Colorado Springs Social Security Disability Lawyers
Helping You Claim Benefits in Colorado Springs, Parker, & Pueblo, CO
The Social Security Disability (SSD) program is designed to provide benefits to those suffering from an illness or injury that makes it impossible to work for at least a year, or those who have been diagnosed with a terminal health condition. SSD acts as social safety net to help those who have had the misfortune of being forced out of work due to a physical or mental impairment. It is not a means-tested program based on need; rather, it is more like an insurance policy, which you may have been paying into since the day you first started working.
Unfortunately, accessing these benefits can be a significant challenge, so much so that approximately two out of every three initial applications are denied. For this reason, it is very much in your best interest to retain the services of an attorney at Clawson & Clawson, LLP to represent you throughout the entirety of your claim — starting at the beginning before you even submit your paperwork. With more than a century of combined experience, our attorneys have a long history of successful results.
Social Security Disability Eligibility
The basic elements of a disability are that you suffer from an injury, illness, or other impairment, and you:
- Can no longer continue in the same line of work
- Will not be able to find another job that will pay you a suitable income
- Are expected to be disabled for at least a year
- Have been diagnosed with a terminal illness
Certain conditions will automatically qualify for benefits, such as many back injuries, cardiovascular illnesses, respiratory diseases, and neurological disorders.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the disability benefits program, which pays benefits to you and any qualified family members. You must be “insured” to be eligible for these benefits. That means that you have been part of the workforce for a long enough time and recently enough to qualify. During your employment years, you must have paid Social Security taxes on your wages or earnings.
Most people in the United States are employed in positions that are subject to the Social Security payroll tax. If you fall into this category, you have been contributing to the Social Security fund out of every paycheck. Now it is your time to take advantage of the benefits for which you have been paying all these years.
According to the Social Security Administration, 7.65% of an employee's paycheck goes toward the fund, while the employer matches that amount. Given that your employer could pay you the matching contribution if it weren't a mandatory deduction, you can consider that 15.3% of your paycheck has been funding the benefits you are now going to claim.
SSD Benefit Amounts
The amount you can receive in benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance is based on your average income before the date when you became disabled. It is not a means-tested program that pays according to how much you need or in proportion to the severity of your injury. Many factors go into determining the value of any given claim. Payments can range, on average, between $800 and $1800 per month. The most you could receive in 2020 was $3,011 monthly. Your benefit amount could be reduced if you have other sources of benefits, such as worker’s compensation, certain pensions, or other public disability benefits.
Many people will hesitate to claim Social Security Disability benefits because they don't want to go on public assistance or welfare. The fact is that Social Security Disability is anything but welfare. Instead of being a program for the indigent, it is actually an insurance policy, and the amount you can receive in benefits is based on the amount you have earned during your career.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between SSD and SSI?
Social Security Disability is essentially a type of disability insurance. It is funded directly by payroll taxes, paying benefits to individuals who meet the qualifications. Supplemental Security Income (SSI), on the other hand, is a means-tested program that pays benefits to people in need. You may be eligible if you are elderly, blind or disabled, and if your income and financial resources are below a certain threshold. The most recent figures from the Social Security Administration state that the average monthly predicted SSI payment for an individual in 2022 is $841. Children may receive more.
What if I have a long-term disability policy — will I still qualify for SSDI?
If you have a long-term disability insurance policy through your employer or which you pay for on your own, the insurance company may require you to file a claim for Social Security Disability before you can be approved in your claim for benefits through the private policy.
What if I am denied SSD?
A popular myth exists that everyone who files a claim for Social Security Disability is initially denied. While this is not true, it contains a kernel of truth. The fact is that approximately two-thirds of the 2.5 million new claims for SSD are denied on a yearly basis. This means that most people will have to be ready to appeal the decision in order to obtain benefits.
How does Medicare fit into disability benefits?
If you are over the age of 65 or suffer from certain disabilities, you may be eligible for coverage through the tax-payer-funded Medicare program. Medicare can help with the costs of hospitalization, medical care, and prescription drugs, and it is often received in addition to Social Security Disability.
Will SSD benefits bar me from receiving Medicaid?
The Medicaid program is for individuals whose income level is below a certain threshold, and it is administered by the government on both the state and federal levels. The federal government funds as much as half of the Medicaid program. People who are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will often be automatically qualified to receive Medicaid.
What about veterans’ disability benefits?
An attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP can help you file a claim for compensation through the veterans’ disability program. To be eligible, you must be at least 10% disabled as a result of an injury or illness that was incurred or exacerbated in the line of duty.
Do I really need an attorney to make a claim for SSD?
You are not required to hire an attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability claim, but many people who have experience with the system will recommend that you do. The SSA reports that approximately nine out of ten applicants have representation. An attorney from our firm can help you gather the necessary documentation and medical records to support your claim, as well as perform any necessary follow-up or actions needed to expedite your claim.
A Colorado Springs SSD attorney from our firm can assist you with every aspect of your claim, from understanding the system to representing you with throughout the entire process.
Why Hire Us?
Our team knows the claim process inside and out and understands what type of evidence is effective in getting an approval. Even if your claim is initially denied, we can still represent you in an appeal. Because of our proven results over the decades we have been in practice, we have earned many legal industry awards and recognitions. This includes the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and more. Put your trust in a firm that stands above the rest.