Am I eligible for disability in North Carolina?
An application for disability in North Carolina will generally be decided within 3 to 4 months. Social Security actually has a processing goal of delivering decisions within that 90 to 120 day timeframe.
To be eligible for disability benefits in North Carolina, under either the Social Security Disability or SSI disability program (or both programs if your claim is concurrent, meaning that it is taken in both programs –this is actually very common and a large percentage of claims are concurrent) you must meet the following conditions:
A. You must have at least one severe condition.
The condition can be physical or mental. On most claims, a person will list several conditions, sometimes of both a physical and mental nature. For example, depression and fibromyalgia.
In fact, listing several conditions can often assist a claim in being approved since the cumulative functional limitations that a person has as a result of their conditions will contribute to the determination that they can no longer engage in work activity.
What does Social Security mean by severe? Simply that the condition is not nonsevere. There are cases that are turned down due to an NSI, or nonsevere impairment. Sometimes, what is nonsevere is a matter of subjective argument.
In nearly all cases, a disability examiner or an administrative law judge will be able to conclude that something as simple as a basic strain or a minor laceration will constitute a nonsevere impairment. If this is the type of impairment that a claimant lists on their disability report form when they apply, the claim will certainly be denied.
However, if a person lists headaches or stomach problems when they file for disability, the claim will be investigated. When a person references “headaches”, they may actually mean cluster headaches, migraines, or some type of other neurological problem that results in them experiencing headaches. “Stomach problems” may refer to something such as inflammatory bowel disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, etc.
For this reason, a person applying for NC disability benefits should probably not concern themselves over the question of whether or not their condition is severe or nonsevere. Simply put, if their condition is having a damaging effect on their ability to engage in work activity, they should not be hesitant to list it on the disability application, and they should certainly not hesitate to file a claim.
B. The person’s condition, or conditions, must be severe enough that it has either lasted a full year by the time of application, or can be projected to eventually last a full year, and also be severe enough to prevent the individual from being able to do their past work, or any other type of work (that their particular combination of skills, education, and training would ordinarily qualify them for).
These two items form the core of the definition of disability used by the Social Security Administration.