Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability process can be a long and difficult one, and it may seem impossible to navigate without assistance.  Attorneys with McDonald, Levy & Taylor understand the criteria that is required to prove a Social Security Disability claim, and they know how to build the strongest possible claim for you, including working with your physicians to ensure that all relevant and helpful information about your medical status is available to the Social Security Administration, working with your family and friends to obtain supporting information about how your illness impacts your day to day activities, and presenting your case at Social Security hearings.

 

Our attorneys have extensive experience in the following areas:

  • Social Security Disability Claims: These claims occur when a person can no longer work due to an illness or injury. It is a monthly payment based on the amount of income you made before you became disabled.
  • Supplemental Security Income Claims: These claims occur when a person cannot work due to illness, injury, or disability, has little or no work history and limited income and resources. This is typically a lower monthly payment then a social security disability claim.
  • Childhood Supplemental Security Income Claims: These occur when a child is either blind or disabled.

If you or a loved one is disabled and unable to make a living, do not worry.  You don’t have to pay anything to get started, and we only get paid when we get benefits for you.  Please call us today locally at (865) 966-4343 or toll free at (888) 419-0433 and we will arrange a free consultation to discuss your case and your options.

 

For More Information: Please see our frequently asked questions below or click here to view our videos about Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long does a disability claim usually take to process?

A: A disability claim can be a long process. It takes the Social Security office three to five months to process the claim. Our attorneys at McDonald, Levy, & Taylor are experienced at knowing how to quickly collect all the required information and records for filing your claim and then organizing it in a manner that will allow the claims office to easily process your claim. 

 

Q: How do I know if I qualify for Social Security Disability?

A: There are two key factors to qualify for Social Security Disability. First, you must have worked in a job covered by Social Security; you would have paid Social Security taxes. Second, you must be unable to work due to a medical condition that makes you disabled. Social Security defines disabled as: you cannot do the work that you did before the disability; you are not able to adjust to another type of work; and your disability has lasted or is expected to last over a year or is expected to be terminal.

 

Q: What types of disorders and disabilities usually qualify for Social Security Disability? 

A: The Social Security Administration lists fourteen types of disabilities, impairments and disorders they consider for giving benefits. However they will consider any disorder, impairment or disability as long as it causes you to be unable to work, you are not able to move to another type of work, and  it has lasted or is expected to last over a year or is expected to be terminal.

1. Musculoskeletal system disorders and impairments including major dysfunction of a joint, disorders of the spine, amputation, fractures of the femur, tibia or pelvis, burns, and fracture of an upper extremity.

2. Impairments to speech and special senses including loss of vision or visual acuity, loss of speech, and hearing loss.

3. Respiratory system disorders and impairments including chronic pulmonary insufficiency, asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic infections of the lung,   and lung transplants.

4. Cardiovascular system disorders and impairments including disorders of the heart, chronic heart failure, ischemic heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, heart transplants, aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease.

5. Digestive system disorders and impairments including gastrointestinal hemorrhaging, liver dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, and chronic liver disease.

6. Genitourinary impairments including chronic renal disease, renal dysfunction, and nephrotic syndrome.

7. Hematological disorders including chronic anemia, sickle cell disease, and aplastic anemias.

8. Skin disorders including ichthyosis, bullous diseases,, dermatitis,  chronic infections of the skin, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.

9. Endocrine disorders including pituitary gland disorders, thyroid gland disorders, parathyroid gland disorders, adrenal gland disorders, diabetes mellitus, and pancreatic gland disorders.

10. Impairments that affect multiple body systems including down syndrome, congenital anomalies, chromosomal disorders, dysmorphic syndromes, metabolic disorders, and perinatal infectious diseases.

11. Neurological impairments and disorders including epilepsy, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, parkinsonian syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

12. Mental disorders including schizophrenic, paranoid, affective disorders, somatoform disorders, anxiety-related disorders, personality disorders, substance addiction disorders, and autistic disorders.

13. Malignant neoplastic including leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and lymphoma.

14. Immune System impairments and disorders including chronic inflammatory disease, vasculitis, systemic sclerosis, inflammatory arthritis, and sjögren’s syndrome.


Q: When will my Social Security benefits begin once I’m approved?

A: Social Security benefits usually start with your sixth month of disability where you have been unable to work. After this, you will begin to receive monthly payments based on your average earnings.

 

Q: How much money will I receive from my Social Security benefits? 

A: You payments will be based on your average earnings that were covered by Social Security, or in other words the earnings that you paid social security taxes on. The Social Security Administration website has multiple Calculators to help you estimate your potential benefits amount.


Q: How do I know if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income?

A: There are many contributing factors to whether you will qualify for Supplemental Security Income, however the most important factors are:

● You must be aged, blind, or disabled. Aged is defined as 65 or older. To be considered legally blind, you must have central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in  your good eye.Disabled is having a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in an inability to have any substantial gainful activity and has lasted or will last for over a year or is terminal.

 You must have a limited income and have few assets or resources.

● You must either be a United States citizen or national, and you must be residing within the United States.

 

Q: How do I know if my child qualifies for Supplemental Security Income for Children?

A: First you must make sure that your child is statutorily defined as a child, which is any person under the age of 18 or under the age of 22 and is still regularly attending school and who is not married nor head of a household. Then there are many contributing factors to whether a child will qualify for Social Security Income, yet the key factors are:

The child must be blind or disabled. To be considered legally blind, a child must have central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in their good eye. For a child to be disabled, he/she must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in marked and severe functional limitations, which has lasted or will last for over a year or is terminal.

There must be limited income and resources. Keep in mind that a portion of any parent or stepparents’ income or resources may be deemed to be the child’s income and resources. 

The child needs to be a United States citizen or national that is residing within the United States.

 

Q: What documents are required to prove a disability claim?

A: The required documentation does depend on each person’s specific claim, but generally all claimants are required to submit:

● Your general personal information, such as name, social security number, and proof of age.

 Your medical history including: medications with names and dosages, medical providers that have treated you with their names, addresses, and phone numbers, and medical records.

 Your work records including: W-2 forms or federal tax forms and a description of where you worked and the kind of work you did.

Although this may seem like a daunting list of required records, our attorneys at McDonald, Levy & Taylor are experienced in knowing how to easily collect all the needed documentation.

 

Q: Why should I hire a local, experienced firm like McDonald, Levy & Taylor? 

A: Don’t just hire any attorney or the cheapest attorney you can find. Many people that hire these types of attorneys never actually meet the attorney. They will only be dealing with the attorney’s paralegal and may even learn that their attorney isn’t even located in Tennessee when they are asked to mail paperwork into the office.  At McDonald, Levy & Taylor, you will be able to sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss your specific situation. The attorneys will also explain to you the process of applying for Social Security and the format of the Social Security benefits hearing.

 

Q: How much will McDonald, Levy & Taylor charge me for handling my Social Security claim? 

A: You will not pay us any legal fees unless we are successful at getting you benefits. Our fees are based on a contingency fee of twenty five percent of your benefits and are subject to agency approval.

 

If you or a loved one is disabled and unable to make a living, do not worry.  You don’t have to pay anything to get started, and we only get paid when we get benefits for you.  Please call us today locally at (865) 966-4343 or toll free at (888) 419-0433 and we will arrange a free consultation to discuss your case and your options.

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