Your Top Questions About Colorado Social Security & Disability Answered
How long will it take for a hearing to be held, a decision to be issued, and for benefits to be paid?
It varies a lot. Lately, it has taken a year and a half from the date a person requests a hearing to get a date. After the hearing, it often takes two to three months, as a general rule, for a decision to be issued. After that, if we win, it takes a month or two for current benefits to start being paid. From the date of the decision, it can take from one to five or six months for all back benefits to be paid. Thus, all this takes a long time, much longer than it should. I’ve discovered that there aren’t a lot of ways for an attorney to speed things up. About all I can do is try not to slow things down.
How will I be notified of when my hearing is?
You should hear from our office first. The judge’s assistant will telephone us before scheduling your hearing to make sure I don’t have any conflicts on my calendar. As soon as I hear from the judge’s assistant, I’ll send you a letter. After you get the letter from me, you’ll get a Notice of Hearing from the judge.
What happens if I get a Notice of Hearing before I get a letter from my representative telling me about the date?
It may be that someone failed to call me about your hearing. So, if you get a Notice of Hearing before you get a letter from me telling you the date of your hearing, call my office immediately.
What will my Attorney do to prepare for the hearing?
I will review your social security file. I will figure out what we need to prove to win your case and how to prove it. I will get the necessary medical records and other records. I will obtain reports from your doctors, if necessary. And I will meet with you a day or so before your hearing to get you prepared to testify. I will also talk with any witnesses from whom we may want to present testimony at your hearing.
What can I do to help get ready for my hearing?
Continue to treat with your physicians and bring in updated medical records. Think about who might be a good witness — someone who knows you well, who knows all the problems you’ve been having lately, and who can describe them for the judge. Most people use as witnesses their spouse, another family member, or a close friend because usually they are the ones who know them the best and there really isn’t anyone else. Such witnesses are fine. I think they are truthful, good witnesses; but sometimes a judge will think that close friends or family members bend over backward to help a claimant.
Therefore, often the very best witnesses are people who are not as close and who might be considered more objective. In the past, my clients have suggested as witnesses former supervisors, co-workers, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, ministers, landlords, neighbors, etc. If you have an idea for having someone like this to be a witness, call me about it when you receive the letter from me notifying you of your hearing date.