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Any North Carolina resident who is unable to work due to a disability may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These benefits are available to those residents that have paid into the system through their previous work, and may even be available for your spouse or child.
Other disability benefit programs are also available to provide additional assistance as needed. Disabled North Carolina residents who have a low income may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI and SSI benefits are intended to help any eligible North Carolina resident with their daily living expenses, as well as healthcare and personal care expenses. To receive a monthly or weekly SSI payment, you must meet the eligibility criteria.
Facts About North Carolina
The CDC estimates that one in three North Carolina residents has a disability, which is slightly higher than the national average. Approximately 14% of disabled residents deal with mobility issues such as trouble walking or climbing the stairs, while another 14% cope with cognition such problems as difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
However, there are plenty of cases where disability causes difficulty with independent living (8%), deafness (8%), trouble seeing (6%), and trouble taking care of oneself (4%).
Disabled adults are also more likely to have other health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. They are also more likely to smoke than the general population. Programs like SSDI and SSI are designed to help qualified individuals cover their expenses.
While this program is available for North Carolina residents, they are both federal programs managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Additional assistance programs managed by the state are also available including North Carolina Medicaid and North Carolina Unemployment.
How to Qualify for SSDI in North Carolina
Social Security Disability benefits are available to disabled North Carolina residents who meet eligibility requirements and qualify. The two main conditions you need to meet are having an eligible disability and working credits.
The criteria established by the SSA determine disability. Only cases of severe long-term disability are eligible for SSDI benefits. Even though SSDI is a federal program, North Carolina Disability Determination Services (DDS), which is part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for disability adjudication for the SSA.
The SSA has a list of medical conditions it deems severe enough to qualify an individual for disability. The disability must keep you from performing substantial gainful activity and your monthly earnings must fall within a certain threshold and can have short term and long term disability benefits. Other factors that go into determining disability are your ability to do a different type of work, despite your medical condition, as well as your past work experience, age, and transferable skills.
Even if you have a qualifying disability, to receive Social Security benefits you’ll need enough work credits. Work credits are earned by being an eligible employee in a job covered by Social Security. The number of credits earned is based on your yearly wages and you can earn up to four per year.
Typically, you need 40 work credits, with 20 credits being earned in the last 10 years, to be eligible for SSDI benefits. However, your age when you file for disability will determine how many work credits are required. Note that there are special exceptions available for individuals who are blind and the widow or widower of the injured worker.
It’s important to remember that a short term disability is not covered by SSDI. Instead, it is assumed that a working individual has other resources available such as workers’ compensation, insurance, and other investments.
How To Apply for SSDI in North Carolina
There are several ways to apply for SSDI in North Carolina. The easiest way to apply is by submitting an online application for benefits. This will allow you to complete the form required for submitting a disability claim and provide all necessary medical evidence and documentation of your disability and eligible work experience.
If you don’t have access to the online application, you can also apply for Social Security disability benefits over the phone by calling your Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213. Phone applications can be filed from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday.
You can also apply for North Carolina disability in person by visiting your local Social Security office and submitting a paper application. You’ll find Social Security offices in Ahoskie, Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Henderson, Hendersonville, Hickory, Kinston, Lumberton, Mt. Airy, New Bern, Raleigh, Reidsville, Roanoke Rapids, Rockingham, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Statesville, Washington, Whiteville, Wilkesboro, Wilmington, Wilson, and Winston-Salem.
Keep in mind every application for SSDI, regardless of how you apply, will require your records, medical records from all health professionals that have treated you for your disability, tax returns, and a list of employment over the last 15 years.
How To Appeal a Denial in North Carolina
Once you apply for SSDI you will receive a letter in the mail that either approves or denies your benefit claim. If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. To appeal a denial in North Carolina you must submit a Reconsideration Request with the SSA within 60 days of receiving your denial letter.
When you submit the reconsideration request, you will have the opportunity to provide more information on your disability to be reviewed along with your initial claim. While it is possible to file a reconsideration request yourself, most people have more success when working with the legal advice of a lawyer.
In the case that the reconsideration request is denied as well, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision within 60 days. Appealing this decision is known as the hearing stage and is slightly different from the earlier appeal. The hearing stage is where you request that your case be heard in front of an Administrative Law Judge. An attorney can give you legal advice about the hearing stage of the appeal process and provide legal aid as needed.
Note that most disability attorneys provide free consultation and will instead take a percentage of the SSDI back pay received with an approved claim. However, there is a legal cap that limits this to no more than 25% of the backpay or $6,000, whichever is lower.
More North Carolina Benefits
If SSDI is not enough to help you make ends meet, there are other programs available to disabled residents of North Carolina. Each of these programs has its list of eligibility requirements, so you’ll need to confirm you qualify for benefits based on your disability and financial situation.
Supplemental security income (SSI)
Disabled North Carolina residents with low income may be able to get additional assistance with SSI benefits. You will need to meet eligibility requirements determined by the SSA, which include meeting the definition of having a disability by the North Carolina DDS and falling within a specific income bracket.
When you apply for SSDI benefits, the North Carolina DDS will automatically check to see if you qualify for SSI. You can also file a claim over the phone by calling your local Social Security field office at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday.
North Carolina Medicaid
North Carolina Medicaid is a program that provides health insurance to nearly 1.6 million low-income residents and their families in North Carolina. Disabled residents that qualify for SSI benefits are automatically approved for North Carolina Medicaid. You will begin getting Medicaid benefits on the first day of the month you become eligible for SSI benefits. You will remain eligible for North Carolina Medicaid if you remain eligible for SSI benefits.
