If you live in the state of North Carolina you can apply for disability benefits in that state. Most states provide disability benefits to eligible applicants. However, applicants have to be able to fulfill the requirements found in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book listings before their claim for social security benefits is approved.
If your disability doesn’t appear on the listing the SSA may ask you to produce more evidence about your disability. You may also be asked to have a Residual Functional Capacity assessment carried out by your doctor.
This determines your physical and mental abilities and whether you are able to work. In North Carolina, 26.8 percent of adults have a disability, which is a little more than the national average of 25.6 percent.
Social Security Disability Benefits in North Carolina
To qualify for a social security disability benefit (SSDI program) in North Carolina, you need to have worked several years in an occupation where you paid social security taxes (FICA) and have accrued enough work credits. If you don’t have the right amount of work credits when you become disabled, but your income and assets are low you may be able to file an application for supplemental security Income (SSI).
Eligibility for social security disability benefits in North Carolina is the responsibility of the federal government through the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can file for disability benefits at field offices spread throughout the state.
The cities where field offices are in North Carolina include Ahoskie, Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Burlington, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Henderson, Hendersonville, Hickory, Kinston, Lumberton, Mount Airy, New Bern, Raleigh, Reidsville, Rockingham, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Statesville, Washington, Whiteville, Wilkesboro, Wilmington, Wilson, and Winston Salem.
The Disability Determination Services are a branch of the SSA which makes the decisions for disability benefits claims based on the following:
- the applicant’s medical history and recent health record;
- medical and psychological evidence made available by the applicant’s physician;
- a continuing disability review;
- the applicant’s personal statement about their disability.
North Carolina Disability Benefit Statistics
North Carolina ranked 44th in the nation for percentage approval of initial applications. In 2020, North Carolina lagged behind the nation’s average for approvals at the reconsideration stage with a ranking of 30 compared to the other states.
North Carolina has in recent years been higher than the national average when it comes to approvals at the hearing level. In 2020, North Carolina ranked 4th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at hearings.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Decision in North Carolina
If your claim for disability benefits is denied, you will only be able to overturn the decision if you attend a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is responsible for social security disability (SSD) hearings and supplemental security income (SSI) hearings in 4 different offices in North Carolina. They are in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Raleigh.
Currently, in North Carolina, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 11 months. The average case processing time in North Carolina is 410 days. The North Carolina average for winning a disability hearing is 50 percent.
In North Carolina, the first stage of a hearing is reconsideration of a claim. If reconsideration of a case is denied, then a hearing may be granted and this is when the case is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ).
If you were recently denied social security disability benefits or supplemental security income (SSI) in North Carolina, you may request an appeal. Generally, you are given 60 days after receiving the decision notice for your initial claim to lodge the appeal.
Help Filing for Disability Benefits in North Carolina
It is rarely straightforward filing for disability benefits in North Carolina as there are so many aspects of your disability claim that must be assessed and approved before any disability benefits can be granted. A disability can help you properly prepare your claim and assist with filing any appeals.
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