Fleet Disability Law, LLC
Social Security Disability Insurance Attorney In Denver, Colorado
Call Today! 720-457-1881

How Does The Social Security Disability System Work?

Have you been working hard in the construction industry your whole life? Put in long hours as a truck driver for decades? Everyone from grocery store stockers to nurses in hospitals are at risk of injuring themselves outside the workplace. Years of heavy lifting can cause physical conditions that make it impossible to return to work. If you are unable to work, how will you pay your bills? Who will provide for your family's needs?

It can be frightening to realize that you are in your mid-50s or early 60s, can no longer work and are unable to get training for another vocation due to physical or mental disability. Applying to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for benefits can be confusing and intimidating, even if the SSA has field offices across the nation. Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is determined by the SSA and can be very difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced lawyer. An experienced SSDI/SSI attorney can make a world of difference to the success of your application.

Fleet Disability Law, LLC, helps individuals of all ages with their applications and the SSDI/SSI process. Attorney Scott Wilkonson provides personalized attention and gets to know your circumstances in depth. He will work with you from beginning to end. Call the firm in Denver at 720-457-1881 for a free consultation. There is no fee for representation unless your claim is successful.

It All Starts With Your Initial Application

There is a total of five stages in the Social Security Disability system. Not all applicants will go through each of these stages. The fewer an applicant needs to go though, the faster a claimant can receive their benefits.

The first step in the SSDI/SSI claim process is to file an application. During this stage, you will be asked to submit your basic information to the SSA with all your medical evidence and supporting documentation. Typically, this stage takes between four and six months. About 30 percent of disability applications are approved at this stage. Denials are common, but the end of road. Odds of success can increase as you move though the next stages. If you received a denial letter at this stage you have 60 days to file an appeal. Contact our firm right away to avoid missing this deadline.

If You Receive A Denial Letter, Ask For A Reconsideration

In some areas, the next step of the appeal process is a request for reconsideration. In other locations, this step is not required. During this stage, your application is sent back to the SSA for a second review. This process can take three to five months to complete, and less than 15 percent of appeals will be approved during this stage. If you receive another denial letter, you have a 60-day deadline to file an appeal or request for hearing by an administrative law judge.

You Can Request A Hearing With An Administrative Law Judge

You have a right to a full examination of your claim by an administrative law judge. However, you must submit a formal request for the hearing. The judge will review your case, take your testimony and hear your attorney's arguments. Following the hearing, the judge determines whether to:

  • Approve your claim
  • Send your case back for review
  • Deny your claim

This stage of the appeal process can take up to two years to complete. A hearing before the administrative law judge affords a claimant who has previously been denied benefits the greatest chance of success. About half of all claims are awarded at this stage of the process. If the judge denies your claim, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the Appeals Council.

If you disagree with the judge's decision regarding your claim for SSDI/SSI benefits, you have the option of appealing the decision to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council review can take 18 months or more, and the rates of success at this stage drop dramatically.

If your claim is denied by the Appeals Council, you may ask for your case to be reviewed in the federal district court. This stage is typically more complicated and expensive than the preceding stages and is best avoided.

It Is Important To Speak With An Attorney Early In The Process

Contact Fleet Disability Law, LLC, in Denver, at 720-457-1881 for a free consultation to discuss your options. The firm provides representation throughout Colorado on a contingency fee basis, meaning an attorney fee is only collected if your case wins. You may also email the firm.

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