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Applying for NC disability benefits
The Social Security disability and SSI system is federal and standardized. That means, for the most part, the system is essentially the same regardless of which state you live in.
Having said that, though, there are still some minor differences between states.
One of the most notable differences is that in some states there is no reconsideration appeal after you have been denied on your application for disability (the decision on your application will be made by NC DDS which stands for North Carolina disability determination services).
That simply means that if you live in one of those states, your first appeal after being denied is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
North Carolina, of course, still retains the reconsideration appeal step. So if you get denied on your NC disability application, your first appeal will be to request a reconsideration of the denial.
Other differences between the various states have to do with approval and denial rates on disability claims at different levels of the system.
Nationally, about 30% of all applications for disability are awarded benefits. In North Carolina approximately 33% of initial claims are granted.
At the first appeal level, only about 13% of first appeals, known as the request for reconsideration, are approved. In North Carolina, the approval rate for reconsiderations has gone as low as nearly 10%. Meaning, of course, that as much as 90% of those appeals have been denied in a given year.
Important points about applying for NC disability benefits:
1. You can file for disability in North Carolina online at the SSA website, or you can arrange for an appointment for a disability application interview so that you can file in person at a local Social Security office.
My advice would be that you file in person. There are several reasons for doing this. First of all, filing an application online will not give you the opportunity to ask questions of the claims representative sitting across the desk from you. This is one of the few times that you will have a Social Security claims representative before you, and you should utilize this opportunity. Doing so may allow you to avoid time-consuming mistakes later.
Secondly, at the current time you cannot apply for SSI disability online. The problem here is that many people are not aware of whether or not their claim will be for just SSD, a.k.a. social security disability, or SSI, or if their claim will be concurrent meaning that it will involve both SSD and SSI.
For this reason, attempting to use the online website can, to some extent, amount to a less than favorable expenditure of your time.
2. A decision on an initial claim in North Carolina, or a Social Security disability or SSI application, will generally be made within 90 to 120 days. Decisions can sometimes take longer than this for a variety of reasons; however, in most cases the decision will be made within this timeframe.
Continued at: More about filing for NC disability benefits
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Individual Questions and Answers
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.