Answers to winning a disability case in NC| Social Security Disability Resource Center

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

Note: The SSDI, SSI disability system is federal and nationally standardized, though there are state differences in approval rates, wait times, the number of appeals available–as of the time of this writing–and even the name given to the stage disability agency (DDS, or the Bureau or Division of Disability Determination). Now, to answer the question…

While the national average statistics are fairly consistent (nationwide, disability applications have about a 30% chance of approval, while reconsideration appeals have about a 15% chance of approval) and have been consistent over many years, there are still significant differences depending on what state you reside in.

The approval and denial statistics for North Carolina, at all levels, however, are fairly consistent with the national averages.

The chances of being approved at various levels

North Carolina has approximately a 33% chance of approval at the application level, and approximately a 10% chance of approval at the reconsideration appeal level.

At the hearing level in North Carolina, about 54% of cases heard by judges are approved, and the approval rate does go up when claims are represented, versus claimants going to hearings unrepresented and without the proper preparation and presentation of the case.

Why does the approval rate on NC disability claims go up when a claim is handled by a disability attorney or non-attorney disability representative?

Disability representatives will do a number of things that an unrepresented claimant will simply not know to do, or know how to effectively do.

An NC disability attorney or representative will review the case file to look for medical evidence that was previously reviewed by NC DDS (North Carolina disability determination services).

This is done to check and see if medical evidence was not requested by the disability examiner who issued the decision on the claim, and also to see if the claimant’s past work was properly classified. They will also check to see if a medical-vocational grid rule was correctly or incorrectly applied.

Additionally, they will also check to see if the RFC, or residual functional capacity, rating given to the claimant was in-line with the medical evidence in the file. In other words, did the disability examiner, after reviewing the medical records, mistakenly assume that the individual was capable of more than they actually are capable of doing in a work setting?

In short, a disability representative or attorney will look for any possible mistakes that were made on the decision of the claim, either at the disability application level, or request for reconsideration appeal level.

This, combined with the fact that a disability representative will attempt to gather evidence that provides strong indications that the claimant no longer has the functional capacity to engage in work activity, will strengthen a case substantially.

Contact Tim Moore and Mac Travis in North Carolina for help with your SSD or SSI claim. Complete the form or call 919-278-7874. After submitting, scroll to the bottom to see the confirmation.
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