Disability benefits in Oklahoma are paid for and regulated by the federal government, but the exact way in which Oklahoma delivers the benefits differs from that in other states. Below is an overview of the disability benefits process in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma's Disability Determination Division (DDD), under the Department of Rehabilitative Services, handles all initial applications for Social Security and SSI disability benefits. After your application is reviewed by Social Security to see if you meet the technical requirements, including meeting income limits or work requirements, it is sent to the DDD office in Oklahoma City to be reviewed for medical qualifications. If DDD finds you are disabled and cannot work based on your medical record, you will receive disability benefits.
The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) handles all appeals. There are three ODAR offices in Oklahoma where you could go for your hearing. The local ODAR offices are overseen by a regional ODAR office in Texas.
Disability benefits statistics in Oklahoma are not significantly different from the national averages, though the approval rating is slightly lower in Oklahoma at every stage.
At the initial application stage, 28.6% of applicants in Oklahoma are approved for benefits, compared to the national average of 32.1%. At the reconsideration stage, 9.6% of those appealing in Oklahoma are approved for benefits, while 11.3% are approved nationally at this stage.
At the hearing stage, Oklahoma has a lower approval rate (51.8%) than the rest of the nation (58.3%), but those who bring a lawyer to the hearing have a much higher approval rate.
Those in Oklahoma have to wait less time for a hearing. In Oklahoma, you will wait 330 days on average for a hearing and nationally, you will wait 349 days on average.
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 $698 per month to individuals and $1,048 to couples. To those living independently, Oklahoma pays an additional $42 to individuals and $84 to couples, per month. Therefore, those living independently could receive up to $740 per individual and $1,132 per couple per month, combining the federal and state payments. (However, the federal government reduces your monthly payment if you have additional income.) The Oklahoma state supplement is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
There is one DDD office in Oklahoma that handles all medical reviews of disability applications.
Disability Determination Division
3535 N.W. 58th Street
Oklahoma City, OK
Telephone: 405-951-3400 or 800-845-8476
Below is the contact information for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) offices that serve those in Oklahoma.
ODAR- Regional Office
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
ODAR-McAlester Hearing Office
524 South 2nd Street
McAlester, OK 74501
Services the Social Security offices in: Ada, Durant, Hugo, McAlester, and Poteau
ODAR- Oklahoma City Hearing Office
301 NW 6th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Services the Social Security offices in: Ardmore, Chickasha, Clinton, Enid, Lawton, Moore, Oklahoma City, and Shawnee
ODAR- Tulsa Hearing Office
2 West 2nd Street
Tulsa, OK 74103
Services the Social Security offices in: Bartlesville, Miami, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Stillwater, and Tulsa
Those who receive SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) due to disability may feel they can go back to work but need help finding and/or keeping a job. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) in Oklahoma offers that type of assistance. Services offered include job evaluations, job preparations, job search help, and onsite job training. To apply for services, you can contact the nearest VR office to you by calling 800-487-4042.
If you are denied disability benefits and have to appeal, being represented by an experienced disability lawyer can greatly increase your chances of winning your claim, and the lawyer will be paid out of Social Security back payments -- if you win your claim. To find a local lawyer, see our Oklahoma disability lawyers page.
by: Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author