Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
1. You will need to file an application with the Social Security Administration. You can do this in several different ways: you can file online; you can file in person at a local Social Security office; or, you can contact the local Social Security office and arrange to have your disability application interview conducted over the phone.
My own advice is that the last two options are preferable to filing a claim for disability benefits online.
This is because speaking with a representative at the Social Security office, whether on the phone, or directly across from you in person, will give you the opportunity to ask many questions that you may never have the chance to have asked answered so conveniently and directly again.
Also, most likely, you'll probably not know in advance of filing your claim for disability benefits whether or not your claim will be for title II Social Security disability, title 16 SSI disability, or both types of benefits in the form of what is called a "concurrent "claim.
The issue here is that an SSI disability claim cannot be taken online because SSI involves a more thorough investigation of a person's income and assets. Therefore, if there is even a slight chance that your claim will involve SSI, you will probably want to work directly with the Social Security office, versus the SSA website.
2. When you are interviewed by a Social Security CR, or claims representative, it would be most helpful to have already written down both your work history and your history of medical treatment.
Chances are, the decision that is reached on your case will be based on both vocational and medical information, and it is for this reason that it is crucial that you do not leave out any important information, such as names of doctors, places of treatment, detailed descriptions of the jobs you have performed in the past, etc.
Writing down your medical treatment history and your work history before your interview will help ensure that you do not leave out any important information. All of this information that is recorded at the disability application interview will end up going to the disability examiner who will be evaluating your claim and making a decision on your case.
3. After your disability claim has been started, your case file will be transferred to NCDDS, otherwise known as North Carolina disability determination services. At DDS, it will be assigned to a disability examiner. The examiner will send off for your medical records and will wait until either all, or the majority, of these records have been received.
Once the examiner receives the records, he or she will go through them to see if you have a condition that fits the qualifications for a specific medical condition that is listed in the Social Security bluebook, I.e. the Social Security disability list of impairments.
Most likely, your case will not be approved through a listing, since the approval criteria is fairly detailed and requires a high level of detail and documentation from a person's medical records.
The majority of individuals who do receive a Social Security disability award, or SSI disability award in North Carolina, will be approved through what is known as a medical-vocational allowance, where the decision is made that a person has too many functional limitations to allow them to go back to a former job, or switch to some type of new "other work".
Of course, the more medical information the disability examiner has at their disposal, potentially the more limitations they will be able to find for you. Functional limitations are things such as reduced ability to sit, stand, walk, lift more than a certain amount of weight, hear or see normally, etc.
Functional limitations can take practically any form, because it is simply a reduction in your ability to do any basic daily activity. If your condition affects your ability to remember, or concentrate, or interact with people, this would also be a functional limitation. If you have trouble bending at the waist or reaching overhead, this, as well, would be a functional limitation.
4. While your claim is being worked on by the disability examiner, they may call you to obtain additional information about your work history, medical condition, or any of the treatment that you have received.
They may also call you to conduct what is known as an activities of daily living, or ADL, questionnaire. This is simply where they ask you about your daily activities, and the point of this is to determine how you are affected by your condition on a normal daily basis.
5. If you have not been to a doctor in a fair amount of time, or if you have not been treated specifically for any of the conditions that you listed on your disability application, there's a very good chance you'll be sent to a CE. This stands for consultative examination; it is basically a medical examination conducted by a private doctor, paid for by Social Security.
A CE may be a mental examination, or it may be a physical examination. If the examination is physical, then it will probably be fairly short, usually about 10 minutes in length. If the examination is mental, it will either be a type of interview, such as a mental status exam, or an IQ test, or a memory exam.
The results of the CE will usually have very little impact on the outcome of your case, though it will be more likely to affect the outcome of your case if the exam is a mental examination. As we stated, a consultative examination is usually ordered when you do not have current medical record documentation, or you do not have records to address one of your conditions.
How long will it take to reach a decision on your case? On most cases, an examiner will be able to determine if your claim should be approved or denied within 120 days. Some cases do take longer, and there is no deadline for a decision on a case; meaning, essentially, that your case will simply take as long as it will take.
What are the odds of being approved, especially at the initial claim level? Only about one in three disability claims in NC are approved initially.
This means, unfortunately, there is a high degree of chance that you will have to file one or more appeals before winning disability benefits in North Carolina.
Typically, of course, a person will have to file a reconsideration appeal which is likely to be denied and then, after that, a request for hearing where the chances of being approved rise to more than 60% when representation is involved on the case.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Filing for NC disability benefits
Applying for Disability in North Carolina - How to apply, qualify, and meet filing requirements
Applying for NC disability benefits
More about filing for disability benefits in North Carolina
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
What happens on a disability application in North Carolina?
How long will it take to receive NC disability benefits if your application is approved?
Basic questions about disability benefits in North Carolina
How much can you receive in disability backpay in North Carolina?
How far back do you get disability benefits in North Carolina?
Can You Work and Collect Social Security Disability in North Carolina?
How to Get the Status on Your Social Security Disability Claim in North Carolina
How do I get help to win my disability claim in North Carolina?
The disability process in North Carolina
What condition or conditions qualifies for disability in North Carolina?
How long does it take to get through the disability system in North Carolina?
Is it hard to get disability benefits in North Carolina?
What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?
How long does it take to receive North Carolina disability benefits after you are approved?
Disability determination services in North Carolina
Disability decisions in North Carolina
How long does it take for the disability decision in North Carolina?
How does the North Carolina Social Security disability determination process work?
Getting disability benefits in North Carolina
Getting denied for disability in North Carolina and filing appeals
What does getting disability benefits in North Carolina involve?
How to get on disability in North Carolina
NC Disability requirements and qualifications
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in North Carolina?
What is the criteria for disability benefits in North Carolina?
What are the disability qualifications in North Carolina?
Proving the requirements for disability in North Carolina
How do you meet the Disability qualifications in North Carolina?
SSI and Social Security Disability requirements in North Carolina
How do I Know If I Qualify For Disability in North Carolina?
Winning Disability benefits in NC
How do I win disability benefits in North Carolina?
Improving your chances of getting disability in North Carolina
How to improve the chances of winning a North Carolina disability hearing
Will an attorney or representative help me win North Carolina disability benefits?
Winning disability benefits in North Carolina
Mental Disability benefits in NC
Receiving disability for a mental condition in North Carolina
How do you receive benefits for a mental disability in North Carolina?
Getting approved for mental disability benefits in North Carolina
Disability awards and award notices in North Carolina
Getting a Social Security disability award in North Carolina
The Social Security disability award notice process in North Carolina
What affects how much time it takes to get a disability award in North Carolina?
Disability representation in North Carolina
Should I get a disability representative or lawyer in North Carolina?
Who can provide disability representation in North Carolina?
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in North Carolina
How do Disability Lawyers in North Carolina get paid their fees?
Denied for disability in North Carolina, should I get an attorney or representative?
Disability attorney fees in NC - paying your lawyer or representative
How does a disability lawyer or representative get paid in North Carolina?
How much does the fee cost for a disability attorney in North Carolina?
Do you pay your disability lawyer in North Carolina or does Social Security pay the fee?
Will your North Carolina disability lawyer charge you upfront for taking your case?
Will your NC disability attorney charge you for any expenses other than the main fee?
NC disability hearings
What kind of decision will you get at a disability hearing in North Carolina?
NC disability hearing - how long for a decision?
Do you have to go to a Social Security hearing in North Carolina to get approved for disability?
The disability hearing in North Carolina- things to keep in mind
How do you prepare for a disability hearing in North Carolina?