Grand Junction Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you have become unable to work due to an injury or illness, then you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Sometimes, your claim will be denied by the Social Security Administration. When that happens, you will need an experienced Social Security disability attorney to fight for your claim. At Killian, Davis, Richter & Fredenburg, PC, you will find that we are exactly that. Whether filing your claim, fighting a denial or pursuing a federal appeal, we know how to make sure you are compensated.
WHAT IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?
Social Security Disability is a federal program which pays benefits to you and specific members of your family if you have to miss work due to an injury or illness. There are a few requirements to be able to qualify for this, and the application process can take months to complete.
- The term “disability” is defined as an injury or illness that will keep you out of work for at least a year or result in your death.
- You must have worked long enough – usually 10 years – in jobs which qualify for social security.
- There are two tests to get disability benefits: the recent work test, which is based on your age at the time you become disabled, and the duration of work test, which shows that you worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits. The length of work requirement does fluctuate depending upon the age at which you become disabled.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?
In Colorado, you can apply in person at a Social Security office, call the SSA’s number or visit their website and apply online. It will usually take about 3-4 months to receive a letter telling you whether your application was accepted or denied. You can work during the application process or even while actually receiving Social Security Disability benefits. However, if you are working and your earnings are a certain amount each month (it changes every year) then you won’t be considered disabled.
WHAT IF MY APPLICATION IS DENIED?
Only 32 percent of SSD applications are approved after initial filing; that number climbs to 47 percent after an appeal. The appeals process can take up to a full year to complete. Each state has a different process for this, and in Colorado, you have to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. At this hearing, you will have to answer questions related to employment history, daily routine, and the nature of your disability. You are allowed to have a medical expert testify on your behalf. If the judge denies your application, you can file a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
You must file the civil action within 60 days of being denied at the appeals hearing. You must send copies of your complaint as well as the court summons, and each of those documents must be verified by the Social Security Administration Office. Annually, district courts across the country receive more than 18,000 new cases.
The amount of paperwork and potential litigation that goes along with filing a SSD claim can be overwhelming when you and your family are dealing with your illness or injury. At Killian, Davis, Richter & Fredenburg, PC, we pride ourselves on showing our clients compassion and understanding during their difficult times. We invest in your lives and will do what it takes to get your disability claim approved.