Social Security Disability
Julie Kreutzer is an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer,
serving the Boulder and Denver metro areas in Colorado. We handle
SSI and SSDI appeals for clients who have been denied disability
benefits by Social Security. This involves filing a notice
of appeal, obtaining and reviewing medical records, doing an on
the record review letter and a hearing, where necessary.
A large number of people are turned down for benefits. Social
Security in Denver states that they approve more than half of their
cases but of course, that means a lot of people are turned down.
Many of those people appeal and win. As a result, if you have been
turned down, you should not take that to mean that you don't have
a case.  It is important to set up a consult with an attorney
soon after you are denied since you only have sixty days to appeal.
Bring the letter and a summary of your medical problems to the attorney
so we can evaluate the strength of your appeal.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can I afford an attorney to appeal my disability case?
Absolutely. Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis
which means that they are paid if they win from a percentage of
your back benefits. By law, you pay a fee equal to the lesser
of 25 percent of the past-due benefits that are awarded because
the appeal was successful, or $5,300.00.
How are costs paid for?
If your attorney needs to pay doctors to copy records and write
letters they will get the costs back from your back benefits after
the case is over. It needs to be clear whether you will be
expected to pay those costs if you lose your appeal.
What happens if I appeal my disability case?
Your attorney will file a notice of appeal and do a hearing.
It may take up to a year to get a hearing for your appeal because
they are backlogged at the office of hearings and appeals.
Some attorneys do an on the record review letter in an attempt to
get a favorable decision with out a hearing. (Some attorneys
view such a letter as either a faster way to get their client benefits
or terrific early trial preparation. Other attorneys prefer
to wait for hearing. I do the letter and hope for the best.)
Is it worthwhile to appeal?
The benefits you receive if you win are not very high however,
the medical benefits are very valuable and some money is better
than no money when you are unable to work. ; If you have serious
medical issues and can't work, you should seriously consider appealing.
If you are not sure, set up a consult with an attorney.
Do I have to have an attorney to appeal?
You can do it yourself. Issues to look at are:
1) your ability to obtain and organize the medical information 2)
Your understanding of what the Court is looking for (the letter
of denial is a helpful starting point) 3) Your confidence in arguing
your case to the administrative law judge; and 4) Health issues
that might affect your success in doing your appeal. ;
The positive side of not having counsel is that you don't have to
give them a portion of your back benefits. The negative side
is that non-lawyers often lack experience and knowledge that are
important to winning an appeal and if they lose their appeal, they
have to start over again, hoping the information they obtain will
allow them to succeed next time they apply for benefits. Also,
they lose their back benefits money.
What if I lose my appeal?
You can appeal to Federal District Court, or reapply for
benefits (starting over again) or give up on the project.
It's important to determine why you lost and evaluate the strength
of your evidence.
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