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Social Security Disability

Disabled From Working

An important resource for North Carolinians who become disabled from working exists in the form of Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These programs are funded by working men and women throughout their working lives and can provide significant benefits. 

They are designed to provide individuals with financial support in the unfortunate event that an injury or condition prevents them from earning an income when the required conditions are met.

Each month, thousands of North Carolinians become disabled from working and apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Unfortunately, many of those applying for benefits do so without the assistance of an attorney.  This can lead to confusion and denials of claims.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is funded by working men and women like you who pay Social Security taxes with every paycheck.  This program can provide you with financial support if you become unable to earn a livable income prior to retirement age.  

The application and appeal process for these benefits can be quite lengthy and frustrating.  An attorney experienced in handling disability claims can make the process much easier, less stressful, and will represent you before an Administrative Law Judge if a hearing is necessary for the resolution of your claim.


Testimonials


  • Glenn

    To Mr. Graham and Mona Lisa and all of the staff thank you so much for the check i received today, It sure came in handy with my medicine being so expensive. Ive really enjoyed your firm and have no complaints, god bless all of you. 

  • Roland

    Thank you for your persistent effort Wallace and Graham

  • Charles

    I want to thank every one at Wallace and Graham, this means so much to me. God Bless. 

  • Daisy

    Thanks for everything this firm has done for us!

  • Barbara

    I would like to thank you so much for doing all you are doing for me. I wish my husband was here with me. I miss him so much. He is my rock and solemate forever. He would thank you too!

  • Jill

    Dear Wallace and Graham

    Just saying thank you is not enough to express what I feel in my heart for all you and your staff of many im sure have done for us. 

    I can't imagine all the research, phone calls, court duties, and endless hours of hard work that has been done over the last several years. 

    Im saying thank you with true feelings. 

    May God bless you and have a wonderful holiday. 

  • Chuck Williams

    After being told by 3 Doctors that you have Stage 4 terminal cancer no matter what you were doing in life it suddenly goes into shock, hurt, fear and disbelief. Although, I am 62 and was trying to continue to work 40 hours a week, I was missing 20 or more days due to chemo and radiation treatments or being too sick to work. After talking to the Social Security Administration and hearing about the "paper work",  'interviews" and "filings", it was overwhelming  to me.  So,  I contacted Mark Doby at Wallace & Graham Law Firm in Salisbury. He and his assistant Terry scheduled my interview with a Disability Examiner and had my paperwork filed on August 1, 2014. On August 19th, 2014 I received notification that Social Security had approved my disability effective August 15, 2014. Thats just 2 weeks! Thank you Mark and Terry and all of the staff at Wallace & Graham for making my remaining life a lot less stressful!

    Carl R. Williams Jr.
    Salisbury,N.C.
     

  • Ivan

    Wallace & Graham is the best law firm in the country. I have been a client of their office for several years and always have gotten positive results. Mark Doby handled my disability case and had been turned down twice by Social Security and Mark went with me to the hearing and was approved immediately – Mark Doby did an excellent job for me.

    Ed Pawley has always helped me and my family on several cases and always 100% complete satisfaction. Ed has never lost a case for us. Both of these attorneys are not only attorneys but friends as well.

  • Michael

    When I was denied my disability, I immediately contacted Wallace & Graham to see if they would take my case. They helped me thru the disability process and they were very thorough in getting all the information together for my case. My lawyer, Whitney Wallace, was very good at helping me at my hearing. I got my disability within 2 years of resigning from my job due to my health with the aid of Wallace & Graham. I highly recommend their firm to anyone who needs help getting disability.  

  • Josh

    Wallace & Graham have been there for me every time I needed them. They help me understand the Social Security Disability process and won my case. Whitney and Megan continue to be there for me through my workers compensation case, answering any questions I have. They are not only handling my case but are working with other family members of mine, and we all love the job they are doing for us.

    Thanks Whitney and Megan. Y'all are a great team.


The following documents are usually needed to support a claim for disability:

  1. Original application(s) if you have ever applied for Social Security Disability (you can request your entire SSD record from Social Security);
  2. All medical records documenting your condition(s) causing your disability;
  3. Ideally, a written statement from your doctor(s) that you are disabled;
  4. List of all medications and each dosage;
  5. List of all jobs you’ve held the past 15 years;
  6. Social Security numbers of your spouse and all dependent children, if any;
  7. If not a US citizen, a valid birth certificate and passport;
  8. Social Security benefits statement.  This can be obtained easily online at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

According to the United States Social Security Administration, an individual may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits where the following requirements are met:

  1. You have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity; and
  2. Your medical condition is expected to last at least 12 months (or result in death); and
  3. You are under the age of 65; and
  4. You have obtained enough “social security credits” from your years of working before your disability began.   

