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Supplemental Security Income Faqs

Applying for SSDI Benefits in Tennessee – Updated for 2021 | Citizens Disability

Some people are better off applying for disability benefits through the federal SSI program. SSI is designed to provide financial assistance to the lowest-income disabled, senior and blind Americans each month. To qualify for disability through the SSI program, you must have very limited income and almost no assets. You may qualify for SSI based on your age alone once youre 65 or older.

What Are The Elimination Periods For Long

The most common elimination period for long-term disability is 90 days, but the exact terms of the elimination period will be specified in the policy. If short-term disability coverage is available, the effective waiting period before receiving benefits will be relatively short. When a short-term policy is not available, however, employees may have to wait several months with no income before qualifying for long-term benefits. Due to the longer elimination periods, many employees opt for a combination of short-term and long-term disability coverage.

What Is Your Work Capacity

Another significant factor that will impact the SSA’s decision to allow you to receive social security disability benefits is your ability to work as you did before getting hurt or debilitated. If it can be established that you cannot resume your previous capacity, this still doesn’t mean you’ll get approved. Instead, the agency will further look into what work tasks you can and cannot perform.

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Medical Qualifying With A Mental Illness

The SSA conducts a detailed review of your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits. During this review, they try to match your records to a disability listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSAs medical guide that is used to evaluate every disability application.

Disability listings outline the severity level requirements and the specific medical evidence needed to support a claim for benefits. Mental illnesses appear in Section 12.00 and include:

  • 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders you may qualify under this listing if you have a severe phobia, post-traumatic stress, a panic disorder, or another anxiety-related condition.
  • 12.08, Personality Disorders this is the listing under which you may qualify if you have severe, clinical depression.
  • 12.04, Affective Disorders if you have bipolar disorder, your application will be reviewed under this listing.

Extensive medical records are necessary to qualify, including:

  • Information on your diagnosis, ideally from a psychiatrist or psychologist
  • Brain scans or other evidence of physical abnormalities that document an organic cause for symptoms, if applicable
  • Treatment records, documenting medications, therapy, and other management methods used and their effects
  • Thoroughly documented episodes of increased symptoms or periods of decompensation
  • Well documented affects of your symptoms on your everyday abilities or activities of daily living

Income Protection Kept Michelle In The Game


Michelle was showing her nephew how to block a kick when she took an unexpected fall and broke her ankle. She needed minor surgery and a cast, which kept her away from work for several weeks. Michelle’s Short Term Disability Insurance paid her a portion of her lost income, so she could manage expenses while she was unable to work.

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Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness

Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.

Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.

What Does It Cost To Use An Accredited Representative Or A Vso

In general, no individual or organization may charge you a fee to help you file your initial application for benefits. But they may charge you for unusual expenses. Its only after weve made a decision about your original claim that VA-accredited claims agents and attorneys may charge for their services. Make sure you ask up front what, if any, fees youll be charged. If you believe a claims agent or attorney charged a fee thats too high, you can challenge it.

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Get Help From A Reputable Tennessee Social Security Lawyer

Whether you’re filing your SSD application for the first time or you’ve been denied social security benefits, remember that you don’t have to do this alone. Having a dedicated attorney by your side makes a big difference in your chance of getting approved.

Morgan & Morgan disability attorneys have a track record of winning more than the national average for SSD cases. Our services will prove invaluable to your case with the strict nature of how the SSA processes claim. Even better? We can explain what qualifies you for social security disability benefits in Tennessee and create a case built on solid evidence.

At Morgan & Morgan, our Social Security attorneys also won’t expect any payment until you’ve won your case. That’s right. You get our extensive experience representing individuals like yourself throughout every stage of the SSD application process. Our firm has the resources needed to help you recover the benefits you deserve. It costs nothing to get started, so contact us today.

What Qualifies For Short

How to Apply for a Disabled Placard in Tennessee

To qualify for short-term disability benefits, an employee must be unable to do their job, as deemed by a medical professional. Medical conditions that prevent an employee from working for several weeks to months, such as pregnancy, surgery rehabilitation, or severe illness, can qualify to receive benefits. Since employers in most states must legally provide workers’ compensation insurance to all employees, any injuries incurred on the job are typically covered under a workers’ comp policy and are therefore not eligible for short-term disability.

