The Law Office of Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC The Law Office of Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC

Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers in Tennessee

When you need to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your best chance for approval involves working with a disability attorney. The Social Security Administration (SSA) only approves about 30% of all initial claims each year. It’s essential to complete the forms correctly and completely. Providing sufficient documentation, including medical records and work history information, is also crucial.

Social Security Disability Claim

If you have to appeal your claim after being denied, identifying the additional information you need can be confusing. An experienced disability lawyer will be able to review your initial claim and pinpoint discrepancies. They will explain what, if any, essential information was missing from your claim and how to proceed with your appeal.

At Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC, our Social Security Disability attorneys in Tennessee can provide the legal guidance and support you need to successfully navigate the disability claims process. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Our Disability Attorneys in Tennessee

The Tennessee disability lawyers at Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC have more than 100 years of combined legal experience helping clients obtain essential benefits.

Our helping hands logo and our “Don’t Fight Alone” motto were designed to let individuals know we are truly dedicated to helping them. We advocate for every client and treat them with dignity and respect. It’s our top priority to provide compassionate legal services from the beginning of your case to the very end.

Our legal services include the following benefits:

  • We meet with you face-to-face
  • Your dedicated attorney has ownership of your case
  • We know the local medical providers
  • We provide personal and responsive service

At Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC, our Social Security disability attorneys actually work for you. We handle the hard work and legal complexities so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.

You can also count on us to provide full transparency about your case every step of the way. We always go the extra mile to help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

A wheelchair sitting beside two books about Social Security Disability Law and a judge's gavel.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are five disability benefits programs offered through the SSA, and each has unique requirements.

  • Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) / Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Disabled Widow and Widower’s Benefits (DWB)
  • Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC)
  • Child’s Disability Benefits (CDB)

Our disability lawyers in Tennessee will help you determine which benefits program you qualify for and how to apply. Reach out to us to schedule a free case evaluation to get started.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

To qualify for Social Security Disability, an individual must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. This condition must be severe enough that it prevents the individual from performing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). It must also be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

For SSDI, the claimant must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security and earned sufficient work credits to be eligible. The number of credits required depends on the individual’s age. Additionally, an SSDI claimant must be unable to work in their previous field and any new field of work. The SSA will review medical, education, and work history to determine eligibility.

For SSI, an applicant must have extremely limited income and resources to be eligible. This is because it is a needs-based program. SSI is only awarded to aged, blind, and disabled individuals who have little or no income.

In the case of SSI disability claims, the same rules apply as do for SSDI claims. The applicant’s impairment must prevent them from performing SGA and be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. The SSA evaluates each application by reviewing the claimant’s age, income, resources, and medical condition.

To learn about the other three SSA benefits programs and who is eligible, visit this page.

Qualifying Conditions for Disability Benefits | The Blue Book

The SSA references a comprehensive Listing of Impairments known as the Blue Book to review disability claims. This detailed guide is available in versions for both adults and children. It outlines various medical conditions and their specific criteria and symptoms that can qualify an individual for Social Security Disability.

However, the Blue Book doesn’t include every possible injury, illness, or medical condition. Furthermore, your own symptoms might not align exactly with those detailed in the Blue Book. In some cases, you might experience multiple health issues which, although not individually qualifying as disabilities, collectively impede your ability to work.

Can You Receive Disability Benefits if Your Condition Isn’t Listed in the Blue Book?

If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for benefits. Demonstrating that your condition is equal in severity to a Blue Book listing can establish your eligibility. This emphasizes the importance of detailed medical documentation and professional legal assistance in the application process.

The Appeals Process

The SSA reviews disability claims to determine if claimants are eligible to receive benefits. There are strict guidelines in place to prevent fraudulent claims. Unfortunately, this means many legitimate claims are denied due to improper filing or insufficient medical evidence.

If you’re denied SSDI or SSI benefits, you can file an appeal to have your claim reevaluated. This process can be time consuming and complicated. Our disability attorneys in Tennessee can help make the process more straightforward.

The Social Security Disability claim appeals process involves several stages:

  • Reconsideration
    Once a claim is denied, the first step is to file a reconsideration request. This involves a total review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the initial decision. The applicant can submit new evidence to support their claim at this stage.
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
    If the claim is denied again, the next step is to request an administrative hearing. This hearing is conducted by an Administrative Law Judge who was not involved in the original decision or the reconsideration. The applicant can present new evidence and witnesses. Legal representation is highly recommended.
  • Review by the Appeals Council
    If the applicant disagrees with the hearing decision, they can request a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. The council may deny the request, return the case to an Administrative Law Judge for further review, or make a determination themselves.
  • Federal Court
    If the applicant disagrees with the Appeals Council’s decision or the Council decides not to review the case, they can file a lawsuit in a federal district court. This is the last stage in the appeals process. Legal representation is crucial at this stage, as compliance with court rules and procedures is vital.

How Long Does it Take to Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Processing times for initial claims can range anywhere from 3 to 6 months, and sometimes longer. If your initial claim is denied, the appeals process can span several months to years.

Contact Us | Tennessee Disability Attorneys

There are several steps involved in filing a disability claim. Having an experienced attorney to guide you through them can mean the difference between claim approval and a denial of benefits.

While you can file a disability claim without legal assistance, working with an attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving benefits. Without essential knowledge about Social Security Disability Law, the odds can quickly stack against any successful case. If your initial claim is denied, the appeals process can be even more involved and time consuming.

Our legal team at Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC is here to do the hard work for you and elevate your chances of receiving benefits. We have helped countless people obtain disability benefits over the years. We’re familiar with the SSA’s strict guidelines, expectations, and processes. When you work with our Social Security Disability lawyers in Tennessee, you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

Call today to schedule your free consultation or request an appointment online. Our experience and dedication speak for themselves.

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