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North Carolina Disability Lawyers | SSI & SSDI Cases

If you’re suffering from a disability that prevents you from working, it can feel like you have nowhere to turn. Fortunately, our Social Security Disability attorneys in North Carolina can help you pursue the disability benefits you’re entitled to.

Many disabled individuals struggle to support themselves financially. If your disability markedly impacts your ability to function and perform work duties, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Our experienced disability lawyers in North Carolina can help determine if you qualify for disability. We’ll also help you navigate the complex process of filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Continue reading to learn more about our services and what it takes to obtain SSD benefits.

The Purpose of Social Security Disability Benefits

The purpose of Social Security Disability benefits is to provide crucial financial assistance to disabled individuals who are unable to work. These benefits help ensure basic income for people with physical or mental conditions that hinder their ability to maintain gainful employment.

By offering financial support, SSD benefits help recipients meet their essential needs, such as housing, healthcare, and daily living expenses. Moreover, these benefits aim to enhance the overall quality of life for disabled individuals. They also help promote a beneficiary’s independence while alleviating the financial burdens that often accompany disabilities.

Types of Disability Benefits | SSDI VS SSI

There are two types of disability benefit programs managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both are designed to help support individuals who cannot perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) due to their disability.

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program funded through Social Security payroll taxes. SSDI offers monthly monetary benefits to those who have accumulated sufficient work credits by contributing to the Social Security System.

To be eligible, applicants must meet specific criteria and demonstrate their inability to perform SGA due to their disabling condition. SSDI aims to offer financial stability and essential support to individuals facing long-term disabilities.

Do I Qualify for SSDI?

SSDI claimants must meet the following criteria to qualify for benefits:

  • Your disability is a medically determinable condition
  • Your disability prevents you from performing SGA and engaging in work activities
  • Your disability causes severe physical and/or mental limitations
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months OR result in death
  • Your disability meets the SSA’s definition of disability

If you’re unable to perform the work you did previously (before your disability began), the SSA will assess whether or not you can perform any new type of work. For example, if you’re a laborer your disability may prevent you from performing tasks at your current job. In this case, the SSA will determine whether you’re qualified to work a job that is less physically demanding.

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is a federal, needs-based program funded by the United States Treasury. Unlike SSDI, SSI doesn’t require beneficiaries to have earned any work credits. Instead, eligibility is determined based on income level and medical criteria.

SSI aims to prevent disabled individuals from falling into poverty by offering vital support to cover essential living and medical expenses.

Do I Qualify for SSI?

You may qualify for SSI if you are disabled, blind, or at least 65 years of age. These benefits are only awarded to individuals with extremely limited income and resources.

Income and resources are defined by the SSA as existing or potential sources of income. The SSA will evaluate all of the resources available to you before deciding whether you are eligible for SSI benefits. These resources can include property, inheritance money, stocks, bonds, and other items of monetary value.

In order to qualify for SSI under a disability, you must also meet the following criteria:

  • Your disability is a medically determinable condition
  • Your disability prevents you from performing SGA and engaging in work activities
  • Your disability causes severe physical and/or mental limitations
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months OR result in death
  • Your disability meets the SSA’s definition of disability, blindness, or “aged”

If you’re struggling with a disability and unsure which program you qualify for, our North Carolina Social Security Disability lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Compassionate Allowance & Presumptive Disabilities

The Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program and Presumptive Disability benefits are expedited pathways within the Social Security Disability evaluation process.

Compassionate Allowances fast-track the approval process for claimants with severe, readily identifiable medical conditions, like certain types of cancers. Presumptive Disability benefits provide immediate financial assistance to applicants with impairments that are likely to meet SSI criteria, such as total blindness.

Both of these programs acknowledge the urgent needs of individuals with severe conditions, ensuring quicker access to crucial financial support.

What is SGA?

Substantial Gainful Activity is activity that allows a person to earn a predetermined monthly income amount called the SGA amount. SGA amounts are calculated based on the nature of an individual’s disability and the average national wage index. The average national wage index usually changes from year to year.

Calculating Benefits

SSI and SSDI benefits are calculated in different ways. Both programs take into account the national wage index to determine SGA. (This will not apply if you’re filing for SSI under a blindness claim.)

SSDI calculations are also based on your work history, or your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME), and the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) acts as the basis for your actual SSDI benefit amount. Your PIA is determined by applying a formula to your AIME.

SSI is calculated based on your countable income, total assets, household financial circumstances, and the annual COLA. Your monthly SSI payment will not exceed the maximum federal benefit rate. This maximum sum might be reduced based on your countable income and available resources.

How Does the SSA Determine Disability?

The Social Security Administration assesses disability based on a stringent review process. Qualifying conditions are listed in what is known as the Blue Book. The SSA references the Blue Book to evaluate whether an individual’s disability should qualify them for benefits.

Qualifying Conditions

Qualifying conditions under the Adult Listings of Impairments section in the Blue Book include:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech Disorders
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
  • Immune System Disorders

If your disability is not listed in the Blue Book, it doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for SSI or SSDI. If your condition is equal in severity to a listed impairment, you are eligible for disability payments.

Why Hire A Disability Attorney in North Carolina

The SSA has extensive parameters to determine disability eligibility to help prevent fraudulent claims. However, this can sometimes mean disabled individuals struggle to obtain the benefits they need. In fact, most initial disability claims are denied. A qualified Social Security lawyer can increase your chances of receiving benefits.

At Disability Attorney Services, we ensure your application is filed correctly and on time. We also know precisely what evidence the SSA is going to look for when determining your eligibility. We will aid you in collecting the proper medical and non-medical documentation to support your claim.

Our lawyers also take the time to get to know you and your case so we can fully understand your circumstances. We always fight for the satisfaction and wellbeing of our clients.

When Should I Apply for SSDI Benefits?

You should file an SSDI application as soon as you become disabled. Processing by the SSA generally takes 3 to 5 months. There’s also a mandatory 5-month waiting period between your condition’s onset date and your first payment. Swift application can help ensure you receive your benefits in a timely manner.

When Will I Receive My Disability Check?

SSDI benefits can only be paid 5 months following your disability onset date, with a maximum retroactive payment period of up to 1 year. As for SSI payments, they are distributed the month succeeding your application date, or as far back as your disability onset date, whichever is later.

Why Choose Us | Disability Attorney Services

If you are planning to file for disability benefits in North Carolina, Disability Attorney Services is here for you. Maximizing your chances of receiving benefits is always our top priority. With decades of experience handling disability cases, our team possesses the expertise necessary to navigate the complexities of every claim.

What truly sets us apart is our unwavering commitment – We never give up on a case. We firmly prioritize the best interests of our clients and relentlessly pursue favorable outcomes.

Contact Our North Carolina Disability Attorneys

If you’re searching for qualified, experienced disability attorneys in North Carolina, contact Disability Attorney Services today. With our knowledge of Social Security Disability Law, you can rely on us to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

Contact us today to receive a free consultation! We help clients seeking SSI, SSDI, and long term disability benefits.