Am I Qualified for Social Security Disability Benefits?

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have enough Social Security “credits.” The number of credits you need may depend on how old you are and how recently you earned credits. Generally, if you have worked five out of the ten years prior to becoming disabled, you will qualify for SSDI. For SSI, however, you do not need to fulfill this requirement.

What Kind of Disability Will Qualify for SSD Benefits?

In addition to credits, you must have an injury or disability that is expected by medical professionals to last for at least one year or result in your death, and you must not be engaged in substantial gainful activity. If you are not working on a “substantial” basis, have sufficient credits, and have a “severe” condition, the Agency will then look at whether you are “disabled” under the Act. One way to be found disabled is to meet or equal a “listing.”

Each state agency that evaluates your case has a List of Impairments, which can automatically qualify you for disability payments so long as you are not engaged in substantial gainful activity. However, meeting a “listing” can be very difficult, and proper medical documentation is required. A good understanding of the listings is essential for anyone representing disabled individuals.

Most individuals do not qualify under the “listings” and as a result, it must be determined whether the disabled person is able to perform his/her past relevant work, and is unable to perform any other work as dictated by the guidelines found in the Act. An experienced attorney can help formulate the proper arguments to increase the chances of a fully favorable decision.

It is important to remember that Social Security disability requirements are different than the requirements for many other private plans, and even from other government programs. Just because you qualify for disability from another program does not necessarily mean that you will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While a note from a doctor, lists of medications, hospital records and test results will help Social Security process your claim, none of those are a guarantee that the claim will be accepted. Many legitimate claims for Social Security disability are denied.

It’s important to consult and talk with a Tennessee Social Security disability attorney or Georgia Social Security disability attorney. If you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing an unfavorable decision, contact us by filling out the online form on the right side of the screen, or call at 1-800-346-7765.

What Kind of Benefits Am I Entitled To?

There are several types of Social Security disability benefits, including SSD (or SSDI), SSI, widow benefits, child benefits, and dependent benefits, to name but a few. The kind and amount of benefits available changes from person to person and is dependent on many factors. Benefits are generally paid on a monthly basis, and can be made via direct deposit. You may also qualify for Medicare and/or Medicaid if you are found “disabled” under the Act.

What is the Difference Between SSI and SSD (or SSDI)?

Many people are confused by the acronyms SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSD (Social Security Disability).  While Social Security Disability is a term mentioned frequently, it is very different from Supplemental Security Income, and it is important to recognize and understand these differences.  SSI is a program that operates within the Social Security umbrella, but it is not directly funded by Social Security taxes.  It is a needs based program funded by the general fund of the United States Treasury.  For people with few resources and a limited or no work history, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides disability benefits regardless of credits. The qualifications for SSI are different than the Social Security disability requirements. To receive SSI, you must first be older than 65, blind, or disabled. You must also give a full accounting of your finances, including stocks and bonds, bank accounts, and your income information. All of these factors are crucial to whether or not you are eligible for SSI.  An experienced Social Security disability attorney understands the differences between SSD and SSI and can handle both types of cases.  Talk to an experienced Tennessee Social Security disability attorney or Georgia Social Security disability attorney to assist you in obtaining benefits.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

The rules and regulations governing Social Security are very complicated and confusing. Studies have shown that those individuals with a lawyer have a better chance of success than those who do not obtain representation. At The Hamilton Firm, we have helped many deserving clients obtain the benefits they deserve. Every case is different, but we have been able to obtain Social Security benefits for more than 90% of our clients. When it comes to matters of law and matters of dispute, it is always better to have a licensed and experienced attorney to help you make your case.

Free Consultation

If you have questions about Social Security disability benefits, or if you are unsure about Social Security disability requirements, fill out the online form on the right side of your screen or call 1-800-346-7765. You can also stop by The Hamilton Firm at 2401 Broad Street in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The consultation is free and confidential. If you need a Tennessee Social Security disability attorney or a Georgia Social Security disability attorney, The Hamilton Firm can help you.

Bisected by the Tennessee River, bordering Georgia and Alabama, at the junction of three interstate highways, including the heavily traveled I-75 corridor, Chattanooga, Tennessee is both a historic railroad town and a modern transportation hub.  I-24 begins in Chattanooga running northwest toward Nashville, TN.  I-59 also begins just outside Chattanooga and runs south toward Birmingham, AL.  To the south, toward Atlanta along I-75, lies Dalton, GA a world center for the carpet and flooring industry. Chattanooga’s diversified economy includes the Volkswagen North American assembly plant, as well as insurance giants Blue Cross Blue Shield and Unum.  Chattanooga is also a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year.  As a result, The Hamilton Firm LLC focus much of its work on representation of persons injured in trucking and transportation related cases as well as serious workplace injury cases.

Chattanooga is the headquarters for two of the nation’s major trucking companies, U.S. Xpress and Covenant Transport. And as crossroads city, Chattanooga ranks first in the nation among all metropolitan cities for the volume of freight moving through the city by truck (according to a recent freight study by Cambridge Systematics and reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press). Problem areas include the interchanges as well as the entire section of I-24 from I-59 to I-75, and I-75 north to Cleveland, TN. Tractor trailers, while essential to a thriving economy, also present great risks to the traveling public if not operated safely by well trained professional drivers with well maintained equipment.

Chattanooga is also a rail hub for Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads.  Travel, transport and commerce by water, rail and road are essential to our lives and economy, but all the economic activity also brings traffic and congestion, which can lead to more wrecks, accidents and injuries.  This can be a volatile mix when combined with the high freight volume on tractor trailers traveling through or originating in the area.