Chattanooga SSD Lawyer
At the law office of John R. Colvin, in Winchester, we’ve been able to help people throughout southern Tennessee and northern Alabama apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. Our location allows us to easily travel to other cities and towns to meet with our clients, and to travel to hearings on behalf of our clients.
At the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims on Riverfront Parkway and the Social Security Hearing Offices on Premier Drive, John R. Colvin has appeared on behalf of clients who have suffered a debilitating illness or injury and need help with their injury and SSD claims.
If you live in Chattanooga or the surrounding region served by the Social Security Office of Adjudication and Review on Premier Drive and need help with your disability benefits, call our office today to request your free, no-obligation consultation: 1-931-962-1044.
Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Claims that are disputed are now adjudicated by the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2014. If your injury or illness is work-related, you may reasonably expect that your employer’s insurance or workers’ compensation will cover your medical costs. But large companies, like McKee Foods Corp., in Collegedale, usually have multiple attorneys and plenty of resources to help them aggressively dispute work related injury claims filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development that are eventually heard before the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims A personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation and disability benefits you deserve.
Many of the Chattanooga area’s largest employers are production and warehouse facilities, where workers face a heightened risk of injury. Here are some notable examples of job-related injuries in recent years:
- At the Volkswagen plant, just northeast of the Interstate 75 and State Route 317 junction, an assembly line machine severed a worker’s finger. The accident happened just a few months after the plant opened in 2011.
- At Astec Industries, on 4101 Jerome Ave., a piece of equipment fell and struck a worker in the head. That worker died from his injuries. In its investigation of that fatal accident in 2013, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for five safety violations.
- At the Wrigley plant, on 3002 Jersey Pike, a worker died in 2015 when a stack of trays fell on top of him. It was the second death at the plant in two years. TOSHA’s investigation of the accident found the company was negligent in the employee’s death because of numerous safety violations.
Whether you work for a large international company or a small local business, like Hospice of Chattanooga, on State Route 58, you need a personal injury attorney on your side if you’ve suffered a debilitating workplace injury.
Unfortunately a debilitating work injury sometimes prevents the injured worker’s return to the workforce and a disability claim must be pursued with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It’s true that you can apply for SSD benefits on your own; however, if you miss a deadline in the application process or fail to include all the necessary medical documentation the Social Security Administration is highly likely to deny your claim for benefits. When you have the help of an experienced SSD attorney to handle filing your appeals and represent you at a hearing before an administrative law judge, you can avoid many common mistakes that occur when a claim for disability benefits is not fully developed with the requisite medical evidence.
Mistakes also occur within the SSA. Overworked claims reviewers may incorrectly apply disability determination rules and deny your benefits. And in the case of a woman in California, a widow with a permanent disability learned the SSA had miscalculated her monthly benefit payment over 15 years, shorting her $56,000 during that time. Upon discovering the error, the SSA paid the woman what she was owed.
John R. Colvin is a Chattanooga area SSD attorney who knows from experience the kind of mistakes that can occur when claimants fail to fully understand the importance of having the correct information and documentation submitted in a timely manner to the SSA for claims processing. With his help, you’re in the best position possible to get the benefits you need.
The Long Wait for Benefits
If the SSA approves your SSD claim, you’ll normally have to wait five full months from the date your injury or illness was found to be disabling before you receive your first check. And you may have to wait even longer than that. Because the SSA is behind on processing applications, it may be months before reviewers are able to get to your claim.
Having an attorney on your side won’t make the SSA work faster to process your claim. However, when an attorney has helped you prepare throughout the SSD application process, you are less likely to experience additional delays that so many other people encounter. For example, a claimant who fails to provide adequate medical documentation may, at the request of the SSA, have to spend more time tracking down additional health records.
Understanding Financial Requirements
The SSA encourages SSD recipients to return to work if and when they are able. If you are testing your ability to work, you will trigger a “trial work period” if you earn more than $840 in a month. You must report to the SSA any change in your employment or income status, and if you earn more than a certain amount, you could lose your benefits.
In 2017, the most income you can earn in a month and still receive SSD benefits is $1,170 (or $1,950 per month, for people who are statutorily blind). The SSA does not count income that is necessary for mobility or support. For example, if your employer pays you $1,200 per month, but $100 of that income is for a mobility device you need to perform your job, the SSA would consider your real income to be only $1,100.
An experienced disability attorney can help you understand the financial rules associated with SSD, as well as the other rules that apply when you’re receiving benefits.
Representation for Appeals
Please don’t be discouraged if you’ve already applied for SSD benefits and your claim was denied. That happens with the majority of SSD applications, but you can pursue an appeal.
Initially, an appeal consists of asking the SSA to reconsider your claim. If another reviewer confirms that first denial, the next step is to ask for an Administrative Law Judge to hear your appeal.
An experienced disability attorney understands how to prepare and present SSD cases to ALJs that gives a Claimant the best possible consideration of their claim Even if you handled your application by yourself, an attorney can prove to be invaluable if you’re preparing to start the appeals process.
Individualized Service and Support
At large law firms, attorneys often lack the ability to give each client individualized attention and rarely, if ever, actually meet with and listen to their clients. As a solo practitioner, John R. Colvin takes the time to get to know his clients and provide individualized service.
Every SSD case is different, and your attorney should listen carefully to what you’re saying to determine how best to help you. The law office of John R. Colvin will be respectful of your unique needs – and of your privacy.
If you need personalized help with your SSD benefits, call our office today at 1-931-962-1044 – or use our online contact form – to request your free, no-obligation consultation.