While most non-work-related temporary medical conditions are covered by a short-term disability policy, there can be exclusions for preexisting conditions or intentional and foreseeable injuries . While employees can qualify for time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a sick relative, most short-term disability policies would not provide benefits if the covered employee is not the one with the illness.

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Who Makes The Initial Disability Decision In Tennessee

A claims examiner at Disability Determination Services approves or denies initial applications for SSDI or SSI, in consultation with a doctor. The Tennessee Department of Human Services administers the Disability Determination Services program.

Here is the contact information for Tennessee’s DDS:

400 Deaderick StreetPhone: 743-7300 or 342-1117Fax: 253-2727

After you submit your disability application, you can contact the DDS for status updates. For more information, visit the Department of Human Service’s website.

How Much Will It Cost To Get My Medical Records

Tennessee law places a limit on how much a doctor’s office or hospital can charge you for your medical records.

In Tennessee, medical providers can charge $4.00 a page for the first five pages of records and $0.50 for any additional pages. These charges are waived if the records are being sent to another health care provider or medical facility. The medical care provider can also charge for postage.

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What Are The Medical Conditions That Qualify For Quick Determination Of Disability

If you are an SSI applicant with one of about 15 severe physical or intellectual impairments among them amputation, Down syndrome, total blindness or deafness, and HIV/AIDS Social Security may find you have a presumptive disability. This qualifies you for up to six months of benefits while your claim wends its

What Does An Accredited Representative Or A Vso Do

Humana Application Form

Accredited representatives and VSOs can help you understand and apply for VA benefits, like:

  • Financial support
  • Veteran Readiness and Employment

These trained professionals can also:

  • Help you gather supporting documents
  • File a claim or appeal on your behalf
  • Provide added support, like helping with transportation to medical appointments or emergency funds

Note: If your claim has a clear factual or legal error, your accredited representative or VSO can request a faster Higher-Level Review decision through a new pilot program called Claim Accuracy Request .

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How Do You Qualify For Disability In Tennessee

After receiving a diagnosis involving a disability or debilitating health condition, you likely aren’t able to work any longer or at the capacity you previously could. How will you support your family? How will you afford medical care? Are there any programs out there to help you financially? These are genuine questions that you need answers to as soon as possible.

Fortunately, state and federal programs are available that can help you fill some of the income gaps you’re experiencing. But, the biggest concern you face when applying for this support is finding out what qualifies you for disability in Tennessee.

Traveling With A Disability

If you are traveling to Tennessee from another state, you DO NOT need a TN disability placard or plate, as all U.S. states recognize the wheelchair emblems from all other states.

Alternatively, if you have a TN handicapped placard or plate, you can use it in any other U.S. state. Remember, you must follow each state’s handicapped parking rules and regulations.

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If Your Application Is Denied

After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.

If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you don’t qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.

If we decide you don’t qualify:

  • Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.

    The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.

Death Benefits Through Social Security

Social Security Disability in Tennessee

When a parent passes away, their minor children will suffer financial loss by their absence. The SSA recognizes this reality, and some children may qualify for death benefits, if:

  • They are unmarried
  • Under the age of 18
  • Are 18-19 years old but attending school full-time
  • Are over 18 years of age have suffered from significant disabilities that developed before turning 22

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Basic Eligibility For Benefits

The SSA must see that you meet basic eligibility requirements before further reviewing your application for benefits. This basic eligibility includes having:

  • A formal diagnosis of a potentially disabling condition
  • A diagnosed condition that will disable you for 12 months of longer

After the SSA confirms that you meet basic eligibility, they will then move on to review your medical condition in detail and verify that you meet all program requirements for SSDI and/or SSI.

How Long Does Short

While benefit periods may vary across different providers, most short-term disability policies provide benefits for three to six months. Some policies, especially those connected with a long-term disability policy, may provide short-term coverage for a full year. If an employee needs additional coverage beyond the initial short-term disability period, a long-term disability policy may be needed to extend the benefits.

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Personalizing The Fight To Protect Supplemental Security Income

SSI provides a basic standard of living for millions of people with disabilities and their families across the United States. Monthly SSI benefits help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities put food on the table and a roof over their heads and in most states, SSI ensures access to Medicaid. SSI also plays a vital role in helping families raise children with significant disabilities in the family home.

