Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in North Carolina?

Applying for Disability 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 long does it take for the disability decision in North Carolina?

Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia

How to Get the Status on Your Social Security Disability Claim in North Carolina

Do you have to go to a Social Security hearing in North Carolina to get approved for disability?

Getting a Social Security disability award in North Carolina

Getting approved for mental disability benefits in North Carolina

Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease

What are the disability qualifications in North Carolina?

Proving the requirements for disability in North Carolina

Improving your chances of getting disability in North Carolina

Disability determination services in North Carolina

Winning disability benefits in North Carolina

How do I win disability benefits in North Carolina?

To win disability benefits in North Carolina, a case must satisfy the Social Security Administration's own unique definition of disability.

The definition essentially states that a person must have at least one severe condition, which may be mental or physical in nature, and that the condition must last for at least one full year, and may potentially result in death.

How do you prove that one, or more, of your conditions meet this definition?

After you apply for disability at a Social Security office in North Carolina, your case will be transferred to a disability examiner at North Carolina disability determination services, otherwise known as NC DDS.

Disability decisions at NC DDS usually take between 3 to 4 months (though they can take much longer, especially if the examiner has some difficulty obtaining your records from your treatment sources, or if you need to be scheduled for multiple consultative examinations) and typically have a fairly high rate of denial.

In some years, the approval rate may have gone as high as 35%, but in most years it tends to hover around 30%.

How does the disability examiner work on your case? The examiner is a claims specialist who will request medical records and review them, looking for signs of limitations in your ability to do basic, normal daily activities, which translates into your ability to perform a job.

The disability examiner uses a sequential evaluation process to see if your case meets the SSA definition of disability. Several questions are asked in this process.

The first question is whether or not you are currently working and earning what Social Security considers to be a substantial and gainful income. If you do happen to be working when you file for disability, most likely your claim will be denied that point. Your case will not even be sent to a disability examiner to have your medical records requested and evaluated.

If you are not working, the next question is whether or not your condition is considered severe versus nonsevere.

For example, if your only condition is an ankle sprain, most likely you will be considered to have a nonsecure condition and you will be turned down for disability benefits.

If your condition is considered to be severe, however, and this could be anything including even simple back pain, your case will move on to a real consideration of what your medical records have to say about your condition, or conditions.

At this point, the NC disability examiner will be going through the records they have obtained from your doctors, clinics, and hospitals.

What will the examiner be looking for specifically? Many people assume that the examiner is simply looking for a diagnosis of the condition. However, the process is more complex than that.

In the system used by the Social Security Administration, the condition you have is not nearly so important as the extent to which it limits your ability to engage in various areas of function.

Therefore, the examiner will be looking for evidence that you have trouble in any of the following areas: lifting more than a certain amount of weight, not being able to sit, stand, or walk for more than a certain amount of time, having trouble bending, stooping, reaching, grasping, seeing, hearing, remembering, concentrating etc, etc,etc.

Essentially, the examiner will be looking for signs of any reduced ability to do any basic physical or mental function. These are called "functional limitations".

After your functional limitations have been noted, the examiner will assess, or rate, your limitations on something known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity form. The ratings that you receive will be compared to the types of work you've done in the past, and this will be used to make two critical determinations on your case.

First of all, can you go back to one of your past jobs? Secondly, can you perform some type of other work based on your skills, education, and age, and functional capabilities?

If the answer to both questions is no, you will most likely receive a Social Security disability award, or an award for SSI if this is the program you applied

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Individual Questions and Answers

  • What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?

  • Medical Evidence Used on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim

  • How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina

  • Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits IF You Have A Mental Condition But Do Not Take Medication?

  • What condition or conditions qualifies for disability in North Carolina?

  • What does it mean if Social Security sends you to a Psychiatrist?

  • What happens on a disability application in North Carolina?

  • Avoiding Mistakes to get your Disability Claim Approved

  • How much can you receive in disability backpay in North Carolina?

  • If I am on Social Security Disability, can I lose my disability benefits at some point ?

  • What kind of decision will you get at a disability hearing in North Carolina?

