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Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Minnesota?
If you live in Minnesota and are unable to work due to a disabling mental or physical condition, you should consider filing for Social Security disability or SSI. All Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claims begin with an application. Currently you can file your disability application by phone, in person, or online at the Social Security website.
Filing for disability online
If you wish to file your disability application online you should be aware that you can only file for Social Security disability online. Social Security does not have an online SSI disability application. Additionally, it is very important that you read instructions very carefully so that you complete your application and all necessary disability forms. If you wish to file for SSI, you should probably file in person or by phone so that your application will be complete.
Filing through a local office
You can file your disability application by phone or in person with your local Social Security office. Minnesota has seventeen Social Security offices which are located in the following cities: Alexandria, Austin, Baxter, Bemidji, Brooklyn Center, Duluth, Edina, Fairmont, Fergus Falls, Hibbing, Mankato, Marshall, Minneapolis, Rochester, Saint Cloud, St. Paul, and Winona.
You may schedule an appointment by contacting a Social Security office near you or by contacting Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
If you chose to file your disability claim in person or by phone, a claim representative will ask questions to establish your eligibility for disability benefits and to complete all of the necessary forms for you disability claim. They may ask questions about your medical sources, treatment dates, medication, your work history, your income, and resources or assets.
If you file in person, the claims representative will have you sign your medical release (this enables Social Security to get your medical treatment records) as well; however if you are complete your disability application by phone your medical release will be mailed to you for signature.
Disability decisions in Minnesota
Once all actions on your disability case file are complete, your disability claim is forward to the Minnesota Disability Determination Services. Disability Determination Services (DDS) is located in St. Paul, MN. This agency--like all others like it across the United States--is responsible for making disability determinations for Social Security.
When your disability claim arrives at DDS it is immediately assigned to a disability examiner who will make a disability determination using medical records from the treatment sources you provided at your disability interview, consultative examination reports, activities of daily living questionnaires, third party questionnaires, and other vocational information.
If your disability decision is an approval, your disability claim will be sent back to your local Social Security office to resolve any remaining issues before final adjudication. If your disability claim is denied, you will receive a denial notice from DDS; it will include all the medical treatment sources used to make your disability determination as well as an explanation of your denial. Most initial disability claims are denied.
The approval rate for initial disability claims in Minnesota is 34.0 percent compared to a national average of 32.1 percent.
Disability appeals in Minnesota
If you wish to continue your disability claim with Social Security, you can appeal your disability denial with a reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals have a high denial rate because they are sent back for a review at the same DDS. Another disability examiner reviews your disability claim but the decision is likely to be the same because they are bound by the same strict guidelines as the initial disability examiner.
The Minnesota average reconsideration appeal rate is 8.8 percent.
You can appeal your reconsideration denial by requesting a disability hearing. Disability hearings are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication & Review (ODAR), 250 Marquette Ave., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Administrative law judges conduct disability hearings and make their own disability determination. Generally, they have more freedom in interpreting the rules and guidelines of the Social Security disability program which may be the basis for a high disability hearing approval rate. More individuals are approved at administrative law judge hearing appeals than any other level of the Social Security disability process.
The Minnesota, disability hearing approval rate is 57.2 percent.
Overall, your chances of qualifying for disability benefits in Minnesota are good if you avail yourself of the Social Security appeal process.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
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