If you have a disability and can no longer work in Tennessee, the Social Security Administration will pay you some cash to help you get by. But, before you start applying for the benefits, it’s important to know what to expect.
Social Security benefits in Tennessee
To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. In other words, your work should allow you to pay Social Security taxes on your earnings. The amount of time that you need to work depends on your age when you become disabled.
Generally, the younger you are, the less time you need to have worked to be eligible for benefits. You can earn up to four credits each year. And, you are only considered “insured” for Social Security purposes if you have 40 work credits.
Furthermore, you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. That is, it should be able to keep you from doing any substantial work, and it has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Applying for SSD benefits in Tennessee
The first step in applying for Social Security disability benefits is to contact your local Social Security office. You can do this by calling their national number at (800) 772-1213 or visiting their website at ssa.gov. The administrator that you reach will ask you to complete an application form and a medical release form.
Some pieces of information that you’ll be asked to provide are your work history and earnings as well as a description of your medical condition with the list of the medications that you are taking and the names and addresses of all your doctors. Submit all the required documents with your application forms to your local Social Security office within 60 days.
The Social Security office will then review your case and decide whether or not you are eligible for benefits. If approved, you will receive a monthly check to help you pay for food, housing, and medical care. The amount of your benefit will depend on factors like your earnings history and the severity of your disability.
Not every first application goes through. In fact, about 63% of all applications are denied. But you have the right to appeal up to the highest possible court in the country.