With a 3 in 10 chance of becoming disabled before an individual reaches retirement, you may be the one of the unlucky who has to file a Social Security disability claim. Understanding the process and who is eligible to receive benefits can save a lot of time and hassle.
Of course, even those individuals who truly do qualify may find it difficult to come by. Most initial claims for disability benefits are denied. This is why you might benefit from securing legal help from a Social Security disability attorney in North Carolina.
Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
The first step is learning if you qualify for Social Security disability. There is no sense going through what can be an arduous process if you aren’t eligible in the first place.
One of the ways this is determined is if your medical condition falls under the listing of impairments for Social Security Administration (SSA). Each condition then must meet specific criteria.
While the list is extensive, here are just some health conditions that may qualify an individual for Social Security disability:
- multiple sclerosis;
- heart failure;
- liver disease;
- kidney failure;
- bipolar disorder;
- degenerative disc disease;
- rheumatoid arthritis; and
- spine disorders.
There are also some conditions that may qualify for Compassionate Allowances. This is a program in which claimants with particularly serious or life-threatening medical conditions can receive a faster decision on their eligibility for disability benefits.
After it has been determined whether your condition qualifies, you then will need to file your claim for benefits. With that, you will also need to provide evidence of your income, such as paystubs, and of your condition, through medical records.
There are a number of forms that must be completed, which can be done online or obtained through your local SSA office. Even during the initial stages of applying for Social Security, you can run into difficulties. And because most initial claims are denied, it may be in your best interest to secure help from a Social Security disability attorney in North Carolina.
If your application is approved, you will receive further information on how much disability you are entitled to and when it will begin. If it is denied, you then will need to decide if it is worth appealing.
You almost always will require legal help if you decide to appeal a denied Social Security disability claim. It could improve your chance the second time around and help you see what you might have missed.
You have only 60 days in which to appeal the decision. The next step will be a reconsideration of your claim, in which you may have new information to submit that can make your case stronger.
If it is denied again, the next step will be a hearing. You will be expected to testify and can call on witnesses. Again, it is beneficial to have experienced legal help.
A denial at this point may end your pursuit. But it doesn’t have to as there are a couple of other steps to go, first with the appeals council and then the federal court.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney in North Carolina
If you are sick, injured and unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits. Even if you have already applied for benefits and were denied, one of our attorneys still may be able to help you; in fact, more than half of the disability claims that are initially denied are later on approved in the appeals process.
Contact one of our Social Security disability attorneys and schedule a FREE consultation to get your questions answered at no cost and with no commitments or obligations – 1-800-849-5931.