Social Security Disability

At The Tucker, Yoder, Hatfield, Eley & Associates Law Firm, we have vast experience handling Social Security Disability claims and we work hard to help you get the benefits you need and are entitled to recieve. Fill out our contact form on this page to find out if you might qualify and to receive legal counsel and representation in your Social Security Disability claim.

Filing a claim for SSDI benefits isn't easy, but we can help. We offer a free case evaluation. Our team helps clients navigate the complex procedures and hearings necessary to obtain disability benefits. We understand the financial and emotional burden that the SSDI process can put on our clients.

The United States government has enacted two programs aimed at providing assistance to disabled Americans: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both of these programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unlike other disability programs, to qualify for SSA disability, applicants must be deemed totally disabled under SSA’s separate guidelines by having a medically determinable impairment.

According to the SSA, a “Medically Determinable Impairment” is a physical or mental impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities, as evidenced by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. A physical or mental impairment must be established by medical evidence such as signs, symptoms and laboratory findings.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of conditions that may qualify applicants for benefits. Please note that the diagnosis of one of these conditions is not necessarily a guarantee that your disability benefits will be granted.

Alzheimer’s

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Anxiety

Arthritis

Asthma

Back Pain

Bipolar Disorder

Cancer

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Headaches

Congestive Heart Failure

Depression

Diabetes

Emphysema

Fibromyalgia

Hepatitis C

Huntington’s Disease

Liver and Kidney Disease

Lupus

Mental Retardation

Mood Disorders

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Multiple Sclerosis

Muscular Dystrophy

Organic Brain Dysfunction

Parkinson’s Disease

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Schizophrenia

Spina Bifida

Traumatic Brain Injury


In order to qualify for SSDI, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be insured, which means you must have worked and paid federal payroll taxes (FICA) for five of the last 10 years.

  • You must also apply before reaching full retirement age (65-67).

  • You must meet Social Security’s definition of total disability.

Applications can be denied for a variety of reasons. Most often, the claimant is found to be working above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) levels, which means they earned above $1,170 per month. SSA may also determine that there is not enough medical evidence of a disabling condition, or that a prior application was filed incorrectly.

In order to provide your case with the best chance of success you should seek routine medical care and follow any treating advice provided by your doctor, which could include referrals to specialists, physical therapy, diet modifications, and exercise.

The process for receiving SSA disability can be quite lengthy. The normal process consists of an initial application; if denied, then there is an appeal process; if denied with the appeal, then a hearing may be requested; if the claim is denied through a hearing, an appeal may be filed with the Appeals Council; and if denied there, then there is the option of filing a Federal claim.

With the current back-log of cases SSA has, the typical wait time to receive a decision on the initial application is six to eight months; an appeal decision typically takes six to nine months; the wait time for a hearing is currently one year in New Mexico and eight months to a year in Colorado and the wait time for a decision varies upon the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case…some can be issued within a month, others can take three to four months, possibly longer. If an appeal is filed with the Appeals Council, review times can be a year or longer. These time frames are general expectancy as every case is different.

Our fees are determined by government statute. We receive 25% of the accrued benefit amount, up to $6,000. We do not impose fees up front and we only get paid if your claim is successful. If your claim is denied, you pay nothing in attorneys fees. However, you are responsible for any costs your doctor may request for obtaining your medical records, regardless of the outcome of your case.

Our Team at Tucker, Yoder, Hatfield, Eley & Associates Law Firm has years of experience handling social security cases. We are well-versed in the system, and we can help you prepare your case and assist you through the appeals process if your application was denied. We are currently accepting cases in the States of Colorado and New Mexico. Call 970-259-2269 or contact us online today to discuss your concerns.

Do I Qualify?

Determining whether your medical condition qualifies for Social Security-related benefits can be confusing. If you have questions about the eligibility of your condition, or if you've been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), make sure you explore your legal options.