Everyone’s experience applying for Social Security Disability benefits will be unique. Part of this is because everyone’s individual medical and work history is different. But, potential applicants should also know that each state – like Colorado – has its own story to tell in terms of social security disability benefit approval rates at each stage of the process, as well as waiting times at the hearing stage.

Why is State-by-State Information Important?

Specialized disability advocates (like us here at Citizens Disability) and Colorado social security disability attorneys know all too well how important it is to understand that every state is different. It’s very helpful to know what the trends are, how long the wait times are from office to office, and what the different rates of approvals are.

Citizens Disability takes a data-driven approach to helping our clients. We want to make sure that we’re giving our clients the best possible advice at every step in the application process. We also work very hard to present the best possible case for each of our clients. Bringing together data from a wide variety of sources – including data like this, which comes from the Social Security Administration – allows us to make smart decisions when we present cases for our clients.

Finally, this information can be very helpful to applicants. Applying for social security benefits is likely a new experience for most applicants, and having an idea of what they can expect from the process can help them be engaged and involved participants with their advocates.

While your own journey may be different than the trends you see here, these tables and charts can help you understand what, on average, you can expect.

You will also find location and contact information for all the offices in Colorado below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Colorado – What You Need To Know

There are generally three stages in the application process for Social Security Disability benefits: initial application, reconsideration, and the hearing. In this table, you can see how Colorado compares to the national average (all states in America) when it comes to approval rates at each of those stages.

Initial Application (L1)Reconsideration (L2)Hearing (L3)
Colorado40.5%18.5%47.6%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:5.0%5.9%-6.3%

As the table shows, in 2018 Colorado was strongly ahead of national averages in terms of approvals at the Initial Application and Reconsideration levels, but lagged behind the national average quite a bit in terms of approvals at Hearings.

Colorado Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Colorado40.5%36.4%33.7%31.4%31.9%34.0%33.5%35.2%37.8%
National Average35.6%34.7%33.7%33.1%32.8%33.0%33.4%33.2%35.1%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart show, Colorado has been generally on-par with national averages for approvals of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010, with a solid increase in the last two years. In 2018, Colorado ranked 12th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Colorado over the last few years, and they are ahead of national averages, as you can see only about 4 in 10 initial applications in Colorado are approved. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Colorado Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Colorado18.5%13.6%10.2%10.1%9.9%11.9%19.4%22.3%27.0%
National Average12.6%13.1%12.8%11.8%11.0%11.4%11.9%11.4%12.5%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart indicate, Colorado has had a high degree of variability against the national average when it comes to approvals at the Reconsideration level – sometimes high above the average, sometimes a bit below. In 2018, Colorado ranked 10th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Reconsideration. However, as you can see, in general, the chances of winning approval at Reconsideration are not particularly high. That is why many applicants must continue in the next level, the Hearing.

Colorado Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Colorado47.6%53.2%49.7%50.2%54.7%55.1%58.2%59.3%64.5%
National Average53.9%56.8%54.7%53.4%53.7%55.5%57.7%62.5%67.2%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart indicate, Colorado has recently fallen behind the the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Colorado ranked 41st in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings, dropping below 50%.

However, as you’ll see below, all individual hearing offices in Colorado are not the same – each office has its own approval rates, and almost as importantly, waiting times. Which hearing office your case is assigned to in Colorado may have a significant bearing on your chances for approval.

Also worthy of note is the fact that past performance is only one indicator of likely outcomes; as new data comes in, you might see that a state’s performance compared to the national average has either improved or weakened.

Colorado SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Colorado is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 8,” which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. There are 2 hearing offices in Colorado. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Colorado and National Averages.

The “Hearing Wait Time (Months)” is, on average, how long it takes in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing and when that hearing occurs.

The “Average Disposition Time (Days)” is, on average, the number of days in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing, and when the Administrative Law Judge who hears their case actually makes a decision on that case.

The “Average Approval Rate” is percentage at which cases are decided in favor of the applicant.

Hearing Wait Time (Months)Average Disposition Time (Days)Average Approval Rate (2019)
National Average15.453452.7%
Colorado Average14.751935.8%
COLORADO SPRINGS16.155729.0%
DENVER13.248039.7%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, Colorado is trailing far behind the national average in terms of approval rates at the Hearing level – and the Colorado Springs office appears to be approving less than 1 in 3 applicants at the Hearing level.

The Denver office also trails the national average in terms of approvals, but it does appear to be ahead of the average in terms of wait time for hearings.

These waiting times and approval rates only highlight how important it can be to have a qualified representative – such as an Advocate from Citizens Disability – working on your case. The Government Accountability Office has done research that shows that an applicant who has a representative has an up to three times greater chance of being approved than a person who goes it alone.


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Hearing Offices in Colorado & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Colorado. These offices are where hearings are scheduled and generally conducted. Each OHO office supports a number of regional Social Security Administration field offices. You are likely (but not guaranteed) to have your hearing scheduled with a Judge who works in the OHO office that supports the SSA field office nearest to you.

Regional Office Region 8 Denver SSA, OHO
Suite 600 1244 Speer Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80204-3584
(888) 397-9803 • (303) 844-6092
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Satellite Office Region 8 Colorado Springs SSA, OHO
Plaza of the Rockies, North Tower 111 S. Tejon Street, Suite 401
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
(888) 844-8269 • (719) 634-1735 • (877) 389-4219
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
COLORADO: Alamosa, Canon City, Colorado Springs, Durango, La Junta, Pueblo, Trinidad

Hearing Office Region 8 Denver SSA, OHO
Suite 752 1244 Speer Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80204-3584
(888) 383-8889 • (303) 844-5817 • (877) 389-4221
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
COLORADO: Aurora, Denver, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Lakewood, Littleton, Louisville, Montrose

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Colorado

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
LITTLETON CO8000 SOUTHPARK LNLITTLETONCO(800) 772-1213
LAKEWOOD CO13151 W ALAMEDA PKWYLAKEWOODCO(800) 772-1213
DENVER CO2ND FL SUITE 2001500 CHAMPA STDENVERCO(800) 772-1213
PUEBLO CO3769 PARKER BLVDPUEBLOCO(888) 737-1761
GRAND JUNCTION CO825 NORTH CREST DRIVEGRAND JUNCTIONCO(866) 931-7120
GREELEY COSUITE A5400 WEST 11 STGREELEYCO(877) 405-9195
TRINIDAD CO111 WAVERLY AVENUETRINIDADCO(866) 755-5009
COLORADO SPRINGS CO2306 E PIKES PEAK AVECOLORADO SPRINGSCO(888) 880-0688
ALAMOSA CO602 DEL SOL DRIVE 1-AALAMOSACO(888) 475-0297
LOUISVILLE CO480 W DAHLIA STLOUISVILLECO(800) 772-1213
DURANGO COSUITE 120103 SHEPPARD DRIVEDURANGOCO(888) 472-6115
FORT COLLINS CO4TH FLOOR301 S HOWES STFT COLLINSCO(866) 336-7385
AURORA COSUITE 25014280 E JEWELL AVEAURORACO(800) 772-1213
MONTROSE CO1805 PAVILION DRMONTROSECO(866) 758-1317
CANON CITY CO115 N 10TH STCANON CITYCO(866) 272-5728
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All data on this page is current as of July, 2019.

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About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call (800)492-3260.