North Carolina Unemployment
Residents who are unemployed through no fault of their own may be eligible for North Carolina Unemployment benefits. To receive benefits, you will need to meet initial eligibility requirements and you must remain eligible while collecting benefits. You can apply for unemployment online or over the phone by calling 888-737-0259.
Veterans Benefits in North Carolina
If you are a disabled veteran residing in North Carolina, you may also be eligible for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs even if you do not qualify for SSDI. This is because the VA uses different criteria to determine disability in former service members. Therefore, if you have injuries, illnesses, or a mental illness related to your military service, talk to the VA regarding disability benefits for veterans.
North Carolina Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in North Carolina|
|Charlotte SSA Office||2201 Coronation Blvd Ste 100Charlotte, NC 28227||(888) 383-1598|
|Salisbury SSA Office||1840 Jake Alexndr Bl WSalisbury, NC 28147||(877) 405-3157|
|Raleigh SSA Office||4701 Old Wake Forest RdRaleigh, NC 27609||(877) 803-6311|
|Asheville SSA Office||800 Centre Park DriveAsheville, NC 28805||(866) 572-8361|
|Winston Salem SSA Office||1370 Lockland AveWinston Salem, NC 27103||(877) 402-0828|
|Greensboro SSA Office||6005 Landmark Ctr BlvdGreensboro, NC 27407||(877) 319-3075|
|Rocky Mount SSA Office||1071 Hunter Hill RdRocky Mount, NC 27804||(866) 964-0784|
|Wilmington SSA Office||1528 S 16th StWilmington, NC 28401||(866) 964-6227|
|Durham SSA Office||3511 Shannon Rd Suite 200Durham, NC 27707||(888) 759-3908|
|Goldsboro SSA Office||915 W New Hope RoadGoldsboro, NC 27534||(866) 964-7372|
|Fayetteville SSA Office||145 Rowan StFayetteville, NC 28301||(866) 964-6485|
|Hickory SSA Office||1501 Us Highway 321 NWHickory, NC 28601||(888) 877-1615|
|Gastonia SSA Office||609 Cotton Blossom CirGastonia, NC 28054||(866) 331-2193|
|New Bern SSA Office||1420 McCarthy BlvdNew Bern, NC 28562||(888) 491-1885|
|Greenville SSA Office||2805 Charles BlvdGreenville, NC 27858||(866) 494-4001|
|Elizabeth City SSA Office||1865 W City DrElizabeth City, NC 27909||(866) 572-2819|
|Lumberton SSA Office||4430 Kahn DrLumberton, NC 28358||(866) 931-7099|
|Wilkesboro SSA Office||1517 River StWilkesboro, NC 28697||(866) 331-2298|
|Roanoke Rapids SSA Office||833 Gregory DriveRoanoke Rapids, NC 27870||(866) 269-2010|
|Statesville SSA Office||2038 Davie AveStatesville, NC 28625||(855) 722-3497|
|Rockingham SSA Office||220 E Greene StRockingham, NC 28379||(877) 405-7673|
|Kinston SSA Office||2559 N Queen StreetKinston, NC 28501||(866) 593-5671|
|Concord SSA Office||830 Florence St NWConcord, NC 28027||(888) 366-6149|
|Albemarle SSA Office||202 Charter StBrookwood Executive PkAlbemarle, NC 28001||(866) 319-8268|
|Franklin SSA Office||2123 Lakeside DrFranklin, NC 28734||(866) 562-0738|
|Hendersonville SSA Office||205 S Grove StreetHendersonville, NC 28792||(866) 964-5053|
|Smithfield SSA Office||633 Venture DrSmithfield, NC 27577||(888) 527-9331|
|Whiteville SSA Office||204 S Lee StWhiteville, NC 28472||(877) 779-7257|
|Wilson SSA Office||1911 Westwood Ave WWilson, NC 27893||(866) 366-5804|
|Shelby SSA Office||707 Schenck StShelby, NC 28150||(877) 405-3576|
|Sanford SSA Office||401 Tiffany DrSanford, NC 27330||(877) 319-5774|
|Henderson SSA Office||858 S Beckford DrHenderson, NC 27536||(877) 628-6584|
|Reidsville SSA Office||2402 Freeway DrReidsville, NC 27320||(866) 748-2091|
|Mt Airy SSA Office||Griffith Parkway1187 North AndyMount Airy, NC 27030||(866) 587-4418|
|Washington SSA Office||1633 John Small AveWashington, NC 27889||(866) 574-2589|
|Ahoskie SSA Office||1231 1St St WAhoskie, NC 27910||(866) 828-3810|
|Asheboro SSA Office||157 Dublin Square Rd Suite KAsheboro, NC 27203||(888) 472-6119|
North Carolina Hearing and Appeal Offices
North Carolina is in Region 4 (Atlanta), which services Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
|Region 4 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in North Carolina|
|SSA Hearing Office – Charlotte||2201 Coronation BoulevardSuite 200Charlotte, NC 28227||(888) 397-4124|
|SSA Hearing Office – Fayetteville||150 Rowan Street2nd FloorFayetteville, NC 28301||(888) 552-7169|
|SSA Hearing Office – Greensboro||101 South Edgeworth StreetSuite 300Greensboro, NC 27401||(866) 690-2091|
|SSA Hearing Office – Raleigh||4800 Falls of Neuse RoadSuite 200Raleigh, NC 27609||(866) 708-3174|