Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI as it’s commonly called, can help Colorado residents with disabilities get by financially.
SSDI benefits are offered for individuals with a debilitating disease or condition that lasts at least 12 months or will eventually result in death. SSDI recipients must also have paid a sufficient amount of Social Security taxes over the course of their lifetime.
Facts About Colorado
Around 21% of adults over the age of 18 have a disability in the Centennial State, which is 4 points lower than the national average of 25%. Adults with disabilities are more likely to smoke, be obese or inactive, and have high blood pressure than adults without disabilities—even though these percentages are lower in Colorado than nationally.
About $4.4 billion is spent on disability-related healthcare costs in Colorado. Social Security Disability Benefits can help recipients with major life activities, maintain a health care policy, and live independently by defraying the cost of housing, food, and transportation.
How To Qualify for SSDI in Colorado
To qualify for Social Security Disability, Colorado residents must have paid a sufficient amount of Social Security taxes (also known as FICA taxes) over the course of their working life. The Social Security Administration determines this using a work credit system, where every $1,470 in covered earnings merits one work credit. An SSDI application requires 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the past decade.
SSDI is meant to defray the cost of a mental, developmental, or physical disability that makes working impossible, so an SSDI claimant must also prove that they have a debilitating disease or condition. There are 14 different categories of disabilities in the SSA Red Book, everything from respiratory to skin to hematological to immune disorders.
However, even if you don’t have a specific condition, you can still qualify if you can demonstrate on your SSDI application that you have a low Residual Functional Capacity. This means you cannot perform basic tasks needed to sustain employment, even if a reasonable accommodation is provided.
However, the Colorado Disability Determination Services will make vocational rehabilitation wherever possible. Exceptions may include older adults living in a nursing facility or those whose special needs prevent them from performing active labor.
How To Apply for SSDI in Colorado
Colorado residents don’t have to go anywhere to file an SSDI claim; they can fill out their disability application right on the SSA website or by calling the application hotline at 1-800-772-1213.
If a potential beneficiary wants to apply in-person, they can go to one of the 16 different SSA field offices sprinkled around The Centennial State. When you apply for SSDI, you need to have sufficient documentation proving your physical illness, mental illness, or debilitating condition.
How To Appeal a Denial in Colorado
As much as 70% of SSDI applications in Colorado are not approved, which is close to the national average. Fortunately, SSDI applicants who are denied can file an appeal.
The first step of the appeals process is to request a reconsideration, which can be submitted online. The reconsideration will allow you to provide additional proof of your disability or work history to the Disability Determination Service (DDS).
If that does not work, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge, who may return the case to a different disability examiner for a secondary review.
If the hearing before the ALJ does not return a favorable verdict, you can request a hearing with the Appeals Council. At this level of hearing, you should consider hiring a disability lawyer to help present your case.
Working with a disability attorney can improve your chances of approval since experienced lawyers know exactly what to include with your SSDI application. A lawyer can also guide you to additional or alternative human services, such as workers’ compensation or VA benefits.
More Colorado Benefits
The SSA will check to see if an SSDI applicant is eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is available for low-income Colorado residents who are either disabled or over the age of 65. Getting your disability application simultaneously approved for SSI on top of SSDI can be very beneficial.
SSDI recipients must wait two years before being eligible for Medicare. With SSI, you immediately qualify for Medicaid, so you can enjoy health coverage while waiting for your Medicare benefits to kick in.
Colorado Medicaid is a type of health insurance for low-income earners who do not have workplace health insurance and cannot afford their own policy. Medicaid in Colorado is called Health First, jointly managed and financed by the federal and state governments.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment administers Colorado Unemployment Benefits for individuals out of work through no fault of their own. In most cases, someone collecting unemployment must show that they are willing and able to work. Each week, recipients must prove that they are actively looking for new employment if they want to receive individualized assistance.
If you have low income and/or are experiencing another difficulty related to disability, check with the offices below for a free consultation; you may be entitled to financial assistance depending on your health care coverage.
Colorado Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in Colorado
|Littleton SSA Office
||8000 Southpark Ln
Littleton, CO 80120
|Lakewood SSA Office
||13151 W Alameda Pkwy
Lakewood, CO 80228
|Denver SSA Office
||1500 Champa St 2nd Fl Ste 200
Denver, CO 80202
|Pueblo SSA Office
||3769 Parker Blvd
Pueblo, CO 81008
|Grand Junction SSA Office
||825 North Crest Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506
|Greeley SSA Office
||5400 West 11 St Suite A
Greeley, CO 80634
|Trinidad SSA Office
||111 Waverly Avenue
Trinidad, CO 81082
|Colorado Springs SSA Office
||2306 E Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
|Alamosa SSA Office
||602 Del Sol Drive 1-A
Alamosa, CO 81101
|Louisville SSA Office
||480 W Dahlia St
Louisville, CO 80027
|Durango SSA Office
||103 Sheppard Drive Suite 120
Durango, CO 81303
|Fort Collins SSA Office
||301 S Howes St 4th Floor
Ft Collins, CO 80521
|Aurora SSA Office
||14280 E Jewell Ave Suite 250
Aurora, CO 80012
|Montrose SSA Office
||1805 Pavilion Dr
Montrose, CO 81401
|Canon City SSA Office
||115 N 10th St
Canon City, CO 81212
Colorado Hearing and Appeal Offices
Colorado is in Region 8 (Denver), which services Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
|Region 8 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Colorado
|SSA Hearing Office – Denver
||1244 Speer Blvd Ste 600
Denver, CO 80204-3584
|SSA Hearing Office – Colorado Springs
||111 S. Tejon Street, Suite 401
Plaza of the Rockies, North Tower
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
|SSA Hearing Office – Denver
||1244 Speer Blvd Suite 752
Denver, CO 80204-3584