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Raleigh Social Security Disability Lawyer in Raleigh, NC

If your Social Security Disability Claim is Denied. Call us.

The Social Security disability benefits system can be the most confusing of all the federal bureaucracies. Contact our Raleigh social security disability lawyer today about your claim.

We can help you navigate through the system and pursue your rightful SSD compensation. Call (919) 351-8827 for Free Consultation!

infographic on timeline of a SSD caseinfographic on timeline of a SSD case

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and paid into by workers throughout the United States. If you have worked long enough, or recently enough, to qualify, you may receive those SSD benefits.

filling a social security disability form in North Carolina due to injury at workfilling a social security disability form in North Carolina due to injury at workThe SSD benefit system can be the most confusing of all the federal bureaucracies. The application process for these benefits is complex. The SSA will need to confirm your current medical condition, your chance of improvement, your educational background, your work history, and more. Obtaining the documentation you need to make your case can take time, and making sure the SSA receives and understands it all can be even tougher.

If this sounds like an uphill battle, you’re not alone. We can help you navigate through the SSA system and pursue your rightful compensation. Working with an attorney like the team at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can help you build the strongest possible case for social security disability benefits.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., you work one-on-one with an experienced legal team who will be dedicated to your case. Our attorneys have been received the highest rating from the respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and our firm uses a state-of-the-art case management system to ensure attentive representation.

Contact us today to learn more about your options during a free consultation.

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When Am I Considered ‘Disabled’ for SSD Purposes?

Generally speaking, a person is “disabled” for Social Security disability benefits purposes if the person has a physical or mental condition that will prevent the person from working for more than 12 months, will result in the person’s death, or both.

To decide whether an applicant is disabled, Social Security typically asks five questions:
  1. Is the applicant working? Working applicants will not be considered disabled if their monthly earnings average is more than the social security disability threshold, which is updated for the cost of living each year.
  2. Is the applicant’s condition “severe”? A “severe” condition is one that interferes with basic work-related activities, like sitting, standing, basic social interactions, or basic cognitive functions.
  3. Is the applicant’s condition on the SSA’s list of disabling impairments? The SSA keeps a list of impairments that are so severe that they warrant an automatic finding of disability. If a condition is not on the list, the applicant must demonstrate that the condition is disabling in his or her specific case.
  4. Can the applicant do the work he or she did previously? If the condition prevents the applicant from doing the work he or she did in the past 15 years, the applicant then must move onto step five.
  5. Can the applicant do any other type of work? The SSA considers age, education, work experience, and transferable skills to determine whether the applicant can do any other type of work. If the applicant cannot do another type of work within their functional limitations, then they are considered disabled.

To make matters even more confusing, the word “disabled” means different things in different legal contexts. For instance, millions of Americans qualify as “disabled” under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects their rights to access in public settings, but may not qualify as “disabled” for Social Security disability benefits. For SSD benefits, you must meet Social Security’s definition of “disabled.” It is not enough to meet the definition under other laws, such as the ADA.

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What NC Social Security Disability Benefits are Available?

Social Security administers four separate benefit programs for individuals with disabilities. These include:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI):

This program pays benefits to adults who qualify based on their own work records. It also pays benefits to disabled children and to spouses of qualifying individuals who become disabled for SSD.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

This program pays benefits to disabled and elderly persons who meet certain means-tested guidelines. Funding is provided from the U.S. Treasury, but the SSA administers the program.

Disabled Widows and Widowers Benefits (DWB):

This program provides benefits to the surviving spouses of workers who qualified for social security disability benefits while they were alive.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC):

If you were disabled before age 22, you may qualify for these benefits based on a parent’s work record, even if the parent is deceased, retired, or also receiving disability benefits.

In addition, a person who receives social security disability benefits will automatically be enrolled in Medicare after 24 months of benefits payments. Medicare covers hospital bills, and with the payment of an additional premium, also helps cover doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and other needs. Those who qualify for SSI based on their income levels also qualify for Medicaid coverage in most states. SSI applicants may also qualify for Medicare.

