Pulaski, TN Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you live in Pulaski, TN, and need to visit a Social Security Administration office, you’ll have to travel to Lawrenceburg. It’s a trip of about 20 miles, which isn’t inconvenient, unless you don’t have a vehicle or you have a disability that makes travel difficult.
For people with serious illnesses or severe disabilities, the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits is overwhelming. Gathering all the documentation you need for your application and traveling to meet with SSA claims officials is challenging when your disability severely interferes with your daily activities. That’s why you need a Pulaski SSD lawyer.
John R. Colvin has handled numerous SSD cases for clients in Pulaski, the greater Giles County area, and throughout the Tennessee Valley. We can guide and help you with your SSD application, or file your appeal, if the SSA has denied your claim for benefits. Also, we work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing up front for our services. Our fee comes from a portion of any benefit payments you may receive. Contact our law office today to request your free case consultation.
Jobs in Pulaski
Manufacturing companies employ the majority of people in Pulaski. If you live here, you either work for or know someone who works for:
- Magneti Marelli (5209, 181 Bennett Drive)
- Frito-Lay (298 Industrial Boulevard)
- Johnson Controls (1890 Mines Road)
- Magotteaux-Pulaski (2360 Industrial Loop Road)
- Saargummi TN (200 Commerce Road)
People who work in industrial settings have an increased risk of job-related injury or illness, and sometimes manufacturing workers end up unable to return to work because of a disability. That’s what SSD benefits are for.
How SSD Works
Many people assume that SSD benefits are a government “handout,” but that’s not true. From the moment you get your first job in which your employer withholds taxes, you’re paying into Old-Age and Survivors (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. The longer you work, the greater your contribution to those funds.
If you develop a disability that prevents you from working, you may apply for SSD benefits. The SSA bases the amount of monthly benefit checks on a person’s work history and income. In certain special circumstances, claimants without a sufficient work history may qualify for benefits based on the work history of a deceased spouse or that of their parents.
How the SSA Defines Disability
The SSA wants to see proof that a disability prevents the applicant from doing any type of work. So, if an assembly worker at Timken (727 Industrial Access Road) suffers a permanent and disabling hand injury, the SSA would want to know if that worker could perform a different type of job that doesn’t require hand intensive activity.
The SSA makes determinations based on a variety of factors, including a person’s work history and educational background. In Pulaski, where generations of families have worked with their hands and backs in labor intensive jobs or in manufacturing occupations, workers often lack the qualifications to get a different kind of job requiring less physical strength and abilities. An experienced SSD attorney can help convince the SSA that finding other work just isn’t possible.
The disability determination process takes a lot of time – sometimes a year or longer. Even when the SSA approves your claim, you can’t receive a check until five months after the date your disability began. But if you have a terminal illness, or an illness that is progressive and requires intensive and immediate treatment, you may be able to fast-track your application.
The SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program (CAL) lets claims reviewers flag applications for immediate approval in a claim where the applicant meets one of the eligible medical conditions. The SSA may also flag applications as TERI cases (in which the applicant has a terminal illness). However, these faster approval times don’t negate the five-month waiting period for Title II SSDI benefits.
The Appeals Process
Unfortunately, the SSA denies most first-time SSD applicants. Applicants can then appeal that denial in progressive stages:
- Reconsideration – Asking the SSA to reconsider
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge – If, during reconsideration, the SSA affirmed the initial denial
- Review by the Appeals Council – If the judge also affirmed the denial
- Federal Court Review – If the Appeals Council agreed with previous denials
Most SSD cases don’t wind up in federal court. Many Administrative Law Judges are sympathetic toward disability applicants and reverse the previous denial.
The appeals process can be long and cumbersome. You may be able to overcome it by talking to an experienced Pulaski, TN, SSD attorney. Contact John R. Colvin today, if you need help with your SSD claim or your SSD appeal.