Filing for Social Security Disability in Tennessee

Here is some helpful resource and contact information for disability-related offices in Tennessee.

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Applicants for Social Security disability or SSI disability who live in Tennessee apply with the Social Security Administration. But even though Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal programs, states differ in how many claims they approve for disability benefits and how long a claim takes to be decided.

Where Do I Apply for Disability Benefits in Tennessee?

You can apply for disability in three different ways depending on the type of benefit you are eligible for.

Online applications. SSDI applicants can apply online at www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm. SSI applicants cannot apply online.

Local field offices. Your local Tennessee field office can help you with your application. Listed below is contact information for the office nearest you. Some field offices require appointments.

Applying by telephone. You can also apply for disability benefits by telephone at 800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, call 800-325-0778.

Who Makes the Initial Disability Decision in Tennessee?

A claims examiner at Disability Determination Services approves or denies initial applications for SSD or SSI, in consultation with a doctor. The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitative Services of the Department of Human Services (DHS) administers the Disability Determination Services (DDS) program. Here is the contact information for Tennessee’s DDS:

P.O. Box 775
400 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37202
Phone: 615-743-7300 or 800-342-1117
Fax: 615-253-2727

After you submit your disability application, contact the DDS for status updates. For more information, visit the Department of Human Service’s (DHS) website.

How Do I Appeal if My Initial Application has Been Denied?

Like most states, Tennessee’s appeal process has four steps: reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council, and federal court.

Step 1: Reconsideration. If your initial application for disability is denied, you have 60 days from when you receive the denial to ask that the SSA to reconsider their decision. The DDS reviews your case during a reconsideration.

Step 2: Hearing Level. You have 60 days to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) if your request for reconsideration is denied. Hearings are held at the ODAR office located nearest to your field office (see below for contact information).

Step 3: Appeals Council. If the ALJ denies your claim, you have 60 days from the date you receive the denial to appeal to the Appeals Council (AC). The AC will review your appeal and can reverse the ALJ’s decision, return it to the ALJ with instructions to reconsider certain evidence, or deny your request for review.

Step 4: Federal court. If the AC won’t review your claim or denies your claim, you can appeal to the federal district court in Tennessee. There are district courts in Tennessee for the Eastern District, the Western District, and the Middle District.

Tennessee Disability Statistics

For the 2011 fiscal year, the Tennessee DDS approved only 24.4% of disability claims at the initial application level, less than the national average. Only 8.7% of the claims were approved at the reconsideration level.

In contrast, Tennessee ALJs awarded benefits in 62.9% of the cases they heard. Of those approvals, 59.4% were fully favorable, and 3.5% were partially favorable. However, it took, on average, 376 days from the time the request for hearing was filed to the date the case was decided by an ALJ.

How Much Will it Cost to Get My Medical Records?

Tennessee law places a limit on how much a doctor’s office or hospital can charge you for your medical records. In Tennessee, 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.

How Much SSI Will I Receive in Tennessee?

The federal government funds an SSI payment of up to $698 a month, less if you have any income. Some states provide an extra supplement, but at this time, Tennessee does not supplement SSI payments.

Contact Information

Contact information for Tennessee’s Social Security disability-related offices are listed below.

ODAR Locations

Tennessee has Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) hearing offices located throughout the state. Below is the contact information for each office.

Chattanooga
1232 Premier Drive, Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone: (877) 833-2721
Fax: (423) 855-6407
eFile Fax: (877) 470-509
Areas Serviced: Athens, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Tullahoma

Kingsport
2405 South Wilcox Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
Phone: (423) 246-7351
Fax: (423) 246-3974
eFile Fax: (877) 601-3827
Areas Serviced: Greenville, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Morristown

Knoxville
First Tennessee Plaza, Suite 700
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37929
Phone: (877) 692-3141
Fax: (865) 545-4676
eFile Fax: (877) 435-0335
Areas Serviced: Cookeville, Knoxville, La Follette, Maryville, McMinnville, and Oak Ridge

Memphis
309 Monroe Street
Memphis, TN 3810
Phone: (866) 348-5830
Fax: (901) 523-9282
eFile Fax: (877) 844-8753
Areas Serviced: Dyersburg, Jackson, Memphis Downtown, East, Memphis North, Memphis South, Selmer, and Union City

Nashville
221 Cumberland Bend
Nashville, TN 37228-1803
Phone: (877) 583-4103
Fax: (615) 736-2175
eFile Fax: (877) 847-1598
Areas Serviced: Clarksville, Columbia, Gallatin, Lawrenceburg, Madison, Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Paris

Field Offices

Field offices are served by the Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville, or Kingsport ODAR hearing office locations. The servicing ODAR office schedules and conducts the hearings and manages the case file once it gets to the hearing level.

