If a medical condition has left you unable to work and earn a living, and you live in Colorado, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. About 2.8 percent of Colorado’s three million residents receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If you are unable to work for at least a year, and you meet specific medical criteria and have hard medical evidence to support your claim, you may be able to receive monthly benefits you can use to cover medical care and your basic living expenses.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Colorado
Social Security disability is a federal program, so it is available to individuals in every state. You can file for disability benefits online, on the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security field office.
In Colorado, about 4 of every 10 disability claims are approved during the initial review. There are several stages to the claims process, and often, an individual will have to advance through stages to get awarded disability benefits. You need to file all documents in a timely manner and make sure you meet deadlines, so your claim is approved and so you do not have to start the process over.
There are 16 field offices spread throughout Colorado. These SSA field offices are in Alamosa, Aurora, Boulder, Canon City, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Ft. Collins, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, La Junta, Lakewood, Littleton, Montrose, Pueblo, and Trinidad.
Denied Disability Benefits in Colorado
You will want to choose the field office that nearest your office. Most claims are denied during the initial review. When your claim is denied, you will be notified in writing as of the decision that was made.
Your letter will tell why your claim was denied, so you can gather additional evidence, and it will also specify how long you have so you can file an appeal, which is also called a request for reconsideration. However, on the reconsideration level most claims are denied. Only a very small percentage of claims are approved during reconsideration and those supply additional supporting evidence that call for the decision to be reversed.
The Colorado Office of Disability Determination Services (DDS) is in Aurora, Colorado. This office is where disability claims are reviewed, and evidence is matched to disability claims. If your claim is denied on the reconsideration level, you will need to ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
In Colorado, it takes an average of 14 months to get a hearing set. When you go to a hearing you will be questioned before the judge. A disability lawyer will be able to prepare you for a hearing and prepare you to answer your questions. A lawyer can represent you throughout the hearing process.
Usually, a vocational expert will be in attendance at the hearing, and that individual can review your medical records, determine what you can and cannot do, and determine if you are capable of performing any kind of work, and if so, what kind of job you can do. With the right evidence, your claim can be approved at the hearing level. About 45.5% of claims are approved at the hearing level in Colorado compared to 51% of claims being approved at the hearing level nationally.
Help Filing For Disability Benefits in Colorado
If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, and you are ready to file for disability benefits in Colorado, you should consider enlisting the help of a disability lawyer. The SSA reports that claimants who were represented by Social Security Disability attorneys were more likely to have their claims approved and receive disability benefits. A disability lawyer does not require payment in advance, but instead, gets paid when you are awarded disability benefits.
Medical evidence and supporting documentation are essential to the success of your disability claim. Be sure to prepare a detailed list of your medical providers along with their contact information and approximate dates of service.
Your lawyer can review your file and make sure you have all the necessary evidence that your claim needs to support it and to confirm the severity of your condition and that you qualify for benefits. Also, a lawyer can make sure all appeals are filed in a timely manner. If you are ready to apply for disability benefits in Colorado, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your details will be shared with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.