Denver Social Security Disability Attorneys
Social Security Disability Insurance & Supplemental Security Income Claims
The U.S. federal government’s Social Security disability (SSD) program was established to provide financial assistance to individuals who cannot work due to disabilities. There are two main types of SSD benefits one can receive: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Unfortunately, many people—even those who are legitimately qualified to receive SSD benefits—have trouble navigating the complex Social Security system. To make matters worse, the Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently denies first-time claims. In fact, the SSA reports that, on average, more than half of Social Security disability claims are denied the first time they are submitted.
If you need help recovering SSDI or SSI benefits, or if your claim has already been denied, reach out to Boesen Law today. Our Denver Social Security disability attorneys have decades of experience working with the SSD system. We have helped numerous clients recover the full benefits they were rightfully owed, allowing them to keep up with medical expenses, bills, and everyday costs of living. Whether you need assistance with a first-time claim, or you want to appeal a denied SSD claim, our firm is ready to protect your rights and help you seek the best possible outcome.
What Is the Government’s Definition of “Disability?”
To qualify for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must meet a certain set of eligibility requirements. These requirements are different depending on the program and the benefits you are seeking. However, in both instances, you must have a qualifying “disability,” as defined by law.
For the purposes of SSD benefits, a “disability” is defined as a “medically determinable” physical or mental impairment that prevents the individual from engaging in any “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) and which lasts for at least 12 months or are expected to result in death. A “medically determinable” impairment is one that is caused by a physical, psychological, or anatomical abnormality that can be identified via accepted medical processes.
“Substantial gainful activity,” or SGA, includes any employment that results in wages or income surpassing the designated limit, as set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In other words, even if you have a disability, if you are able to work and earn above the SSA’s limit, you are considered to be engaged in SGA. For 2022, the SGA amount for individuals who are not blind is $1,350 a month. For blind individuals, the SGA amount for 2022 is $2,260 a month.
Social Security Disability Insurance vs. Supplemental Security Income
While both SSDI and SSI provide monetary benefits to qualifying disabled individuals, the purpose of these two programs differs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI benefits are available to disabled individuals who have earned sufficient work credits and who meet all other eligibility requirements. This means, to qualify for SSDI, you will need to have worked for an employer or been self-employed for a certain amount of time and have earned enough taxable income.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is available to disabled individuals who cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), individuals who are 65 or older, OR individuals who are blind (at any age), AND who have limited income, means, and resources. You may receive SSI benefits if you qualify, regardless of your work history.
While you can only receive SSDI benefits if you have earned the appropriate work credits—which are based on your work history and taxable income/the amount you paid into Social Security—you could be eligible for SSI if you have a disability or impairment that has prevented you from ever working. If you are 65 or older, and you have limited income and resources, you could also be eligible for SSI benefits, even if you do not have a physical or mental impairment.
What to Do If Your SSD Claim Is Denied
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies approximately 60 percent of first-time Social Security disability (SSD) claims. If your claim has been denied, you have the option of appealing and seeking a reversal of this decision. It is strongly recommended that you appeal a denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim rather than start the filing process over. Studies show that you are more likely to successfully recover benefits by appealing than by filing a whole new claim.
It is always a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced attorney. The SSD system is very complex, and any small mistake in the application process can result in your claim being denied. At Boesen Law, our Denver Social Security disability attorneys have successfully represented clients at all stages of the claims filing and appeals processes. We can review your case, look for errors in your application or the SSA’s review of your claim, and prepare you for your appeal hearing. Most importantly, we are prepared to aggressively advocate for you and the benefits you are owed.
Why Are SSD Claims Denied?
There are many reasons Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims may be denied.
Some of the most common reasons why the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies SSD claims include:
- Insufficient medical evidence
- Condition does not meet legal definition of “disability”
- Claimant earns above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit
- Application errors
- Missing documents and/or evidence
- Claimant has already had previous claims denied
- Failure to follow recommended treatment
- Failure to cooperate
While some claim denials are valid, many are the result of errors or omissions. If you believe your SSDI or SSI claim was denied unjustly, get in touch with our SSD attorneys in Denver for a free, in-person consultation today. We can discuss your options and provide you with the information you need to make empowered decisions about your future.
How Long Does It Take for SSDI or SSI Claims to Be Processed?
The amount of time it will take for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process your Social Security disability claim ranges widely. That being said, the average amount of time it takes for the SSA to process Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims is about three to five months from the date the application was filed.
Some people may have their claims expedited. The SSA’s “Compassionate Allowances” (CAL) program offers an expedited review of SSDI and SSI applications for those with severe disabilities. You do not need to file a special application or form to qualify for CAL; the SSA reviews all applications and determines which ones are eligible for expedited processing.
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
Whether you have yet to file for benefits or your SSD claim has just been denied, there are many reasons to consider hiring a Social Security disability lawyer. The fact is, people who work with SSD attorneys tend to have greater success when it comes to having their initial applications approved. An attorney at our firm can review your application and ensure that you have not made any errors that could jeopardize your benefits. Our attorneys can even help you determine whether you qualify for SSDI, SSI, or both programs.
If your claim has been denied, it is even more important that you reach out to an experienced SSD lawyer. Appealing a denied SSD claim requires numerous steps, as well as various pieces of evidence, information, and documentation in support of your claim. At Boesen Law, our Denver SSD attorneys can assist you with all aspects of your denied SSD claim appeal.
There are no upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our firm. Instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we secure benefits on your behalf. Our multilingual staff can assist you in English, Spanish and Russian, and we are happy to answer your questions and discuss your concerns during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
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