How An Attorney Can Help Appeal Your SSD Case in New Mexico

If you are unable to work because of medical problems, you might be able to receive monthly disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two different disability benefit programs. To be approved for benefits, you must have a condition that will last at least a year or result in your death. Specific medical criteria must also be met.

The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if your condition qualifies for benefits. Most disability claims are denied benefits during the initial review. An appeal is filed then the claim goes through a reconsideration review. If the claim is denied during the reconsideration review, you can request an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

There are literally dozens of reasons for Social Security Disability claims getting denied. However, most claims are denied because there is a lack of hard medical evidence supplied. Disability Determination Services (DDS) must be able to determine the severity of your condition and how it impacts you. Another cause for claims denial is that the claimant fails to get the needed follow-up care. Without continuing medical care, DDS cannot determine if your condition has improved, worsened or stayed the same.

If you are continuing to work enough that your income exceeds the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limits. In New Mexico, 30.1% of claims are approved during the initial review while 10% are approved on the reconsideration review. At the hearing level in New Mexico, 66.2% of claims are approved.

Visiting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in New Mexico

If your claim is denied during the initial review and the reconsideration review, you will file an appeal and request a hearing before an ALJ. These hearings are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The hearing will include questioning by the ALJ. A vocational expert will also attend and question you. The questions will concern your specific condition, your work history, your educational background and your transferrable skills. The questioning will help determine what kind of work, if any, you can perform. There are two ODARs in New Mexico which have an average 19.3-month wait for a hearing and an average 616-day processing time for claims. The state has an average 41% approval rate on the hearing level, which is just slightly lower than the nation’s 43% approval.

The Albuquerque office has 11 judges, which has a 14.5-month average wait and a 518-day processing time for claims. That office has a 47% approval rate for claims. The NHC Albuquerque ODAR has 11 judges and an average wait of 24 months for a hearing. That branch has an average 715-day processing time for claims. The NHC Albuquerque ODAR has a 33% approval rate for claims. Claimants with an attorney have a much greater chance of having a claim approved. Your attorney will also help you prepare for the questioning aspect of the hearing.

Disability benefits in New Mexico

Getting Help From A Disability Attorney

There is a complexity involved with disability claims. You need to consult with a disability attorney. Your attorney can help you throughout the entire claims process and even get your claim filed for you. Your lawyer will accompany you to the local SSA office to make sure you have all your medical records in the file so you can get an accurate review from DDS. Your disability attorney will handle all communications between the SSA and yourself. There are several SSA offices located throughout the State of New Mexico. Here are a few of those offices.

Social Security Administration
500 Lead Ave SW #100
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Social Security Administration
1922 5th Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Social Security Administration
500 N Richardson Avenue
Roswell, NM 88201

If you are unable to work because of medical problems and you are ready to pursue a claim for disability benefits, you should consult with a Social Security attorney. To get started, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your information will be shared with a local disability lawyer who will provide you with a free case evaluation and help you get your claim on the right track.

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