Each of these requirements needs to be carefully examined in a Social Security Disability Claim.  There are exceptions and special provisions for some of the requirements. If you believe you are disabled and that you may have a Social Security Disability Claim, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney.  

Applying for Disability Benefits

When individuals are making the decision to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, they and their families are often going through one of the most difficult and overwhelming times of their lives.  Unfortunately, the lengthy application and complicated appeals process for obtaining benefits does not make things any easier. 

The process of applying for these benefits can be frustrating and time-consuming and it is important to meet each of the requirements that the law imposes in order to qualify for these benefits.  In addition, it is important to determine whether other sources of benefits may be available, including workers’ compensation coverage, disability insurance policies, medical benefit plans, or claims and lawsuits against companies and other defendants who may be responsible for the events that caused the disability.

Challenging medical needs, financial turmoil and other circumstances may surround a serious illness or injury.  Thus, it is certainly understandable how often, the issue of applying for and seeking all of the available benefits can easily “fall through the cracks.”  Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable Social Security Disability attorney can give peace of mind when wading through this process.

Obtaining the assistance of a qualified legal professional can help ensure that all of the necessary forms will be filed and that the appropriate medical records are obtained and submitted in a timely manner.  The assistance of an experienced attorney can help to make the process as stress-free as possible for you and your family. 

In addition this, your attorney if necessary can help to represent your interests before an Administrative Law Judge, and at other steps in the benefit application process and the Court system, should legal proceedings and hearings be necessary for the determination of your claim.   

At Wallace & Graham our policy is that the attorney gets NO FEE unless you win.  When you are awarded benefits, the attorney’s fee is typically limited to 25% of any “past-due benefits” – i.e., benefits owed to you dating to the original disability date – and is paid directly to the attorney from the Social Security Administration so you do not have to pay these expenses out-of-pocket in your time of need.  Furthermore, in many cases, the resolution ensures that none of your “future benefits” will be owed to the attorney.

If you are considering applying for SSD and/or SSI benefits in North Carolina or have applied and been denied, call the North Carolina Social Security Disability attorneys at Wallace & Graham today at 800.849.5291 for a free consultation.


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FAQ's

How do I quality for Social Security Disability?

To qualify for Disability benefits, you must have some physical or mental condition(s) which keeps or will keep you from attaining gainful employment for a period of at least 12 months.  What constitutes suitable employment depends on your age and other factors.

I applied for Social Security Disability and was denied. What do I do now?

It is very common for claims to be dismissed at the initial review.  This is why it is important for an attorney experienced in handling Social Security Disability claims to help guide you through the process, which often results in an in-person hearing before an Administrative Law Judge of the Social Security Administration.  

What is the difference between Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

SSD benefits are for individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes throughout their working lives and have built up “credits” to qualify for disability benefits.  SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based benefit for individuals who are disabled under the same SSD guidelines but who have not paid Social Security taxes or otherwise not built up sufficient credits to qualify for full disability benefits.

How much will it cost to retain an attorney to represent me?

It will cost you nothing to retain a lawyer as your Social Security Disability attorney.  The attorney fee allowed is set by law.  An attorney will get NO FEE unless you win.  If you are awarded benefits and receive any “back pay,” the attorney fee is a percentage of that (25%, capped at $6,000) and is paid directly to the lawyer by Social Security.  

If I am awarded benefits, how much will my monthly benefit be?

An estimate of this figure can be seen on your Social Security benefits statement, which can be easily obtained online.  An attorney can help you retrieve this information.

How soon can I get Medicare coverage after I am awarded Social Security Disability benefits?

Generally, there is a 29-month waiting period from the “established onset date,” which is the date that Social Security determines you first became disabled.  For example, if you appeal Social Security’s initial denial of benefits and you win at hearing and are found to have been disabled dating back to January 1, 2012, you would be eligible for Medicare starting June 1, 2014.  

What are the most common SSD claims?

As we continue through our working lives and as we age, there are many kinds of infirmities and medical conditions that can lead to serious disability.  Some of the common medical conditions and illnesses that may result in a Social Security Disability benefits claim include:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Heart disease, Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer, Leukemia, Neoplasms
  • Depression, Mental disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Musculoskeletal/Connective tissue diseases
  • Nervous system related illnesses
  • Injury and poisoning
  • Circulatory diseases
  • Disabling Injuries

For more information on Social Security Disability claims, call Wallace & Graham toll-free at 800-849-5291.