Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Improving your chances of getting disability 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...

You can improve your chances of getting disability in North Carolina approved if you do the following:

1. If you get denied on a disability claim, file an appeal immediately.

Social Security always gives you an appeal period of 60 days from the date of the denial, plus an additional five days for mailing time. This by itself goes a long way toward improving your chances of getting disability in North Carolina simply because a missed appeal deadline will usually require filing a new claim from scratch which will typically be denied again for the same reason as the first initial claim.

Also, filing a new claim starts the case with a new filing date and the potential loss of a significant amount of disability back pay.

Many claimants will wait until practically the end of the appeal deadline period. However, to save processing time on your case, you should always file the appeal as soon as you get the notice of denial.

If you do not have representation, contact the Social Security office that initiated your claim and advise them that you wish to file an appeal. This will result in them sending you the appropriate appeal forms.

If you are represented by a disability attorney, or a nonattorney disability representative, call that individual's office immediately to put them on notice to file your appeal.

Ordinarily, your representative will also receive a copy of whatever denial notice that you receive. Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to call them whenever you receive correspondence from SSA just in case one or both parties did not receive their copy.

If your disability representative files the appeal for you, they will ordinarily keep one copy of the appeal for their internal file, and then send a copy to you for your personal records, in addition to submitting the appeal to the Social Security office. They will also contact Social Security at some point to verify that the Social Security Administration has received the appeal.

It would be difficult to understate the importance of filing appeals when you are denied. This is because the great majority of disability applications are denied, and an even higher percentage, usually over 85%, of reconsideration appeals are also denied.

Once you get to the second appeal level, though, which is the disability hearing level, your chances of approval rise substantially, especially if you have representation involved in your case.

However to get to the disability hearing level, you must pass through the initial claim and then the reconsideration appeal level first. And this means filing appeals in a timely that you do not end up having to begin the claim process all over again.

The simple fact of the matter is that if you choose to file new claims versus filing appeals, or you miss your appeal deadlines and are then forced to file a new claim instead of an appeal, you will most likely simply keep getting denied again, most likely for the very same reasons as the first denial.

For most individuals, the greatest chance of being approved will occur at the ALJ, or administrative law judge, disability hearing. This is for several reasons. At the hearing, you will be able to meet the decision-maker on your case, which is the ALJ.

However, you will also be able to present a reasoned and rational argument for approval. If you have a disability lawyer, or nonattorney disability representative (nonattorney representatives are very often former disability examiners), this rationale for approval will be in the form of a case theory that is supported by the medical-vocational grid rules that direct decisions on cases, the federal regulations, and whatever Social Security rulings may apply to your particular case.

2. Supply appropriate medical evidence.

You or your disability representative should supply solid medical evidence; in other words medical records that contains enough information so that the decision-maker on your case (who may be a disability examiner or a federal judge) can make the assessment that either A) you have a condition that meets a listing in the Social Security bluebook or B) you have mental and/or functional limitations that exceed your ability to return to work activity.

3. Supply current medical evidence.

In the Social Security Disability and SSI system, you cannot be approved to receive disability benefits if at least some of your medical records are not current, meaning that they are not any older than 90 days.

Even if the remainder of your medical records indicate that you clearly meet the requirements for disability, under either the SSD or SSI disability program, you cannot be awarded benefits if none of those records are current. This simply means that for Social Security to grant you benefits there must be proof that you are "currently disabled".

4. Supply older medical evidence.

To be awarded disability benefits under SSD or SSI, as we have just stated you must supply current medical evidence. However, to receive back pay benefits--back to the time that you stated on your disability application that you first became disabled--you must supply medical evidence that corroborates your alleged onset date, which is basically when you claimed that your disability started.

5. Attempt to get a statement from your doctor, or a doctor that has a history of providing treatment to you.

  • Social Security Disability Resource Center

  • Social Security Disability SSI Questions

  • Getting disability in North Carolina

  • 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?