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Bristol, TN Attorneys Help Clients Understand Social Security Disability Benefits

Working tirelessly to get you the benefits you deserve

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a stressful and complicated process. The disability lawyers of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC are passionate and experienced legal advocates who can guide you through the process. Our law firm has served the Tri-Cities since 1909, and we take pride in every case we handle.

SSD decisions take several months

You should not expect to receive a decision on your Social Security Disability claim right away. It generally takes from three to five months — or longer– to receive an approval or denial of your claim. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), factors that can affect the timing of your decision include:

  • The nature of your disability
  • The responsiveness of your doctors to SSA’s requests for records
  • The need for a medical examination to support your claim
  • The duration of the process if  your claim has been randomly selected for a quality assurance review

What SSD benefits am I entitled to receive?

If your claim is approved, your first SSD benefits will be paid on the sixth full month after the date of the commencement of your disability. Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, your payment is not determined by your degree of disability. Rather, your monthly disability benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings.

Many SSD recipients will also be awarded “back pay” for any past-due benefits. The longer it takes for the SSA to decide your case, the more compensation will you receive. Past-due payments are paid in one lump sum.

You will also be entitled to receive medical benefits through Medicare two years after your SSD date of entitlement. Your date of entitlement is your disability onset date (as determined by the SSA), plus the standard five-month waiting period for all SSD benefits.

Will my SSD benefits ever increase or decrease?

You are entitled to SSD benefits as long as you are disabled. The SSA will periodically review your case to assess your status. You are also required to notify the SSA if your condition improves or you return to work.

Your benefits may be discontinued if the SSA determines that:

  • You are working at a “substantial” level, which is determined by your average monthly earnings, or
  • Your medical condition has improved to the point that you are no longer disabled

As with the initial claims process, you are entitled to challenge any decision regarding your continuing benefit status. To protect your right to SSD benefits, it is advantageous to seek the guidance of an attorney experienced in this practice area.

Trust your disability benefits to a seasoned Johnson City Social Security lawyer

Obtaining and maintaining SSD benefits can be a long and meticulous process. You need an experienced lawyer on your side. To find out how Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC can help you, call us today at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.