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Applying for disability can be difficult and tedious, but it doesn’t need to be impossible. There are two disability programs available through the Social Security Administration (SSA): the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Both programs are designed to provide aid to those with proven disabilities. There are a lot of factors to be considered, and it is quite a process, but we’ve put together a guide to help you apply for disability in North Carolina.
What Qualifies for a Disability?
A disability in this regard is any medical condition that prevents you from being able to work. This can be a severe injury, post-operation, a neurological disorder, or a disease or illness. Whatever your condition, you will need to provide proof of your condition and medical evidence of how it affects your ability to work in a disability claim. You may be able to find lists of disabilities online. However, you can still obtain disability even if your condition isn’t on a particular list. To be approved for disability, you must be at least 18 years old but younger than retirement age, be unable to work because of a medical condition, and not have been denied disability in the past 60 days.
Is it Difficult To Get Approved For Disability in North Carolina?
Getting approved for disability anywhere will be a long and difficult process. You will need to provide a lot of information and medical records. Consider getting a disability lawyer who understands the process and can advocate a disability claim for you. Once you apply, you will be thoroughly investigated, which can take up to six months before a decision is made.
Short-term Disability vs. Long-Term Disability
Short-term disability means it is temporary and will have a set end date. This is typically less than a year and is for temporary conditions, such as injuries that will be healed or recovery from operations. You will receive social security disability benefits for a short time while you cannot work until you are treated or recover. Long-term disability is when the condition is permanent and/or/cannot be recovered.
How Can I Apply For Disability in North Carolina?
You can apply for disability online, in person through an appointment, or over the phone. However, applying online is considered the fastest and easiest method. You should apply when your disability prevents you from working since receiving a decision can take months, and you may be denied several times before being accepted for disability benefits. You will also receive back pay to your application date, so the sooner you apply, the better.
To fill out the disability application, you’ll need to complete a phone or in-person interview, where you must provide personal information. You’ll need to have prepared your personal and legal information, your spouse’s information, dependent’s information, educational background, work history, health insurance, bank information, military records (if applicable), and more. You will then have to provide documentation of your previous employment and medical condition. You will be asked to turn over all medical records and contact information for doctors you have seen, as well as any documentation of treatment.
How Much Does Disability Pay in North Carolina?
If you are approved for disability benefits, your next question will probably be, how much will I receive? Unfortunately, there is no one answer. The amount from your disability income plan will factor in your work history and income before you became disabled, if you are receiving worker’s compensation, your marital status, and if you are currently working and how much you are currently making. If you are receiving other social security benefits, then your disability benefits will not exceed 80% of your income before you become disabled. The Social Security Administration does offer a free benefits calculator to give you an estimated amount of supplemental security income.
Can You Work While on Disability?
Yes, you can work. However, the amount you work each month will be deducted from your monthly benefits. Therefore, if you choose to work, it’s important to report your total monthly income to the Social Security Administration. If you don’t, you could be overpaid, then have to repay your benefit money. In worst-case scenarios, you could be accused of fraud and face criminal prosecution. Usually, there is an income cap for how much you can make while still receiving benefits. The general rule is you can make no more than $1,350 ($2,260 if you are blind) a month in 2022, or your benefits will stop.
What Additional Benefits Does North Carolina Offer?
The State of North Carolina can offer various benefits depending on your needs. There are low-income assistance programs, such as Medicaid or food stamps. There are children’s services such as WIC and Child Care Provider Searches. Special needs services include disability, healthcare, and housing services. In addition, there are veterans affairs, mental health, and substance abuse services. You can explore all the services North Carolina offers through social security administration websites or through North Carolina State itself.