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Social Security Disability Blog

1 in 5 commercial trucks failed during inspection blitz

Rules and regulations are in place to help encourage trucking companies to use safe trucks. Roadside inspections help ensure trucking companies meet this expectation. A failed inspection can result in serious consequences that can include a citation or removal of the vehicle from the roads with an out-of-service designation.

Data from the most recent inspection blitz is now available. Based on this information, approximately one in five trucks received the out-of-service designation.

How to protect yourself against an uninsured motorist

Having auto insurance is a requirement to drive just about anywhere in the country. Even though you might have insurance, there's no guarantee that other motorists around you will have it. This poses a problem when you're involved in an accident. Here's how you can protect yourself from an uninsured motorist.

There are ways that you can protect yourself against uninsured or underinsured motorists in Tennessee. All three of these methods involve adding coverage to your own auto insurance policy. Even though this might seem like a hassle, or you don't understand why you have to take this responsibility, it makes a lot of sense if you wind up in an accident with such a driver.

How to protect children from a dog bite

Owning a dog is a desire millions of people have throughout the country. Dogs make great pets. They are loyal to a fault and provide you with unconditional love. But, not all dogs are safe for children to be around. Some dogs simply do not like strangers, especially children, who can be a little rough without knowing it. Here's how you can protect children from a dog bite.

Teach your children to always avoid unknown dogs. It's understandable that there are dogs in your neighborhood, many of which you likely know, but your child should never approach a dog that is loose or unknown in the area. This could lead to a tragic event.

A Mendon man dies after becoming trapped between 2 big rigs

A 57-year-old Mendon, Tennessee, man lost his life in a truck accident early on the afternoon of Thursday, July 13, 2017 at a Knoxville truck stop. The truck driver, who worked alongside one of his sons as a FedEx subcontractor, was in the process of cleaning the windshield of his truck during a driver changeover when he was struck by another tractor-trailer.

According to witness statements taken at the crash scene, the man had been washing his truck's windshield at the time another trucker that had been parked alongside decided to pull forward. When the other trucker moved his truck, the man became trapped between both the cab of his 18-wheeler where he had been working and the trailer of the other one. Soon thereafter, the man crashed to the ground.

Common causes of 18-wheeler accidents in Tennessee

The economy of Tennessee, and our country as a whole, is spurred by the volume of 18-wheelers on the road. The more trucks you see, the better the economy is performing. As important as these trucks are, they can also be quite dangerous if not operated properly. Here are some common causes of 18-wheeler accidents.

Distracted driving can affect truck drivers just as much as it can drivers of cars and SUVs. Truck drivers can get distracted using a cellphone behind the wheel, talking on their dispatch system, using a GPS, eating, reading a map and more.

How to avoid the dangers of summer driving

With summer in full swing, millions of people will be hitting the roads for day trips, weekend trips and week-long vacations. Don't forget the aimless drives around town with family and friends when there's nothing else to do. Going for a harmless drive can turn into tragedy if you don't know the hazards of summer driving.

Hot weather can wreak havoc on your tires. The warm weather makes the air inside your tires expand, which can lead to tire blowouts. Be sure to check your tires as often as possible during the summer months, especially during heatwaves in Knoxville.

The 5 most common workplace injuries

Going to work is dangerous for those who work as first responders and in other inherently dangerous fields. But, for most workers in Tennessee, going to work should not bring with it anxiety or fear that injury or illness could occur. Here are the top five most common workplace injuries.

Overexertion injuries are the most common workplace injuries. These are injuries suffered by pulling, pushing, holding, lifting, throwing and carrying items at work. This is also the most expensive workplace injury today.

SSD and wait times: Are they getting any better?

Social Security disability benefits are available for qualifying applicants who were injured or suffer an illness that results in the inability to work. These benefits are designed to help ensure that recipients can meet their financial obligations. Once approved, the recipient receives money to help cover basic costs, like rent, groceries and the like. Unfortunately, the amount of time it takes for an application to receive approval can make paying for even the most basic needs very difficult.

To make things even more difficult, it appears wait times for approval are getting even worse. 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Average Processing Times and Approval Rates at Hearings

One of the toughest things I have to do when explaining to people who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or whose application has been denied is the length of the process. I try to regularly provide an update on processing times and approval rates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims at some hearing offices (ODAR), but it has been since January of 2017. Please remember that these statistics are only for claims pending at the hearing level or Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The claims at a hearing office have already been through the Application and Reconsideration steps (typically 6-12 months of waiting already).


  • Average processing time: 573 (up from 525 days in January of 2017 and up from 444 in May of 2015)
  • 45% of cases approved

Chattanooga, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 553 (up from 535 days in January of 2017)
  • 49% of cases approved (down from 60% in January of 2017)

Charleston, South Carolina

  • Average processing time: 656 days! (up from 617 days in January of 2017)
  • 40% of cases approved (down from 49% of cases approved in January)

Columbia, South Carolina

  • Average processing time: 654 days (down from 664 days in January of 2017)
  • 49% of cases approved (down from 53% of cases approved in January)

Franklin, Tennessee

  • Average processing time: 552 days (up from 521 days in January of 2017 and 475 days in December of 2015)
  • 55% of cases approved (down from 62% of cases approved in January)

Kingsport, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 532 days (up from 512 days in January of 2017, 454 days in October of 2016 and 339 days in April of 2015)
  • 60% of case approved (down from 64% of case approved in January)

Knoxville, Tennessee:

  • Average processing time: 565 days (up from 521 days in January of 2017)
  • 52% of cases approved

Memphis, Tennessee

  • Average processing time: 591 days (up from 578 days in January of 2017)
  • 47% of cases approved (down from 52% of cases approved in January)

Nashville, Tennessee

  • Average processing time: 508 days (up from 491 days in January of 2017, 484 days in October of 2016 and 465 days in December of 2015)
  • 49% of cases approved (down from 50% of cases approved in January)

Middlesboro, Kentucky

  • Average processing time: 458 days (up from 436 days in January of 2017)
  • 45% of case approved (down from 47% of cases approved in January)

The hearing office staff work hard and understand the frustrations of the claimants and representatives, but they are hamstrung by the workload and budgetary restraints.

The do's and don'ts following crash with uninsured motorist

Car accidents are scary and stressful enough. Add in the fact that you might have to deal with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, and the stress levels can become unbearable. Victims of accidents involving uninsured motorists need to know what to do following such an accident so they can prepare for what lies ahead of them. We will outline those steps in today's post.

In some cases, the uninsured motorist might want to pay you cash on the spot following an accident. You should never accept cash after an accident, even if it looks to be very appealing or convenient. This can lead to you not being able to file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver. Even though you might want to expedite the process of being reimbursed, never accept cash.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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Knoxville, TN 37909

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