Questions about Qualifying
How long do I have to make a claim?
Consider the following questions to determine if you may qualify, although the qualification process is in-depth and complicated. Thus, it is best to seek legal expertise on the qualification process.
- Will you be out of work for 12 Months?
- Does your disability significantly limit your ability to work?
- Is your medical condition described in the List of Impairments?
- Are you able to do the work you did before?
- Are you able to do any other type of work?
When is a person considered disabled by Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
Social Security decides if someone is disabled or not based on how much that illness or injury limits you from work (in addition to the other qualification conditions). Thus, your illness or injury will not predict whether you will win or lose your Social Security Disability claim. It is beneficial to speak with an attorney who has handled many Social Security Disability cases to help you present the limitations you have from your illness or injury and relate that to how it affects your ability to work.
Who determines whether I am disabled?
Qualifying Physical and Mental Disabilities:
- ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Anxiety disorder
- Autoimmune disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Back Pain
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary Artery Heart Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal Stenosis
- Nerve Root Compression
- Drug and alcohol use
- ESRD, End Stage Renal Disease
- Hearing loss
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure, hypertension
- Low IQ
- Memory Loss
- Morbid Obesity
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder
- Panic attacks, Anxiety disorder
- Post Polio
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Sleep apnea
- Sleep disorders
- RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Child asthma
Questions About Applying
How Long Does a Social Security Disability Claim Take?
It can take anywhere from a few months to years. Timing depends on many factors including where you live in Mississippi to which Administrative Law Judge hears your case. General timeline: 3 to 4 months from the time you apply until the first decision. If denied, Reconsideration could take another 3 or 4 months. Generally, the next appeal phase would take another 12 to 18 months to get a Hearing before an ALJ. That decision could take 1 or 2 months to many months, depending on the judge. Social Security caseloads, timelines, and procedures are constantly changing and procedures so this is a rough estimate.
Mississippi Current Time Frames:
Average wait time for a hearing: 15 months
Average processing time: 450 days
*For specific county appeal time frames, see the question below “Where are appeals heard in Mississippi?”
How Much Will it Cost to Get My Medical Records?
In Mississippi, medical providers can charge $4.00 a page for the first five pages of records and $0.50 for any additional pages. These charges are waived if the records are being sent to another health care provider or medical facility. The medical care provider can also charge for postage.
When should you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
You should start your application immediately after you become disabled. Make sure you have the medical documentation needed first, because you will need proof which states that you are unable to work and will be unable to work for at least one year.
How Much Will It Cost to Apply?
It is free to apply for benefits (except for federal court). Typically, Social Security Disability lawyers only get paid a percentage of past-due benefits if you win your benefits claim.
Questions About Appeals
What is the Appeals Process?
If your claim is denied, the four steps which may have to be used in appeals are:
- Reconsideration Review (the DDS reviews and approves or denies a reconsideration)
- Hearing Level (if the reconsideration is denied, you can ask to be heard by a judge)
- Appeals Council (if the judge denies your claim, this council can review your claim)
- Federal Court (if the AC denies your claim, you can appeal to the federal district court in Mississippi to the Eastern District, the Western District, or the Middle District)
Where are Appeals Heard in Mississippi?
The residents of Mississippi can receive assistance with Social Security Disability through Social Security Field Offices, Disability Determination Service Offices and for appeals, the Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review.
The Field Office locations include Athens, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Cleveland, Columbia, Cookeville, Dyersburg, Gallatin, Greenville, Jacksboro (La Follette), Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Lawrenceburg, Madison, Maryville, McMinniville, Memphis Downtown, Memphis East, Memphis North, Memphis South, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge Paris Selmer Tullahoma, and Union City. The ODAR locations include Chattanooga, Kingsport, Kingsport, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville.
Muse Disability attorneys are dedicated to helping you through the process and will access the following offices with you, depending on where you live, if you have to go through an appeals process.
- Chattanooga, Mississippi: Disability hearings for Athens, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Tullahoma. It takes this office around 360 days to schedule a disability hearing.
- Kingsport, Mississippi: Holds hearings for Greenville, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Morristown and averages of 250 days to schedule a hearing.
- Knoxville, Mississippi: Serves Cookeville, Knoxville, La Follette, Maryville, McMinnville and Oak Ridge. Hearings are scheduled within an average of 370 days.
- Memphis, Mississippi: Dyersburg, Jackson, Memphis Downtown, Memphis East, Memphis North, Memphis South, Selmer and Union City are heard by this office. The average processing time for this ODAR office is 440 days.
- Nashville, Mississippi: This ODAR office serves Clarksville, Columbia, Gallatin, Lawrenceburg, Madison, Murfreesboro, Nashville and Paris. An average of 440 days will pass before disability hearing will be scheduled for Mississippi Social Security Disability applicants.
What are Common Reasons for Denial of Disability Benefits?
- You have made errors in the application.
- You make more than the SGA, or amount the SSA has determined you are able to live on per month. If you exceed this amount, you will immediately be denied disability benefits.
- Your disability will not last or be expected to last a minimum of 12 months.
- You did not provide all the necessary information or medical records with your application.
- The Social Security Administration has attempted to locate you and was unable to reach you.
General Mississippi Disability Representatives, LLC Questions
What are Mississippi’s Statistics on SSDI and SSI?
The percentage of the population on SSI is around 3%.
The average monthly SSI payment in Mississippi is approximately $500.
The percentage of population on SSDI is around 7%.
The average monthly SSDI payment is close to $1000.
Initial Application Approvals: 24%
Reconsideration Approvals: almost 9%
Appeal Hearing Approvals: around 63%
(From the 2013 Mississippi Social Security Administration’s annual report.)
If My Claim is Approved, How Far Back Will I Be Paid?
There are many factors to this process such as past applications, denials, etc., so speaking with an attorney is your safest bet here. Usually, Social Security will pay you past-due benefits one year prior to the day you filed your application, regardless of if they find you disabled earlier than that.
How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
This depends on how long the rest of your claim process took. In the best case, you can expect your benefits within a few months. However, if you need to appeal, it could be up to three years. Having a disability lawyer can help decrease this wait time, as they know what to ask and how to ensure all is in order to win your appeal and get your benefits as soon as possible.
Mississippi Disability Representatives Facts:
- Thousands of clients trust Mississippi Disability Representatives to secure millions in benefits each year
- Founded by Administrative Law Judge C.G. Muse Jr.
- Advocating for the disabled Since 1986
- Thousands served annually
- Free Consultation
- Contingency based fees, No fee unless we win your case
- All fees approved by the Social Security Administration