Let your members of Congress know why SSI is vital to you.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Tennessee Reserved Parking Disabled Parking Sign, Reflective, 12 x 18 ...

Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are disability income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to individuals who are eligible. The application process for SSI/SSDI is complicated and difficult to navigate. Nationally, about 37 percent of individuals who apply for these benefits are approved on initial application and appeals take an average of two years to complete.

For people who are homeless or who are returning to the community from institutions , access to these programs can be extremely challenging. Approval on initial application for people who are homeless and who have no one to assist them is about 10-15 percent. For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process is even more difficult yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery.

Critical components of SOAR include:

  • Serving as the applicants representative
  • Collecting medical records
  • Writing a medical Summary Report
  • Conducting quality review
  • Please contact a regional coordinator below to find your nearest SOAR Specialist:
Ashley Blum

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Two Ways To Apply For Tennessee Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration manages two federal disability programs that pay monthly cash benefits. Both ask the same medical screening questions when you apply, but thats where the similarities end. You can apply for Tennessee disability benefits through these two programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • And to make things easier, Tennessee disability claimants can use the same form to apply for both programs. Just check one box on your application to ensure youre screened for both SSI and SSDI benefits when you apply!

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    Get Help Filing Your Claim Or Appeal

    If you need help filing a claim or appeal, you may want to work with an accredited attorney, a claims agent, or a Veterans Service Officer . We trust these professionals because theyre trained and certified in the VA claims and appeals processes and can help you with VA-related needs.

    VSOs work on behalf of Veterans and service membersas well as their dependents and survivors. Find out more about accredited representatives and how they can help you.

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    Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits

    The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.

    The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.

    The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.

    Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:

    How Much Are Ssdi Payments Each Month

    Tennessee Social Security Disability Lawyers – NST Law

    The maximum Tennessee disability payment anyone can get under the federal SSDI program is $3,345/month. But to get that amount, youll need to earn a six-figure salary before becoming too disabled to work. Nationwide, the average monthly SSDI payment for disabled workers is $1,358. The only way to get a raise once your benefit amounts approved is through an annual cost-of-living-adjustment .

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    Expectations Of Participation In Soar

    Individuals may become eligible to utilize the SOAR model by completing the SOAR Online Course. Prior to beginning the online curriculum, individuals are encouraged to contact the State Team Lead or SOAR TA Center to discuss their training needs and expectations.

    Expectations of SOAR-trained Caseworkers

    Can You Appeal If Your Application Is Denied

    Many disability applications are denied in the initial application stage. But, as already mentioned, you can always appeal the decision. The appeals process in Tullahoma includes the following steps, all of which require the help of a Tullahoma Disability Attorney:

    • Reconsideration You have 60 days from the initial denial to request that the SSA reconsider your application. Once you do, a new claims examiner will be appointed to your case.
    • Hearing If your reconsideration request is denied, you have 60 days from the denial date to request a hearing in front of an ALJ, which will be held at a hearing office.
    • Appeals Council The ALJ may award benefits or deny your claim. If the latter happens, you will have 60 days from the denial date to appeal to the Appeals Council . The AC can reverse the ALJs decision, request that they reconsider some evidence, or deny your request.
    • Federal Court Your final form or recourse is to appeal the ACs decision to the federal district court.

    John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented clients in Tullahoma and throughout Tennessee and Alabama in their efforts to understand and apply for SSDI. For over 20 years, he has been helping people navigate the confusing process of getting disability benefits, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 962-1044 or submit our online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.

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    Applying For Social Security Disability And Ssi Benefits

    You can apply online for Social Security Disability benefits, you can file in person at your local Social Security office, or by calling 772-1213.

    To find your local Social Security office, click here and enter your home zip code. Locate a Social Security Office.

    Before you begin your application, you should collect certain information regarding your medical treatment, work history and other facts. To view a checklist of the information that you will need, Disability Checklist.

    When you are ready to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, Apply for Disability. You will not have to complete the entire application in one sitting. You will have the option of saving your application and returning to it later.

    You can also complete most of your application for SSI Disability benefits online, but to finish the application process you will have to visit a Social Security office. You canApply for SSI to begin the SSI application process for yourself or for a child.

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