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FILING FOR DISABILITY IN COLORADO

panorama downtown Denver filing for Colorado disability

HOW TO FILE FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS IN COLORADO

Filing for disability in Colorado is something Cannon Disability Law can help you with. Especially if you have a disability that prevents you from working for over 12 months. You may need help filing for Social Security disability benefits in Colorado. We are there for you. You do not have to do this alone.

There are two federal SSA disability programs that can help you.

The first program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD). SSD benefits require you to have a lengthy work history. They also require you to have paid your taxes. SSD benefits come with Medicare. Learn about Medicare benefits here.

The second program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are very different from SSD benefits. For example, SSI benefits are for those who have never had a job. They are also for children. Additionally, they act as a supplement for those with a low monthly SSD payment. SSI benefit comes with Medicaid. Learn more information about Medicaid benefits here.

Each of these programs requires you to have a disability that keeps you from working for over 12 months. Learn more information about what you need to know to apply for disability benefits here.

OTHER COLORADO DISABILITY BENEFITS

Colorado, unlike California, does not have a shortterm disability insurance program. However, your employer may offer short-term disability insurance through a private insurance company.

This means you would pay for disability insurance benefits by buying a private policy. Additionally, if you lose a job and are able to return to work, then you can apply for unemployment benefits.

Your employer may also offer maternity and paternity leave benefits or long-term disability benefits. Additionally, there are federal benefits available through an employer, like the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Disability insurance is not the same as workers’ compensation. In the case of disability insurance, injury or illness does not have to be the result of a workplace incident or event.

Colorado does have a program covering temporary disabilities for state employees, and other government workers. Workers gain access after five years with the Public Employee Retirement System. Additionally, Colorado does require private employers to buy into the Worker’s Compensation program.

TWO TYPES OF PRIVATE DISABILITY INSURANCE

Privately, in Colorado, there are two types of disability insurance that you can purchase: short-term and long-term. Short-term will typically replace a portion of your salary from three to six months after the onset of your disability.

Long-term benefits will generally begin six months after your disability. This type of benefit can last a few years until you are able to return to work. Likewise, it can also pay out until retirement age. It all depends on the type of policy you purchase.

Typically, private insurance limits mental health payments to a two year term. This is not true across the board. But, most policies put a limit of two years on any payment for disability that is due to mental health. For example, if you claim disability for depression or anxiety, then that would trigger a two year limit.

Therefore, if you have a combination of impairments, like a severe back impairment and depression, you should make sure the insurance company’s payments are based on your back impairment. Because, if they base payments on your mental health impairment, there will be a time limit on the payout period.

THREE WAYS TO FILE FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS IN COLORADO

There are three easy ways to apply or file your application for disability in Colorado.  First, the simplest way to file an application is to file online. If you don’t have a computer or access to one, then you go with the second choice:  apply over the telephone. Remember, you can always go to the library and use a computer for free. Finally, you can apply in-person.

Benefits begin from the date you file your application, so the longer you wait to file, the more money you lose. If you cannot work due to a disability, then file for benefits today. Here are three ways to file:

  1. Online: You can apply online at the Social Security website.
  2. Telephone: You can apply over the telephone by calling the SSA’s toll-free customer service line at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
  3. In-person: You can apply in-person at your local Social Security field office.

Additionally, if you need help obtaining medical records for your case, we have a list of Colorado’s free and low cost healthcare resources on this website.

COLORADO DISABILITY DETERMINATION SERVICES

After filing for disability benefits, your case will transfer to the Colorado office of Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS reviews medical records to assist the SSA in making prompt decisions regarding disability claims.

Disability Determination Services can assist with both SSI and SSDI claims in Colorodo. DDS can also request more medical records if they feel they do not have enough information to make the correct decision about your case.

Below, you will find the address and phone number of DDS:

Colorado Disability Determination Services
3190 S. Vaughn Way
Aurora, CO 80014-9833

Other frequently called numbers:

DDS front desk 303.368.4100
SSA information line 800.772.1213
TDD – SSA – National 800.325.0778
DDS TTY/TDD 303.752.5650
State of Colorado general information 303.866.5000
Colorado Department of Human Services 303.866.5700
Welfare 303.727.3666

If you have questions or need to submit medical records, you can submit information to the Colorado DDS. The DDS Claims Examiner decides whether or not you have a qualifying disability at the initial level of your case. If you are denied, then you file a Request for Reconsideration. If the Claims Examiner denies your case at the reconsideration level, then you will need to file a Request for a Hearing with the SSA.

At each stage of the disability process, it is important to file any appeals on time. Typically, you only have 60 days in which to appeal an unfavorable decision from the SSA.

WHO IS DISABILITY DETERMINATION SERVICES?