  • When Social Security Disability Sends You To A Doctor, What Kind Is It?

  • NC disability hearing - how long for a decision?

  • Are Social Security Disability Claims Based On Back Pain Usually Turned Down?

  • The Social Security disability award notice process in North Carolina

  • Receiving disability for a mental condition in North Carolina

  • Will the income of a Spouse Affect My Disability Benefits?

  • Will your North Carolina disability lawyer charge you upfront for taking your case?

  • What is the criteria for disability benefits in North Carolina?

  • If You Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits, Will Your Dependents Get A Check?

  • The disability hearing in North Carolina- things to keep in mind

  • Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?

  • What affects how much time it takes to get a disability award in North Carolina?

  • Will your NC disability attorney charge you for any expenses other than the main fee?

  • Is it hard to get disability benefits in North Carolina?

  • How do you prepare for a disability hearing in North Carolina?

  • How long will it take to receive NC disability benefits if your application is approved?

  • Getting denied for disability in North Carolina and filing appeals

  • How long does it take to receive North Carolina disability benefits after you are approved?

  • Will an attorney or representative help me win North Carolina disability benefits?

  • How long does it take to get through the disability system in North Carolina?

  • How do I win disability benefits in North Carolina?

  • Should I get a disability representative or lawyer in North Carolina?

  • How do you meet the Disability qualifications in North Carolina?

  • SSI and Social Security Disability requirements in North Carolina

  • Do you pay your disability lawyer in North Carolina or does Social Security pay the fee?

  • Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter

  • How does the North Carolina Social Security disability determination process work?

  • How to improve the chances of winning a North Carolina disability hearing

  • Getting disability benefits in North Carolina

  • What does getting disability benefits in North Carolina involve?

  • How to get on disability in North Carolina

  • Applying for NC disability benefits

  • More about filing for disability benefits in North Carolina

  • What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?

  • How does a disability lawyer or representative get paid in North Carolina?

  • How do you receive benefits for a mental disability in North Carolina?

  • Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?

  • How much does the fee cost for a disability attorney in North Carolina?

  • How do I Know If I Qualify For Disability in North Carolina?

  • Who can provide disability representation in North Carolina?

  • Denied for disability in North Carolina, should I get an attorney or representative?

  • What is the Purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI Medical Exam, or CE?

  • Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in North Carolina

  • How do Disability Lawyers in North Carolina get paid their fees?

    Social Security Disability and SSI in North Carolina

    The Social Security Administration administers two disability programs in North Carolina. They are Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability.

    If you are a resident of North Carolina, you may contact your local Social Security office for a telephone or an in-person disability interview. There are local Social Security offices in the following cities: Ahoskie, Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Henderson, Hendersonville Hickory, Kinston, Lumberton, Mt. Airy, New Bern, Raleigh, Reidsville, Roanoke Rapids, Rockingham, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Statesville, Washington, Whiteville, Wilkesboro, Wilmington, Wilson, and Winston-Salem.

    For a listing of contact numbers and addresses, click here: Social Security offices in North Carolina.

    Unlike many other states, North Carolina has a centralized system for disability determinations, which means there is one location for the state disability agency which renders initial claim decisions for SSA. This agency is known as DDS, or Disability Determination Services and is located in Raleigh. At some point after filing your claim, you may be contacted by a disability examiner at DDS, or you may wish to provide updated information to your examiner.

    For DDS contact information, click here: North Carolina Disability Determination Services.

    Social Security disability hearings are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review or simply ODAR. North Carolina has ODAR offices in the following cities: Fayetteville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh. Your residential address will determine which office your hearing will be held at.

    The current time in months it takes for a hearing to be held after being requested:

    Charlotte NC hearing office 16.5
    Fayetteville NC hearing office 14.0
    Greensboro NC hearing office 16.0
    Raleigh NC hearing office 13.0

    Average number of days for a case to be completed at a North Carolina hearing office:

    Greensboro NC hearing office 486
    Fayetteville NC hearing office 454
    Charlotte NC hearing office 441
    Raleigh NC hearing office 406

    For a listing of Hearing office addresses and contact information, click here: North Carolina Social Security Hearing offices.