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SSDI Benefits in Tennessee

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides financial support to Tennessee residents who have a significant disability preventing them from working.

To be eligible, applicants must have a qualifying medical condition and sufficient work credits, earned through their employment history. The goal of the SSDI program is to provide a financial safety net for those unable to earn a living due to disability.

What Does the SSA Do?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of managing Social Security programs in the United States, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The agency reviews applications, determines if applicants meet the required eligibility conditions, calculates the amount of benefits, and sends out monthly payments. The SSA also makes sure that individuals continue to meet the eligibility requirements for ongoing benefits.

How to Qualify for SSDI

To be eligible for SSDI in Tennessee, an individual needs to have a serious medical condition that prevents them from working. The condition must be expected to last at least a year or result in death.

Eligible applicants must also have a certain number of work credits, which depend on the age at which they became disabled. Eligibility is not based on income but on the person's work history and the severity of their medical condition.

How Does the SSA Define Disability?

The SSA has specific rules to define what qualifies as a disability. The condition must be so severe that it prevents the individual from working in any job, not just the job they previously held. Also, the medical condition must be expected to last at least a year or result in death. Short-term or partial disabilities don't meet SSA's definition.

The SSA has a list of approved disabilities. This guide is known as the Blue Book, and it is used by physicians and the SSA to evaluate the eligibility requirements of an applicant's medical conditions.

What Are Work Credits?

Work credits are a measure used by the SSA to see if a person has worked enough to qualify for SSDI. They're earned by working and paying Social Security taxes. Up to four work credits can be earned each year, and the number of credits required depends on the age when the person became disabled.

For most applicants, a total of 40 credits is needed, with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years ending in the year the disability began. The exact number may vary for younger individuals since they haven't had as much time to accumulate credits.

How to Apply for SSDI in Tennessee

When you're ready to apply for SSDI in Tennessee, there are three main ways to do so: online, by phone, or in person at a local Social Security office.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

When applying for SSDI in Tennessee, you will need the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your birth certificate or other proof of age
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you
  • Medications you are taking
  • Medical records
  • Lab and test results
  • A summary of where you worked
  • Your most recent tax return or W-2 form

The application takes time to process, so the earlier you begin, the sooner you could receive benefits.

If Your Application Is Denied

If your application for SSDI is denied, don't get discouraged. Many people are denied the first time. You have the right to appeal the decision, but you must do it within 60 days of receiving the denial.

The appeal process has different levels, and you can continue to appeal to the next level if you disagree with a decision.

There are four levels of the appeal process.

  • Reconsideration: A complete review of your claim by someone who didn't take part in the original decision.
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If you disagree with the reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing.
  • Review by the Appeals Council: If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can ask for a federal court review.
  • Federal Court Review: The final step in the appeal process. You will need to hire an attorney at this point.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

When appealing a decision, many people decide to hire a disability lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in disability claims knows the system well and can guide you through it. They can help you understand the complex rules, fill out forms, gather evidence, and represent you at hearings.

Hiring a lawyer is not required (except for federal court appeals), but it can help improve your chances of approval. Disability lawyers won't charge you unless they win your case. If you decide to hire an attorney, make sure to ask about their fees and what services they will provide.

Applying for SSDI is not always easy, but getting the right help can improve your chances of being approved.

Supplemental Security Income in Tennessee

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with limited income and resources who are elderly, blind, or disabled. In Tennessee, the program is essential for many residents who need support due to their circumstances.

How to Qualify for SSI in Tennessee

SSI recipients must meet low-income guidelines and belong to one of the following groups:

  • Adults aged 65 and above
  • People who are blind
  • People who are unable to work because of a disability

To qualify for SSI in Tennessee, an individual must meet both financial and medical criteria. Financially, you must have limited income and resources, as defined by the program guidelines. Eligible applicants must also be blind, disabled, or over age 65.

How to Apply for SSI in Tennessee

The application process for SSI is similar to SSDI. You can apply online, by phone, or at your nearest SSA office.

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213

Gather relevant documents such as medical records, income proof, and information on your living arrangements. This information will be required during the application process.

Additional Benefits in Tennessee

In Tennessee, receiving SSI may automatically qualify you for other programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid that provide additional assistance. The application for SSI usually includes these additional benefits, and you may not need to apply for them separately.

Tennessee - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
556 MEMPHIS SOUTH TN 3461 South Third St, Memphis, TN 38109 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-782-9155
565 NASHVILLE TN 120 Athens Way, Nashville, TN 37228 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-808-5461
566 MEMPHIS TN 1330 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-336-2212
567 KNOXVILLE TN 9031 Cross Park Dr, Knoxville, TN 37923 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-331-9091
568 CHATTANOOGA TN Ste 140, 1290 Premier Dr, Chattanooga, TN 37421 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-0029
569 COLUMBIA TN 1885 Shady Brook St, Columbia, TN 38401 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-876-3174
570 DYERSBURG TN 1070 Vendall Rd, Dyersburg, TN 38024 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-480-5002
571 JACKSON TN 415 Cheyenne Dr, Jackson, TN 38305 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-383-1593
572 JOHNSON CITY TN Ste 203, 818 Sunset Dr, Johnson City, TN 37604 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-5059
573 COOKEVILLE TN 1145 Perimeter Park Dr, Cookeville, TN 38501 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-717-1528
576 MORRISTOWN TN 3112 Millers Point Dr, Morristown, TN 37813 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-875-6156
C37 MADISON TN 140 Cude Lane, Madison, TN 37115 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-6302
C90 MEMPHIS NORTH TN 3602 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis, TN 38128 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-420-8557
558 GALLATIN TN 637 Commons Dr, Gallatin, TN 37066 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7392
574 CLARKSVILLE TN 119 Center Pointe Dr, Clarksville, TN 37040 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-531-4695
575 GREENEVILLE TN 1618 Old Tusculum Rd, Greeneville, TN 37745 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-0416
577 TULLAHOMA TN 717 Kings Lane, Tullahoma, TN 37388 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-635-0647
578 MURFREESBORO TN 2836 Saint Patrick Ct, Murfreesboro, TN 37128 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-593-3112
579 KINGSPORT TN 2401 South Wilcox Dr, Kingsport, TN 37660 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-487-0161
580 JACKSBORO TN 140 Sharp And Perkins Rd, Jacksboro, TN 37757 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7324
581 CLEVELAND TN 529 Inman St W, Cleveland, TN 37311 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-207-4867
582 PARIS TN 186 Commerce St, Paris, TN 38242 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-698-2507
A51 OAK RIDGE TN 565 Oak Ridge Tpke, Oak Ridge, TN 37830 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-676-2954
B03 UNION CITY TN 1800 Old Troy Rd, Union City, TN 38261 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-401-5904
B08 LAWRENCEBURG TN 109 E Taylor St, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-5866
B19 MCMINNVILLE TN 900 Sparta St, Mcminnville, TN 37110 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-616-2515
C94 ATHENS TN 921 Congress Pkwy N, Athens, TN 37303 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7431
D00 SELMER TN 661 Mulberry Ave, Selmer, TN 38375 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-397-4814