As if it isn’t challenging enough having to deal with a serious medical condition, being unable to earn a living can put you and your family in financial crisis due to mounting medical expenses that you’ll likely incur.
Trying to obtain Social Security disability benefits can be confusing, frustrating, and time consuming. Working with an experienced and helpful attorney can make the process easier and can result in a higher level of success. Fortunately, when you retain legal representation from our firm, you can rest assured that we will be doing everything possible to obtain the Social Security disability benefits that are rightfully yours.
About Our Firm, and How We Help
When you choose the Law Firm of Mark T. Hurt, you won’t be passed off to a junior associate, and you won’t be referred to another law firm (which is commonly done by the nationwide law firms that advertise on TV). Instead, you’ll be working directly with attorney Mark Hurt, an honors graduate of Duke Law School, who will personally represent you. Mark has over 30 years of experience handling injury claims, including Social Security disability claims and denials, and he will work vigorously to help you get the benefits that you and your family deserve. Mark and our firm serve clients not only in Kingsport, Tennessee, but also in the surrounding communities and northern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.
What is Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) is a federal organization that provides financial assistance to those who are unable to work so that they can continue to support themselves and their families. If you have a physical or mental disability that will require you to stop working for a minimum of twelve months, then you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Social Security Income benefits.
What Social Security Disability Options Are Available?
There are two types of Social Security benefits to which those who are disabled may be entitled to – Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. SSDI is available only for individuals who have put in a certain number of work hours over a period of time. It is meant to provide a source of income to those who can no longer work because of a disability or injury. Conversely, SSI is available to low-income individuals who do not qualify for SSDI benefits, usually because they have not worked long enough to qualify for SSDI benefits.
When Can I Start Receiving SSDI or SSI Benefits?
The SSA will not begin paying benefits until you have been out of work for a minimum of five months. If you begin applying at this point and receive a denial, you may be without compensation for an extended period. Fortunately, you can apply before the five-month minimum and begin collecting benefits as soon as the requirement is met. As an experienced Social Security disability lawyer serving Kingsport and the surrounding communities, Mark Hurt can help navigate the complex application process and file a claim or appeal a denial in seeking to help you obtain the disability benefits to which you are entitled as soon as possible.
How We Help in Seeking Initial Approvals and in Representing Claims that Are Denied
Statistically, initial claims have a denial rate of approximately 70%, and reconsiderations (the first step in the appeals process) are denied at an even higher rate of approximately 87%. Given these figures, it should not come as a surprise if your initial claim or appeal for SSDI benefits is denied.
As an experienced Tennessee Social Security attorney, Mark Hurt knows how to address the application issues that cause denials, which commonly concern the information and requirements around the proof of medical disability. With this understanding, Mark and our firm focus on providing at the outset all required information, and making sure that to the extent possible a complete application is provided with all information likely required to make a favorable disability determination, and to help get clients the disability benefits to which they are entitled as soon as possible.
We are similarly dedicated to seeking to reverse an unfavorable disability determination quickly. If you have been denied disability benefits, we invite you to contact our firm at your earliest convenience so that we can immediately begin working on your behalf.
Can I Work and Collect SSDI?
Social Security disability benefits were primarily designed to help those who are not able to work; thus if you are still able to work, it is likely that your claim will not be approved. However, there are certain circumstances in which you can work, namely if you make under the substantial gainful activity (“SGA”) limit.
To potentially qualify for benefits, you must earn less that the monthly amount stipulated by the SSA. This number varies year-by-year and based upon whether you are blind. For example, in 2019, the SGA was set at $1,220 for non-blind individuals and $2,040 for blind individuals. SGA for the blind does not apply to SSI benefits, while SGA for the non-blind disabled applies to both Social Security and SSI benefits.
How Long Can I Collect Disability Benefits?
As long as your condition remains debilitating, you can collect benefits until you normal retirement age, at which time social security disability benefits will stop and you can start collecting Social Security retirement benefits. However, the SSA will conduct reviews of your benefits periodically based upon how your condition is classified. For instance, if your medical condition is classified as medical improvement possible (“MIP”), it is likely that your case will be reviewed within two to five years after your approval. Conversely, if your condition is classified as medical improvement not expected (“MINE”), then a review will likely not be conducted until five to seven years have passed.
How are SSDI Benefits Paid?
Your disability benefits will either be sent to you via a check in the mail or will be directly deposited into your bank account. Because these benefits are meant to replace the income you are losing by not being able to work, you are not required to apply the money towards medical care; you can spend it as you see fit.
If your claim is delayed and you do not receive benefits for an extended period, you may be paid retroactively from the date of your first application, resulting in a lump sum payment to make up for your lost wages during this time.
How Do I Apply for SSDI or SSI?
When you are ready to file your SSDI or SSI application, you can schedule a free consultation with experienced Social Security disability attorney serving Kingsport and surrounding areas, Mark T. Hurt. He can answer your questions and file if your claim if it appears that you qualify.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a SSDI and SSI Benefits Lawyer in Kingsport?
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that being disabled can have a substantial impact on you and your family’s financial situation; in many cases, leaving you unable to cover medical or household expenses. This is one reason why we represent clients on a contingency-fee basis and do not collect a fee unless we are successful in securing compensation.
Our contingent fee is equal to 25% of the amount received for back pay (the amount due to the you for retroactive benefits). Social Security regulations cap this amount at $6,000, but there may be some exceptions to this maximum. If you are awarded compensation, you most likely will not have to worry about coordinating a fee payment for our services, as the fee is typically paid to our firm, on your behalf, by the SSA. As a client, you will be responsible for paying some expenses, such as any cost to obtain medical records.
To ensure that you fully understand the costs and our fees, we will provide a fee agreement (which solely governs our representation with respect to your matter) and will gladly answer any billing questions that you may have.
Get Help from an Experienced Kingsport, TN Social Security Disability Attorney
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we do not want to see disabled Kingsport residents and their families struggling; therefore, we work vigorously to secure the benefits they need and deserve. For assistance with an SSDI or SSI claim, let Mark Hurt use his over 30 years of experience in helping those injured to prepare and file your claim or appeal. Schedule a free consultation to see how Mark may be able to help you get the disability benefits you deserve.
Benefits Planner: Disability | How You Qualify, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html.
Substantial Gainful Activity, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/sga.html.