Nashville Social Security Disability FAQ

Social Security Disability Insurance can be a complex topic for applicants trying to secure benefits, especially if it’s their first time dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you’re applying for benefits, beginning an appeal, or wondering about eligible medical conditions, here are some common FAQs.

How Can Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?

The easiest way to apply for benefits is using the online application tool on SSA’s website. Before you apply, take a few moments to review the information they have on their page about the application process.

How Do I Check the Status of My Application?

Once you’ve completed and submitted the application for benefits, you can easily check your application status information online. This tool will show you the date you applied, the date the SSA representative received your application, the address of your county’s office, and whether or not the SSA came to a decision. You can also call your local Social Security Offices and ask them for an update using your name and address. It will usually take between three and six months to hear a response to your initial application.

What Factors Will Affect the Decision to Grant or Deny Me Benefits?

The major reason applicants for SSD or SSI benefits get denied is because the SSA agent reviewing the application determines that the claimant isn’t disabled. If the condition listed on the application isn’t on their list of impairments that qualify as disabled, oftentimes an agent will deny the request without looking into it further. If the agent believes the claimant can feasibly still work part-time, or work a job that is less strenuous than his or her current job, they will also deny the claim on the grounds that the applicant can still work.

Other reasons for benefit denials are if you receive too much monthly income from a job source. SSA agents don’t look at money you get from other benefit associations, but they do look at monthly wages earned. In 2016, if you earn more than $1,130 per month from a job you are not considered disabled. Also, if you didn’t work long enough at a job where you paid taxes to Social Security (usually five to 10 years), you aren’t eligible for benefits.

What Happens if My Application for Benefits Is Denied?

Only 34% of applicants are accepted in the initial application process, while the SSA accepts more than half of applicants during an appeal. Every applicant has the right to appeal the SSA’s decision and can begin the appeal process within 60 days of getting the denied application back. We recommend you hire a disability attorney to defend your case if you choose to make an appeal (and you should).

Can I Go Back to Work While Receiving SSI Benefits?

Yes, you can return to work without losing your monthly SSI payments. The SSA has special resources to encourage disabled workers to return to work at least part-time, including a risk-free job trial where you can see if your disability allows you to do a job without the risk of getting fired or losing benefits.

Can I Get Help With My Disability Benefits Case?

The SSA recommends you get a lawyer if you plan on making an appeal to their original decision, and we do, too. Appeals can be complex, even if they often result in wins for claimants.

The lawyers at Larry R. Williams, PLLC, pride themselves on having extensive knowledge of Tennessee Social Security Disability laws, and we have successfully gotten dozens of disabled workers in the Nashville area approved applications for benefits. Contact the family owned and operated law firm of Larry R. Williams, PLLC, today to get in touch with a disability lawyer who knows how state laws work.