There are three ways to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits: online, by telephone, or by visiting your local Social Security Administration Office. You should expect that the process will take some time to complete, but it is always better to be prepared by consulting a social security disability benefits attorney who is knowledgeable in this aspect of the law, like Jonathan Bowman. By having an experienced social security disability lawyer in the field at your side, you ensure that you will compile and present the necessary documentation. This will not only help you feel more comfortable in what can be a stressful situation but will also definitely speed the process along. Once you are approved for benefits, your first check will be paid for the sixth full month after the onset of your disability.
When you apply for SSD or SSI benefits, you should be prepared for the possibility that your first application may be denied. As a matter of fact, this happens in the majority of cases. Fortunately, there is an appeals process in place so that, with the assistance of your disability lawyer, you will have another avenue to pursue that is much more likely to be successful.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits in Nashville, TN
SSD benefits are designed for individuals who have been injured or become ill and unable to work in any substantial gainful activity (SGA). The benefits are based on the hours you have amassed during your working career because you have been paying into the system (Social Security or FICA taxes) that exists to protect you. The amount of your disability payment will be based on your average lifetime earnings. SSI, on the other hand, is needs based, meaning that you have to limited assets, resources, and household income.
Additionally, in order to be eligible for SSD or SSI benefits, your medical or psychiatric condition must have resulted in severe, long-term, and total disability. “Severe” means that your disability is serious enough to prevent you from performing the basic tasks essential for gainful employment; “long-term” means that your condition has been diagnosed as one that will keep you from working for at least 1 year or will result in death; “total” means that you are, because of your disability, unable to earn enough to sustain you and that your symptoms are not considered likely to improve with medication or treatment of any kind.
The Steps of Applying for SSD/SSI in Wilson County
Once you have initially applied for SSD/SSI, the field office will verify your identification, including your name, age, employment and marital status. The field office will then send your case to an agency of your state, in this case, Tennessee, often called the Disability Determination Service (DDS), for review. If this agency determines that it has insufficient evidence to make a decision, it may require more information from an independent source. If DDS confirms that you are disabled, Social Security will compute your benefit amount and begin processing your benefits. If not, you will be informed of the denial and you and your Nashville disability lawyer can begin the appeals process.
If you require assistance please feel free to request a consultation with disability attorney Jonathan Bowman located in Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee and servicing the entire Nashville area.