Social Security Disability Eligibility in Nashville
To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the United States, your disability must fall within the definition used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) – an inability to work expected to last at least one year. While this is the basic definition, other stipulations surround the decision by the SSA if someone should receive benefits or not.
First, the SSA will examine your recent earnings from work, not from other benefit programs in which you’re enlisted. In general, if you earn more than $1,130 per month from a job in 2016, you are not considered disabled. The SSA considers monthly income less than this as low enough to place the person in financial need.
Then, the SSA will only consider a claim if your condition interferes with your ability to work. If your disability prevents you from performing daily tasks you used to be able to complete, the law considers it interference work ability. Once the SSA considers your claim, the third step is to affirm that the official list of disabling conditions includes your condition.
The SSA considers conditions on this list as severe enough to render the victim disabled automatically. If your condition isn’t included, you may still be eligible. The SSA will investigate your condition and decide if it’s severe enough consider it a disability. If your condition wasn’t on the list, they’ll also have to affirm you are unable to do the work you did before.
The final step in determining eligibility for SSI is to see if your condition allows you to perform another job. The SSA will take your age, education, and experience into consideration and match you with a different job to determine if you can adjust to other types of work. If you’re unfit for your old job (i.e., as a construction worker) but can perform well at another job and have the education and/or experience to back up the change, the SSA may maintain that you aren’t disabled.
What Happens If I’m Not Eligible for SSI?
If the SSA investigation concludes you are not disabled and therefore do not qualify for SSI benefits, you can appeal their decision. You can appeal online, but you must provide documents to support your appeal. When you team with experienced attorneys for your appeal, you’ll have a better chance of getting through to the courts.
The team at Larry R. Williams, PLLC, dedicates its time and resources to defending the rights of the injured, especially when disabilities interfere with the ability to earn a living and maintain a standard quality of life. If you wish to appeal an SSA decision about your disability, you’ll need to make your request within 60 days from the date you receive the SSA’s letter.
There are four levels of appeal: reconsideration, judge hearing, Appeals Council review, and Federal Court review. Our attorneys will work with you to put together a strong case of appeal so that it passes the reconsideration process. You won’t need to be present for the reconsideration, as it has to do with evidence on file. If the reconsideration decision isn’t successful, you can ask for a hearing and then move onto the last two stages if you still don’t reach the verdict you want.
You can expect to receive your initial decision in three to six months, a reconsideration in three to six more months, and one year or longer for a hearing. Throughout this arduous process, the attorneys at Larry R. Williams, PLLC, will make sure your paperwork is up to legal standards and contains as much evidence as you need to defend your disability case. If you’d like to speak with us about your SSD decision appeal, contact us today.