While most initial applications for SSDI in Tennessee are denied, it is possible for applicants to win on appeal by preparing well for their hearings. Making certain to see their doctors regularly, submitting new medical evidence to the Social Security Administration, dressing appropriately at the hearing, bringing witnesses, and preparing for questions can help improve the chances of gaining approval for benefits at the appeal hearings.
Chances of Approval for Initial Applications
The chances of getting approved for disability benefits upon an initial application are low. Approximately 36 percent of disability cases are approved upon the initial applications. Many that are initially denied have incomplete applications. People might improve their chances by making certain that their applications are filled out correctly and completely and by submitting opinions from their treating physicians about the functional limitations that their disabling conditions cause. After an initial application is denied, it will go to a reconsideration review. At this level, 13 percent of the applications are approved. People who are denied may file appeals. There are some steps that they can take to increase their chances of getting approved for disability benefits at the hearing level.
Steps to Increase the Chances of Approval
At the hearing level, approximately 47 percent of the disability cases are approved. People who have legal representation are between two and three times likelier to win their SSDI claims at this level. To increase their chances of getting approved for SSDI at appeals hearings, people should be prepared to wait since it can take months or years for a hearing to occur. People should not stop seeing their doctors for their conditions. If they cannot afford insurance, they should continue getting treatment at free clinics. Having recent medical documentation of how their disabling conditions affect them is important for the hearing. People should also make certain to update the Social Security Administration when they have received treatment.
People might also benefit by having witnesses who can testify about how their disabling conditions limit them. When the hearing date arrives, applicants should dress appropriately and remember that they are attending a legal hearing. They should be prepared to answer any questions that they might be asked by the administrative law judge who is handling their hearing.