Finding yourself disabled, unable to work and make a living may well be one of the most difficult things you will face in your life. Receiving Social Security Disability benefits could be the lifeline you need to get your future back on track, yet the process can seem overwhelming. An experienced Chattanooga disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group can help you through the disability application or appeals process in the best way possible. We will present your disability in the best light possible, helping you tell your story in a way that will ensure you fully meet all criteria for your disability claim. We serve clients nationwide and offer a free consultation, contact our firm today to see how we can help.
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What Are the Qualifying Conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security has compiled a list of disorders—both mental and physical—that qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits. This list can be found online and is split between adult and child disabilities and disorders. Under the adult section, there are fourteen categories, with fifteen categories under the children’s section.
If your disability falls under one of these categories and it has already lasted a year, is expected to last at least a year, or is expected to cause death, you may qualify for SSD benefits. You must also have worked a sufficient number of “quarters,” while paying Social Security taxes from your wages, and you must have limited financial resources and income.
Social Security Disability benefits may also be available under a program known as Compassionate Allowances. Social Security has a program that identifies those whose illness or disability is particularly severe, including certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and rare childhood disorders. If the SSD identifies your application as falling under Compassionate Allowances—and assuming you meet all other requirements—your application will be fast-tracked.
What Is the Process for Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you are disabled, unable to work, and need assistance, you may have decided to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Whether you are approved or denied for these benefits will depend heavily on how complete and compelling your initial application is. Even at the initial stage, you may want to consider involving an experienced Chattanooga disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group.
If your initial application is denied, you definitely need legal assistance for your appeal(s). You can apply for SSD benefits online, over the phone, or in person at your local SS field office. It’s important to remember that—assuming you meet all the requirements—how you tell your story will be a major factor in the outcome. Not only must you clearly prove your disability, but you must also show the impact your disorder had on your life, and what you are dealing with as a result.
SSD benefits are not based solely on your condition, rather it involves correct storytelling and how you show the impact of your condition. You will be required to have a list of documents and information before applying for disability benefits. You can find the entire list here. Review it thoroughly, making sure you have all the necessary documentation.
What is the Activities of Daily Living Form?
Along with your application, you will be required to fill out an Activities of Daily Living Form as a part of your initial SSD application. This form will assess the functional limitations you have both at work and in your day-to-day tasks. The ADL form will list common activities, asking you how well you are able to perform them. These activities might include things like cleaning your home, grocery shopping, getting dressed, cooking meals, and much more.
You will be asked if there are things you can no longer do, and how your disability prevents you from performing your work duties (i.e., you can no longer sit for long periods of time, bend over and pick things up, stand for long periods, etc.). Social Security uses this report to determine whether you are capable of participating in “substantial gainful activity.” (If you are earning $1,350 or more per month, Social Security will likely determine that you are able to participate in substantial gainful employment).
Both physical and mental impairments can have an impact on your ability to cope with daily life and perform your regular work activities. As an example, a degenerative disc disease could prevent you from sitting or walking for more than a few minutes at a time, or a bipolar disorder could cause you to behave so inconsistently that you are unable to work.
Tell your story honestly on this form, detailing every area of your life that is adversely affected by your condition. It can be painful to fill out this form as you recognize just how limiting your symptoms are, and how much your life has changed since your condition began. Even so, you want the Social Security examiner to have a comprehensive picture of your life with your disability.
Things to Know About Hiring a Chattanooga Disability Lawyer
The process of applying for disability benefits—and potentially going through the appeals process—can be overwhelming. Having a strong attorney by your side to guide you through the process can make a real difference, greatly improving your chances of success. While you can bring in a Chattanooga disability attorney at any point in the process, sooner is usually better.
Your attorney will know what information you need in your initial application and will ensure you never miss a crucial deadline. Disability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you are awarded disability benefits. The disability attorney will collect their fee from the back pay you are owed, usually 25 percent or $6,000, whichever is less.
How a Chattanooga Disability Lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group Can Help
If you have questions regarding your disability application or appeal, a Chattanooga disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group can help. We help individuals across the nation get the assistance they need in the form of disability benefits. Carmichael Law Group can be the lifeline you need, no matter where you live. We do everything in our power to ensure our clients receive a positive outcome for their disability claims and we will do the same for you. Contact the Carmichael Law Group today.
Chattanooga Social Security Field Office
The Chattanooga, Tennessee Social Security Field Office is located at Suite 140, 1290 Premier Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421. The direct telephone number for the Chattanooga Tennessee Field Office is 1-866-964-0029 and the direct fax number is 1-833-597-0086.