Common Types of Injuries That Lead to Social Security Disability Cases

  • Heart disease and heart failure
  • Cancer, Diabetes, Lupus
  • Chronic pain and fibromyalgia
  • Spine disorders or injuries
  • Back pain and back injuries
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Blindness and loss of vision

What Should I Do to Help My Disability Benefits Case?

To help build your case for disability benefits if you become too ill or injured to work, keep the following steps in mind:

1. Get appropriate medical care. medical careTo file for benefits, you will need medical documentation of the nature and extent of your illness or injury. You build this documentation when you see qualified medical professionals for treatment of your conditions. Also, seeing a doctor for management of your condition can help you maximize your quality of life, even if you cannot work.

Talk to an SSD attorney2. Talk to a knowledgeable attorney. Knowing when to file your Social Security disability claim can be tough. It’s best to do it as soon as possible, but if you file too soon, you may have trouble proving that your disability will prevent you from working for at least 12 months. However, it is wise to speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. Your attorney can help you determine the best time to file, and answer any questions you have about the application or the process.

Social Security claim3. Respond promptly to any requests from Social Security. When you file your claim, it goes to a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office for review. During review, DDS may ask you to see a doctor if they need more medical information, or they may ask you to provide additional records, documentation, or information. Respond as quickly and thoroughly as you can to these requests to keep your application on track. Your lawyer can help.

Be prepared to appeal4. Be prepared to appeal. Some applications for benefits are granted in the first stage. Others are denied and must go through several stages of reconsideration, review, and appeal. By talking to a lawyer at the beginning of your claim, you can be prepared to reduce the risk of a denial. You can also be prepared to build a SSD case on appeal that will demonstrate that the initial denial was in error.

Frequently Asked Questions

Social Security Disability

How much can I expect to receive in benefits?

The amount is based on your lifetime average earnings as determined by Social Security. You can get a copy of this record by contacting the SSA offices in your area.

I’m receiving other benefits because of my disability. Does this prevent me from receiving Social Security disability benefits?

Not necessarily, but your benefits can be reduced if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, or benefits from certain federal, state, local government, civil service, or military disability programs. The general rule is that your combined payments cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before becoming disabled.

What can cause my benefits to stop?

If your work situation has changed “substantially” (meaning you receive more than $500 in earnings per month) or your condition has improved to the point that you are no longer considered disabled.

What if I’m working, but not to the extent that I was before? Will I still receive benefits?

The Social Security Administration has “work incentives” that allow you to work while receiving benefits. It actually encourages its applicants to keep working. A general description of each incentive follows:

  • Trial Work Period – For nine months you may earn as much as you can without affecting benefits. After your trial work period ends, your earnings are evaluated. If your earnings do not average more than $500 a month, benefits will generally continue. If earnings average more than $500 a month, benefits will continue for a three-month grace period before they stop.
  • Extended Period of Eligibility – For 36 months after a successful trial work period, you may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit without a new application for any month your earnings drop below $500.
  • Deductions for Impairment-Related Expenses — Any expenses that are related to your disability are not counted in your earnings.
  • Medicare Continuation – Your Medicare coverage will continue for 39 months beyond the trial work period.

Are my benefits taxed?

Normally only those with a very high income get taxed on their benefits. At the end of the year, you will receive a Social Security Benefit Statement showing the amount of benefits you have received. This will be used in completing your taxes for that year.

What if my claim is denied?

You should contact an attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., to review the claim with you. Denial on first time applicants is fairly common. You are entitled to file an appeal with the SSA. You have 60 days from the time you receive the decision (5 days from the date it was sent) to file an appeal to the next level.

How do I apply for benefits?

You can apply at any Social Security office in your area or it can be done by mail or phone. This should be done as soon as you become disabled.

When do benefits begin?

The sixth full month after the disability occurred.

How can I speed up my claim?

The process normally takes 60-90 days. It takes longer than other Social Security benefits because of the extent of information that is needed by the SSA when reviewing your claim (i.e. medical records). However, you may be able to shorten the process by bringing any and all necessary documents with you when you apply.

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Need Help with Your North Carolina SSD Claim?

We are here. Our attorneys are experienced in Social Security Disability and insurance law, we can help you file your claim or dispute your claim’s denial in Raleigh. Contact us today to speak with a paralegal or lawyer at no cost to you. We will give you our honest advice and work to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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