Tips for Tullahoma Residents Applying for Disability
Applying for Social Security Disability Income can be a frustrating experience. Many initial SSDI claims are denied, either due to technical errors on the application or because administrators determine an applicant has failed to show adequate proof of disability.
The good news for residents of Tullahoma and the surrounding counties of southern middle Tennessee serviced by the Tullahoma Social Security District Office is you don’t have to visit the local district office to apply for benefits, because you can complete your application online. Even so, it can be a time-consuming task that requires a lot of planning.
To file an online application for Social Security Disability log onto:
www.socialsecurity.gov/ and follow the prompts:
- Click on the “Benefits” tab in the dark blue banner.
- Under “Apply” click on “Apply Online for Disability”
- Scroll down and click on the button that says “Apply for Disability”
- Scroll down and click on the button that says “Start a New Application.”
Now you are ready to begin answering the questions in order to complete the application process. Please remember to always write down your re-entry number that allows you to go back into your application and finish the process in case you have to stop for any reason while online.
Here’s the information you’ll need to prepare in advance:
- Personal information – In addition to providing your own personal information, you’ll also need to provide the Social Security number and date of birth or age for your current spouse and any former spouses, as well as dates of marriage, divorce, or death.
If you don’t have the information about previous spouses, you may be able to obtain such by contacting your respective county clerk’s office in either Franklin County, Bedford County, Lincoln County, Moore County or Coffee County clerk, or the county clerk where the birth, marriage, divorce, or death occurred.
You must also be prepared to state your height without shoes and your weight without shoes.
- Medical information – This can be one of the most complicated parts of a disability application, because you must provide a detailed record of your medical condition.
- Medical Conditions: List all of the physical or mental conditions (including emotional or learning problems) that limit your ability to work. If you have cancer, please include the stage and type. List each condition separately.
- Medical Sources: List any doctors, hospitals, clinics, therapists, or emergency rooms you have visited because of your conditions.
|NAME||ADDRESS||PHONE #||DATE SEEN or admitted||DATE LAST SEEN OR discharge date|
- Medicines: List any medicines you take and why you take them. If prescribed, please provide the doctor’s name.
|NAME OF MEDICATION||WHY TAKEN||PRESCRIBED BY|
- Medical Tests: List any medical tests you had or are going to have in the future.
|NAME OF TEST||PROVIDER WHO SENT YOU||DATE(S)|
NOTE: Even if you have thorough documentation of your medical history or treatment, there is a possibility that the Social Security claims reviewers may determine the medical evidence provided is insufficient to confirm disability, and you may be asked to undergo a consultative examination, usually performed by an examiner selected by the Disability Determination Section who is oftentimes not your treating physician. This allows the SSA office to gather more details about your condition to be utilized in the review process.
- Employment information – Aside from reporting your work history, you must report any benefits you have received, such as Workers’ Compensation, Black Lung Benefits, military retirement pensions, and state or local disability insurance.
Job History: Please state when you stopped working. You must list the jobs (up to 5) that you have had in the 15 years before you became unable to work because of your physical or mental conditions. List your most recent job first.
|Job Title||Type of business||Dates Worked||Hours Per Day||Days Per Week||Rate of Pay|
Understandably, the level of detail required in SSDI applications presents a problem for many people who don’t have adequate records or can’t recall specifics about their past. In some cases, an illness, injury, or medical condition may interfere with a person’s ability to accurately complete an application, and friends or relatives who try to help may not be able to find the required information.
The Determination Process
The first step in the determination process begins with the Tullahoma Social Security office’s review of your application and transmitting the application to the Tennessee Disability Determination Section for consideration. Very few initial disability claims are approved – only about 28 to 37 percent. The most common reasons for denial are technical errors, such as failing to provide all required information, and medical errors, such as failing to prove that an injury, illness, or condition is disabling to the degree that employment is impossible.
With the help of an attorney, a claimant who has been denied benefits may appeal that decision. The appeals process is progressive, beginning with a reconsideration review. At each further phase in the appeals process, winning a decision in favor of the applicant becomes more technically difficult, so it’s important to get legal help as early in the process as possible. Ideally, claimants should consult an attorney in preparation of filing their initial application, to avoid common mistakes.
If you have questions about your application, you can visit or call the Tullahoma Social Security office at:
717 Kings Lane
Tullahoma, TN 37338
John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented clients in Tullahoma and throughout Tennessee and Alabama in their efforts to understand and apply for SSDI. For 20 years, he has been helping people navigate the confusing process of getting disability payments, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call (931) 962-1044 or submit this online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.