Social Security Disability FAQ
You’ve spent your life working hard to provide for your family, but what happens if you get sick or injured and can no longer do your job? The government provides assistance for people who can no longer work due to injuries or illnesses in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Every worker pays for these benefits when the government deducts a small percentage of their paychecks.
After your years of hard work, you’ve earned the right to receive SSDI benefits—but many injured people just like you find that their claims are reduced or even denied with no explanation. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville SSDI attorneys know how frustrating this can be for you and your family, and we know that you may have many questions about why it happened and how you can fight it.
To learn more about the SSDI process and how to appeal the decision if your claim was denied, check out our frequently asked questions below:
Who qualifies for SSDI benefits?
The Social Security Administration has strict criteria that determine who is eligible to receive SSDI benefits. These criteria include:
- Having a physical or mental condition that prevents a person from performing work or holding down a job for an extended period of time
- Having a physical or mental condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
- Being under the age of 65 years old
- Having at least 20 Social Security credits in the past 10 years based on employment history
Doctors play a major role in determining whether applicants get approved for benefits, as their assessment of applicants’ overall health and ability to work are often the deciding factor for the SSA’s approval process.
How much money can I receive with my SSDI benefits?
There’s no set amount of money that applicants receive if they’re approved for SSDI benefits. The payment amount that you might be eligible to receive depends on your average monthly earnings in the years prior to your injury or illness preventing you from holding down steady employment. In 2013, most SSDI recipients received between $1,000 per month and $2,500 per month.
Why are SSDI claims often denied?
Because SSDI benefits cost state and federal governments a substantial amount of money every year, the agencies in charge of approving and denying claims are often strict when it comes to awarding benefits.
Some of the most common reasons that claims are denied include:
Poorly documented injuries or illnesses
The SSA is much more likely to approve a claim if it is fully documented from the time it began to the time it prevented an applicant from working. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor right away when your condition interferes with your ability to work and continue seeing the doctor as you work towards filing a claim for benefits.
Missing or incomplete paperwork
Filing a claim for benefits requires filling out large amounts of paperwork and providing accurate information in regards to your health and the condition that prevents you from working. Many claims are denied due to applicants submitting paperwork that omits important information or that includes information that’s inconsistent or inaccurate.
Your illness or injury isn’t considered severe or expected to last a long time
SSDI benefits are typically reserved for applicants who have serious conditions that are expected to last more than 12 months and that completely prevent them from doing their jobs. If your injury is deemed to be short-term or not severe enough to prevent you from working, your claim may be denied.
How can a Nashville SSDI attorney help after my claim gets denied?
If your claim was denied by the SSA, attempting to appeal the decision on your own may be a losing proposition. If you’re not familiar with how the SSA reviews claims, it’s possible that you’ll make the same mistake in your appeal and find your application denied for a second time.
The legal team at Matt Hardin Law knows the ins-and-outs of the SSDI application process in Tennessee, and we’ll help get your claim approved by:
Completing and submitting all paperwork accurately and on time
Applications that are submitted promptly and filled out with accurate information are much more likely to receive a positive result than applications that are submitted late and with missing details. Our attorneys will go over your application line by line to make sure that it’s not missing any important information, and we’ll make sure it’s submitted well before any deadlines.
Providing adequate information regarding your injury or illness
Your injury or illness is the very reason you need SSDI, so it’s vital that the SSA gets as much information about it as possible. We’ll compile all evidence of your condition, including information about your doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, prescription medications, physical therapy, and other medical records that help prove the extent of your illness or injury and how it affects your ability to work.
Fighting for your rights to back pay compensation
In addition to fighting to help you get the money you deserve for future SSDI benefits, we can also help you get compensation dating back to the time you were first injured or became ill and unable to work. For many applicants, this can represent a time period of several months or even years of lost wages.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a serious illness or injury that’s preventing you from earning the paycheck your family depends on, don’t let the SSA’s initial decision put you in a financial bind. Get in touch with the Nashville SSDI attorneys at Matt Hardin Law today. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete our free online consultation form to speak with our representatives right now.