Disability benefit of $1,197 in 2018, according to a Social Security fact sheet.

Claims examiners at the Disability Determination Services Office, a Division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, review applications for SSDI benefits and decide whether applicants have qualifying disabilities based on medical evidence and other factors. The applications require numerous supporting documents, and any missing document or inconsistency in the information provided can cause a denial.

More than 75 percent of applicants receive a denial letter after the reconsideration of their application.

How Do I Apply for Disability in Oklahoma?

There are three ways you may be able to apply for disability in Oklahoma:

  • On the Internet. If you are applying for SSDI, you can file your claim online at .
  • In person at your local field office. You can apply in person regardless of whether you are applying for SSI or SSDI. To find your local field office, visit the SSA’s website and enter your zip code in the locator.
  • By telephone. You have the option of applying by phone. This is available to both SSI and SSDI applicants. Call 800-772-1213 to apply by phone.

Oklahoma State Supplement to Supplemental Security Income(SSI)

In Oklahoma, the state offers a small additional payment in addition to the federal government monthly payment for SSI. The federal government pays $771 per month to individuals and $1,157 to couples, and Oklahoma pays an additional $42 per month to individuals and $84 per month to couples (who are living independently). The Oklahoma state supplement is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Oklahoma

The Social Security Administration oversees SSDI in Oklahoma. The administration conducts SSDI through the Disability Determination Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

In Oklahoma, SSDI qualification requirements are in line with federal disability laws. The DDS determines which SSDI claims are approved. The law states that individuals with disabilities who pay into the Social Security Trust Fund per the stipulations of the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) can receive disability benefits.

A surviving spouse may also lay claim to the disability benefits of a deceased spouse who was receiving or was qualified to receive disability benefits. In addition, if you are an Oklahoma veteran with disabilities, you can receive disability payments from both SSDI and Veteran Affairs.

A person with disabilities can get reasonable accommodation from an employer so they can keep working. However, if they earn over $1,310 ($2,190 for blinds) per month, they would no longer be qualified for SSDI.

Another important exemption is a person with a short-term disability. If your disability has not or will not last up to one year, you are not qualified to apply for disability benefits under federal law.

The 411 on Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

SSI is a second option. This program provides for payments to individuals, including children under the age of 18, who have disabilities and limited income and resources. If you haven’t worked five in the last 10 years full-time or are 65 and older with few assets, you may be eligible. SSI payments max out at $841/month per person, or $1,261/month per couple.

NOTE: SSI has the stricter eligibility requirements of the two programs.

SSI medical eligibility requirements are the same as those for SSDI, but you must have very low income — and almost no assets — to qualify. Your total household income cannot be more than $1,350 each month, and you must own less than $2,000 in financial assets ($3,000 for couples). There are some exceptions to the asset rule.

How Do Benefits Work?

Your benefits are determined by your total contributions through FICA or SECA up to the point that you had to stop working.  The higher your monthly income prior to filing, the higher your monthly payment will be.  As of 2020, the maximum monthly payment for SSDI in Oklahoma is $3,011.

Once your benefits are established, they will last until you are no longer eligible or until you reach full retirement age.  After you reach full retirement age, you will receive your monthly allowance through your retirement benefits.  Periodically SSA will adjust your benefits for changes in inflation. SSA will also periodically reassess your case to make sure you are still eligible.  Should you be able to resume working, you should inform SSA.

Eligibility

Because Social Security benefits are lifetime benefits, a person may end up receiving more money than they contribute.  This means that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is very strict about who they allow to receive benefits. If SSA feels someone could be working and contributing to the trust fund, SSA will deny their claim, in an effort to save Social Security funds for those who need them.

If you have a severe health problem that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for SSDI. However, you must show that you cannot engage in any gainful employment as a result of your health, that your condition will last longer than twelve months, and that you have contributed a certain amount to Social Security via payroll taxes.

Social Security is not designed to help Americans with short-term conditions.  SSA expects you to have adequate savings and resources to make it through a year of recovery. If you can hold any employment, the SSA will not approve your claim.  If you have not worked a combined five years in the past ten years, you may not be eligible for SSDI.  There are other programs available for Americans with disabilities who are not SSDI-eligible. 

Applying for SSDI

Applying for SSDI is a long and sometimes tricky process.  The requirements can be strict and, if you have an unusual disability or your work history is inconsistent, you may have difficulty applying for this program. To apply, you will need to gather information about your past work and evidence of your disability.  You may need to provide doctor’s notes, attend medical examinations, and comply with specific treatments to show that your disability is lasting and severe.

To begin this process, you can fill out an initial application online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security Administration office.

Sometimes, if you are lucky, your application will be approved immediately.  More often, you will need to go through several rounds of appeals before you are approved.  Some applicants are never approved at all.

To have the best chance of being approved, you will want to hire an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help you.  Our team can help you at any point in the application process, but, we recommend contacting us before you file, so that we can set you up for a smooth process from the start.

More Oklahoma Benefits

In addition to SSDI benefits, Oklahoma residents can get SSI, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits. These services are designed to help residents of Oklahoma who have challenges purchasing basic needs and paying for medical care.

Apply for SSI in Oklahoma

Low-income earners and children and adults with disabilities may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. A worker who cannot afford basic needs and healthcare costs can get SSI benefits in Oklahoma.

Low-income earners who have no disabilities but are 65 or older can also receive SSI in the state. Supplemental Security Income payments are less than SSDI compensation and there is a shorter waiting period.

Beneficiaries can start receiving SSI payments a few days after the approval of their application.

Another difference between SSDI and SSI is that families of the beneficiaries of SSI cannot receive payments on behalf of a family member. However, if you are a disadvantaged student, you can apply for SSI to get a higher education.

Oklahoma Medicaid

Oklahoma Medicaid benefits are available for low-income residents of Oklahoma who cannot afford healthcare costs due to their low incomes. Oklahoma's Medicaid provider is SoonerCare.

Pregnant women, people with visual disabilities, residents responsible for a child of eighteen years old or younger, residents that have disabilities or are responsible for a family member with disabilities, and residents who are at least 65 years old can benefit from Medicaid services if they cannot afford it on their own.

Oklahoma Unemployment

Another benefit is the Oklahoma unemployment benefits. This benefit is available for residents who lose their jobs as a result of situations beyond their control. The unemployment insurance services are administered by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, which operates an online portal for administering unemployment benefits.

Dispute Resolution Process

  1. Whenever SSA makes a decision that affects eligibility or benefits, a letter is sent explaining the decision.
  2. If you disagree you may appeal the decision, and SSA will help you complete the paperwork. There are four levels of appeal. If you disagree with the decision at one level, you may appeal to the next level.
  3. You have 60 days from the time you receive the decision to file an appeal to the next level.

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