After a disabling injury, it can be hard to admit that you need help. You may think you can rely on your dwindling savings, a pending personal injury claim, or the remaining benefits you get from short-term disability or workers’ compensation. However, for most seriously injured people, it doesn’t take long to realize that a long-term and disabling injury takes a serious toll on every available resource—physical, emotional, and financial. Although the future may seem bleak after a catastrophic injury, the good news is that people who have been seriously injured may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. With the help of SSD benefits, injured people don’t have to do it all on their own or wait until the brink of bankruptcy to take action.
The Nashville disability lawyers with GriffithLaw have extensive experience helping injured people across Tennessee understand their rights and get the disability benefits they deserve. If you need help, call our Franklin office today at 615-807-7900 to start discussing your concerns in a free and confidential case review, or tell us more about your situation by filling out our confidential contact form.
What Is Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Social Security Disability is a federal program that offers financial assistance to people with disabilities. In order to get these benefits, the Social Security Administration must first look at your case and use your medical information and other documentation to determine if you:
- Are unable to work for more than a year due to your condition
- Meet all the requirements of the program
If your application is approved, you will begin to receive monthly payments to help support you while you are unable to work. The amount that you will be paid varies from case to case, so it is a good idea to talk with an experienced disability lawyer for specific details on what to expect in your situation.
When Should I File a SSD Claim for Disabling Injuries?
After a severe accident or injury that is likely to keep you out of work for a significant amount of time, there is no reason to wait to learn about your rights or take action. Although minor or moderate injuries probably don’t qualify, anyone who has been catastrophically injured should consider applying shortly after they’ve been hurt. This might include people with a wide range of potentially disabling injuries, such as:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Injuries causing or requiring amputation
- Serious burn injuries
- Disabling nerve damage
- Severe mental health conditions
- Other very severe conditions that are expected to last a year or more
Even if you hope to return to work eventually, if you believe you will be unable to return for a more than a year, you should consider applying for benefits. The sooner you begin the process, the easier it will be to work toward a successful claim for benefits.
How Long Will it Take to Get SSD Benefits in Tennessee?
If every goes right the first time, an initial application could be approved within just a few months. However, very few initial SSD applications in Tennessee are immediately approved. In many cases, applicants must further go through a lengthy appeals process, which could take years to resolve. Once approved, though, benefits start as soon as six months after the date of disability.
Why Do I Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to get Social Security Disability benefits, but it is wise to at least speak with an attorney in your state who has a lot of experience with these kinds of cases. The truth of the matter is that nearly two-thirds of initial SSD applications are denied, and the majority of first appeals are also denied—even in cases where applicants are eventually granted benefits. An experienced disability attorney can help you:
- Understand what to expect
- Determine if you meet the Social Security Administration’s requirements for disability
- Collect medical evidence, earnings information, and other documentation to support your claim
- File the initial application
- Handle all the complicated paperwork involved
- Keep you up to date on time limits and other issues that affect your claim
- Represent you in disability hearings
- Appeal denied claims
Remember that, just because an initial application or appeal has been denied, it doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for benefits. Although the system seems confusing, frustrating, and sometimes downright backwards, it is possible to move ahead and get the support that you need. By working with an experienced attorney, you give yourself the best chance to work through the SSD process quickly, easily, and ready to meet challenges along the way.
If you have questions about your or a loved one’s eligibility for disability benefits in Nashville, don’t be afraid to reach out to GriffithLaw in Franklin today at 615-807-7900. Our experienced attorneys are local to Nashville and dedicated to helping injured people across the state get the help and support they need after catastrophic accidents. We have the skills, dedication, resources, and desire to help individuals and families reach their legal goals—whether through a personal injury claim or Social Security Disability application—and move on with their lives. We are here to fight for you.