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.
The following documents are usually needed to support a claim for disability:
- Original application(s) if you have ever applied for Social Security Disability (you can request your entire SSD record from Social Security);
- All medical records documenting your condition(s) causing your disability;
- Ideally, a written statement from your doctor(s) that you are disabled;
- List of all medications and each dosage;
- List of all jobs you’ve held the past 15 years;
- Social Security numbers of your spouse and all dependent children, if any;
- If not a US citizen, a valid birth certificate and passport;
- 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:
- You have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity; and
- Your medical condition is expected to last at least 12 months (or result in death); and
- You are under the age of 65; and
- 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.