Raleigh Social Security Disability Lawyer
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 benefits if you meet Social Security’s definition of “disabled.”
The Social Security disability benefit system can be the most confusing of all the federal bureaucracies. The application process for SSD 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 system and pursue your rightful compensation. Working with an attorney like the team at Younce & Vtipil can help you build the strongest possible case for disability benefits.
At Younce & Vtipil, 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.
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:
- Is the applicant working? Working applicants will not be considered disabled if their monthly earnings average more than the SSD threshold, which is updated for cost of living each year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 other 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.
Common Types of Injuries That Lead to 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 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.
- 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 SSD 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 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. Get a Consultation Now