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.


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.