If you are unable to work because of a medical issue and you live in Tennessee, you may qualify for disability benefits administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA oversees two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provide monthly disability benefits to individuals who meet the specific medical criteria to have their claim approved. You will need to provide hard medical evidence and supporting documentation to backup your claim and show the disability examiner the severity of your condition.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Tennessee
You can start the disability claims process online on the SSA’s website or by calling 1-800-772-1213. There are several field offices located throughout the State of Tennessee. You may need to visit a field office during the claims process.
There are 29 field offices scattered across the state. Field offices are available in Athens, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Cleveland, Columbia, Cookeville, Dyersburg, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jacksboro, Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Lawrenceburg, Madison, McMinnville, Memphis has 4 locations, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge, Paris, Selmer, Tullahoma, and Union City.
Social Security Disability Benefits Statistics in Tennessee
During the initial claim review, about 38.4% of disability claims in Tennessee are approved, which is the same rate as the national average. If your claim is denied, you will receive written notification detailing why your claim was denied and what additional information is needed for approval. You will file an appeal, or a request for reconsideration, by the specified deadline. During the reconsideration stage, about 15.8% of claims are approved in Tennessee, but that is higher than the 13.7% national average for that stage.
Disability Determination Services (DDS) is where decisions are made on disability claims. These decisions are based on medical records, continuing disability reviews, medical and psychological evidence, and the statement of the applicant. DDS offices in Tennessee are in Nashville.
Denied Disability Claim in Tennessee
Many claims are denied during the initial review then during the reconsideration phase. They must advance to the hearing level where they have the best chance of being approved.
The hearing offices are referred to as the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In Tennessee, ODAR locations are Kingsport, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. In Tennessee, 56.9% of claims are approved at the hearing level, which is higher than the 51.1% national average.
In Tennessee, there is an average wait of 10.5 months for a hearing date. That is less than the national average of 11.4 months. On average, it takes 267 days for a case to be disposed in the state, while the national average is 318 days.
The key to a successful disability claim is hard medical evidence that supports your claim and that confirms you are disabled. You will need to gather medical records and other evidence, so you can show the severity of your condition and how it affects your daily life and renders you unable to work and earn a living.
Once your claim is approved, you will receive monthly disability benefits. These benefits can be used to cover medical expenses and to help cover basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and so forth. These funds are beneficial to disabled workers with no other source of income.
Help Filing For Disability In Tennessee
Disability claims can be complex. You will need to make sure you have your application filled out in detail and the supporting documentation in order. A lawyer could be an asset to your claim.
A disability attorney can help you get your claim in order. The SSA has released data that shows claimants represented by a lawyer were more likely to be awarded disability benefits. An attorney can walk you through the claims process, review your evidence and documentation, and determine what other records you need to support your claim.
An attorney can make sure you meet all the deadlines, and if your claim advances to the hearing level, your lawyer will represent you at the hearing and help prepare you for questioning. An attorney can make sure you have everything that you need to show the severity of your condition and to show how and why you qualify for disability benefits, so your claim will be approved.
You may not have to pay anything in advance because disability attorneys work on a contingency basis. Your lawyer will not get paid until you are awarded disability benefits. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your claim with an independent, participating attorney who represents disability claimants in Tennessee.