DDS is fully funded by the Federal Government. However, it is a Colorado state agency. DDS is responsible for developing medical evidence and rendering the initial determination on whether you are disabled or blind under the law.

Usually, DDS tries to obtain evidence from your medical sources first. If that evidence is insufficient, then DDS will arrange for a consultative examination (CE).  Find out more about the consultative examination here.

After completing the development of the medical evidence, DDS makes both the initial and the reconsideration disability determination.

If DDS finds you are eligible for disability benefits, then SSA completes any outstanding non-disability development. Next, SSA computes your monthly benefit amount and begins paying benefits. If, however, you are found not disabled, then your file is kept in the field office in case you decide to appeal the determination. Always appeal.

COLORADO DDS PERFORMANCE

Colorado’s DDS has typically been in the top twenty when compared to the performance of the 52 other DDS’s in other States. Their goal is to make the most accurate decision possible in your case and provide excellent customer service.

DDS states that the “most important measurement of our performance –accuracy– comes from an independent review of our decisions—both allowances and denials—by Social Security’s Disability Quality Branch.” Their cumulative accuracy (no decisional or documentation errors) is above the national average when compared to all other 52 State DDSs. In fact, in Federal Fiscal Year 2018, the Colorado DDS accuracy was 97.2%, or 2.5 points above the national norm and ranked second in the nation.

The Colorado DDS states the second most important measurement of their performance is productivity. According to SSA, high productivity with great accuracy reflects an efficient and cost effective operation. Productivity is defined by the number of cases completed per work year. In Federal Fiscal Year 2018, the Colorado DDS ranked 18th out of 52 in and they were 3 points over the national average.

PHYSICAL CONDITIONS ELIGIBLE FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS IN COLORADO

Physical impairments can result in disability. If you cannot work for more than 12 months due to any of the following physical impairments, then you should apply for disability benefits in Colorado.

Additionally, it is also possible to have a combination of disabling impairments. If you have more than one physical condition, then you may be eligible for benefits under “equalling” the disability rules. Find out more about winning disability benefits with medical records here.

FILING FOR DISABILITY IN COLORADO FOR MENTAL HEALTH 

Our law firm can also help you win SSD or SSI benefits if you have a mental condition that prevents you from working for more than 12 months. For example, you may have one mental impairment or a combination of mental conditions. Either way, we can help you with your case. Disability benefits are available for many different mental health disorders, including:

In addition, mental health issues can combine with physical impairments. If you cannot meet SSA’s criteria under one mental health impairment, then you may have a disability due to your residual functional capacity. Find out more about winning disability benefits in Colorado using your residual functional capacacity.

CANNON DISABILITY LAW – THE BEST SSD ATTORNEYS IN UTAH

At Cannon Disability Law, we are experts in applying for disability and winning disability benefits. You can learn more about our representative on our About Us Page. You can also review our client paperwork on our Fee Agreement and Important Forms page.

For example, in the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 disability cases for our clients. If you need help applying for benefits, contact our office. We can also help you appeal a denial from the SSA.

When you contact our office for help with your application, make sure you know the basics about your case. We will need to know your birthdate, wedding date, and divorce date. Additionally, we will need to know the date you last worked. Also, we will need to know the names, addresses and phone numbers of your doctors.

The Social Security application asks basic information about your family and your children. You will also need a list of your workplaces and what you did for your job at each workplace. The SSA needs to know this information in order to process your application.

Also, if you previously filed an application for disability benefits in Utah, then don’t forget to request that the SSA reopen your old application.

WORKING WITH YOUR LEGAL TEAM TO WIN DISABILITY BENEFITS IN COLORADO

Obviously, we cannot go about filing for Colorado disability benefits without your help. That is why we say we are your legal team. A team requires teamwork. We may be experts at disability law. However, you are the expert on the facts of your life.

We will also need to know why you cannot work. You will need to describe your disabling symptoms. Additionally, there are forms we will need you to complete for the SSA. Forms such as the Activities of Daily Living Form or the Work History form.

First, you complete the forms. Do it in pencil. If you need help with the form, then we can answer your questions. Second, if you made a mistake, then you can erase it and fix the mistake.

After we file your application, we will collect your medical records. We need your help to collect your medical records. You provide the names of your physicians, counselors, and physical therapists. If you don’t give us the information about your doctors, then we cannot contact them on your behalf.

Most importantly, after we file your disability benefit application in Utah, we can represent you at your hearing. If your case goes through a denial at the initial and reconsideration phases of the disability appeals process, then we will request a hearing for you.

Once you reach a hearing, we review your full SSA file. Also, we prepare you to give hearing testimony. Likewise, we know the judges at the Colorado Offices of Hearings Operations. We can tell you the kinds of questions they will ask at your hearing.

Finally, let us help you win your SSD and SSI case. If you need help filing for Colorado disability benefits, then contact Cannon Disability Law today.

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