If a field office does not list its direct telephone number, call the SSA at 800-325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, for contact information.

Athens Office
921 Congress Parkway North
Athens, TN 37303
Local Phone: (866) 964-7431 or (423) 745-7488

Chattanooga Office
1290 Premier Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Local Phone: (866) 964-0029 or (423) 899-0649

Clarksville Office
119 Center Pointe Drive
Clarksville, TN 37040
Local Phone: (877) 531-4695

Cleveland Office
529 Inman Street West
Cleveland, TN 37311
Local Phone: (423) 339-0519

Columbia Office
1885 Shady Brook Street
Columbia, TN 38401
Local Phone: (877) 876-3174 or (931) 381-5832

Cookeville Office
1145 Perimeter Park Drive
Cookeville, TN 38501
Local Phone: (888) 717-1528 or (931) 528-9765

Dyersburg Office
1070 Vendall Road
Dyersburg, TN 38024
Local Phone: (877) 480-5002

Gallatin Office
637 Commons Drive
Gallatin, TN 37066
Local Phone: (866) 964-7392

Greenville Office
1618 Old Tusculum Road
Greeneville, TN 37745
Local Phone: (877) 405-0416

Jacksboro (La Follette) Office
140 Sharp Perkins Road
Jacksboro, TN 37757
Local Phone: (866) 964-7324

Jackson Office
415 Cheyenne Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
Local Phone: (888) 383-1593

Johnson City Office
818 Sunset Drive
Suite 203
Johnson City, TN 37604
Local Phone: (866) 964-5059

Kingsport Office
2401 South Wilcox Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
Local Phone: (888) 487-0161

Knoxville Office
8530 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
Local Phone: (866) 331-9091

Lawrenceburg Office
109 E. Taylor Street
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
Local Phone: (877) 405-5866

Madison Office
140 Cude Lane
Madison, TN 37115
Local Phone: (866) 964-6302

Maryville Office
222 Keller Lane
Maryville, TN 37801
Local Phone: (865) 982-3714

McMinniville Office
931 Old Smithville Highway
McMinnville, TN 37110
Local Phone: (877) 616-2515

Memphis Downtown Office
1330 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Local Phone: (866) 336-2212

Memphis East Office
3220 Players Club Parkway
Memphis, TN 38125
Local Phone: (866) 320-2591

Memphis North Office
3602 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, TN 38128
Local Phone: (855) 420-8557

Memphis South Office
3461 South Third Street
Memphis, TN 38109
Local Phone: (901) 786-9019

Morristown Office
3112 Millers Point Drive
Morristown, TN 37813
Local Phone: (866) 875-6156

Murfreesboro Office
2836 Saint Patrick Center
Murfreesboro, TN 37128
Local Phone: (866) 593-3112

Nashville Office
120 Athens Way
Nashville, TN 37228
Local Phone: (877) 808-5461

Oak Ridge Office
565 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Local Phone: (865) 482-6908

Paris Office
186 Commerce Street
Paris, TN 38242
Local Phone: (731) 642-3226

Selmer Office
661 Mulberry Avenue
Selmer, TN 38375
Local Phone: 888-397-4814

Tullahoma Office
717 Kings Lane
Tullahoma, TN 37388
Local Phone: (866) 635-0647

Union City Office
1800 Old Troy Road
Union City, TN 38261
Local Phone: (731) 885-8163

Tennessee Rehabilitation Services

The State of Tennessee offers rehabilitation services through the DHS’s Division of Rehabilitative Services. DRS provides vocational rehabilitation, access to assistive technology, and myriad other resources to help disabled residents of Tennessee return to work. For more information see the DRS website.

Finding a Tennessee Disability Lawyer

If you are considering hiring an attorney to represent you at a disability appeal hearing, visit our Tennessee disability lawyers’ page to arrange a consultation.

by: , Contributing Author

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