Carter County, TN Social Security Disability Lawyer and SSD Appeals Attorney
While every individual’s set of circumstances is unique, our SSD clients have one thing in common – they have suffered a catastrophic injury or illness or developed a disability that prevents them from working as they once did. The inability to be gainfully employed leaves and important financial hole – how will they support themselves and their family if they can’t work?
Social Security Disability (SSD) income can be necessary to supplement lost earnings and cover the necessities of a disabled individual and their family. Unfortunately, disability benefits can be challenging to obtain, as it is often a long, arduous, and frustrating journey to convince the Social Security Administration (SSA) that a physical or mental impairment prevents an individual from working.
Firm founding attorney and Duke Law graduate Mark Hurt has decades of experience in seeking benefits and compensation for injured clients. He knows the required level of proof that SSA examiners require to approve a disability claim, and has a thorough understanding of how to substantiate all aspects of a SSD claim application.
If you would like to apply for Social Security Disability or were turned down for benefits, we invite you to contact our firm today for a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis when handling Social Security Disability claims, so that no attorney fee will be charged unless you receive benefits. Further, in most cases our fee is capped by law at 25% of the back-pay benefits or $6,000 (whichever is less).
We proudly serve clients in Carter County and the surrounding areas, including Johnson City, Piney Flats, Flat Springs, Sugar Grove, Bakersville, Unicoi, Bluff City, Mountain City, Beech Mountain, Bristol, and throughout Tennessee.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program providing benefits to those who can no longer support themselves through regular employment because of a qualifying physical or mental impairment. Eligibility for SSD depends on many factors, including work history, income, degree and duration of disability, and documentation.
How Much in Social Security Disability Can I Get?
The amount of disability benefits awarded does not correlate with the severity of a condition; instead, it is calculated based on the lifetime average earnings paid into the Social Security system. Typically, the amount a disabled worker can be awarded is 150% to 180% of their benefit amount (found on an annual Social Security statement). As of December 31, 2019, the average benefit amount was $1,258 per month. If an individual receives other government assistance, such as workers’ compensation, public disability benefits, or a pension, SSD benefits may be reduced.
As part of our free consult, we can give you an approximation of the benefits to which you may be entitled if your claim is successful. We can also evaluate your work history and documentation to determine if the work requirements have been met.
Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD)?
When individuals pay into Social Security with payroll deductions, these amounts potentially become available if the individual becomes disabled. The SSA keeps track of funds paid into the system through a work-credit program. Up to four work credits are awarded for each year that income is earned, and 40 total lifetime credits are typically needed to qualify for benefits. In some instances, an individual may be eligible for SSD with fewer credits (usually, as the result of becoming disabled at a young age, making it impossible to meet the work minimums).
The process of obtaining SSD benefits can seem complicated; as a Carter County SSD lawyer, firm founder Mark Hurt can explain the process and represent you in an initial claim filing or in an appeal in seeking to obtain the benefits to which you may be entitled.
What Types of Disability Cases Do You Handle?
The SSA has strict qualification guidelines and requires that ample medical evidence be provided to support a disability claim. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can provide the legal support needed to ensure that complete medical documentation is provided, no matter what disability an individual has.
We assist clients living with debilitating, permanent injuries and illnesses, including (but not limited to):
- Blood Disorders
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic Pain
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Crohn’s Disease
- Debilitating Anxiety
- Huntington’s Disease
- Lung Disease
- Mental Illness
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Orthopedic Conditions
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
This is only a partial list of conditions for which SSD benefits may be applicable. No matter the type of injury or disease, if a condition is severe and prevents an individual from working or performing other substantial gainful activity for at least twelve months, it may be possible to collect SSD benefits.
Increasing Your Chance of Getting Your Claim Approved at the Outset
About 70% of all initial SSD claim applications are denied. Those who have an experienced SSD attorney help them in preparing and submitting a claim have an approval rate of about three times that of those who file their claim without legal assistance.
Based upon these statistics, it is usually much better for a person to retain a lawyer at the outset. Additionally, hiring a lawyer at the outset usually results in lower legal fees than hiring a lawyer for an appeal, because the back-pay (the amount upon which legal fees are based) will be less at the outset of an initial claim submission.
Further, if a claim is denied, the reason for the denial cannot just be quickly “fixed” through making a corrected application. Instead an applicant will need to go through the appeals process (which will take months or longer).
What Should I Do If My SSD Claim Is Denied?
As Social Security Disability appeals lawyers, we represent clients in seeking to overturn wrongful denials and obtain for them the SSD benefits that we believe are rightfully due. If you have been denied, there are many options for continuing to seek benefits. Specifically, a claim can be appealed in the following four ways:
- Request for Reconsideration
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
- Review by the SSA Appeals Council
- Hearing in Federal Court
The SSA requires that a denial be appealed within 60 days of the date listed on a denial letter. If your claim was rejected and you would like to appeal, it is critical that you reach out to our firm as soon as possible, so that a timely filing can be made. If you qualify for benefits, Mark Hurt can file for a reconsideration or appeal, work with medical providers to ensure comprehensive documentation and evidence is compiled, and tenaciously advocate on your behalf for the full and fair benefits you deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney Mark Hurt!
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we provide free initial consultations, charge fees on a contingency fee basis, and have live operators available 24 hours per day to schedule appointments. To contact us, call 276-623-0808. We look forward to hearing from you!