Our North Carolina Disability Attorney Discusses Social Security Benefits

Call the Bridgman Law Offices today at (888) 632-9912 to speak with a North Carolina disability attorney who can represent you.

Benefits

Our North Carolina Disability Attorney Discusses Social Security Benefits

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, our North Carolina disability attorney may be able to help you with your claim. The Social Security definition of disability is that you are entitled to receive SSDI or SSI benefits if you are no longer able to perform "substantial gainful activity" due to physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year or will result in death. Substantial gainful activity is generally determined to be $1,090 before federal income taxes.

The Disability Definition

The most straightforward way to satisfy the SSA's definition of disability is for your impairment to meet or equal the level of severity as described in the SSA's Listing of Impairments. This manual describes dozens of conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, heart failure, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes, among many others, as qualifying disabilities. Satisfying the severity requirements listed in the listing book results in guaranteed approval. Your North Carolina disability attorney may be able to help you determine if your condition falls under these requirements. If not, the application process will be more complicated, but it is not impossible for you to be approved for benefits. It is, however, difficult to win a disability approval without having a condition that is found in the listing book. Most Social Security benefits are determined when applicants have a disabling condition that is severe enough to prevent them from earning even a small amount of sustainable income each month. In such cases, the SSA will examine your impairments to determine if you are capable of performing your most recent job or any jobs you have held within the last 15 years. If not, the SSA will determine whether you could re-enter the work force in a different field. To do so, the Administration looks at your age, skill level, level of education and work history. For example, if you have only an 8th grade education and are unable to perform your past work in a physically demanding job, you will not be expected to perform work that exceeds your educational limits. Individuals with severe mental impairments, such as depression, anxiety or a low IQ are not expected to perform jobs that require significant focus.

Medical Details for Disability Evaluation

When applying for disability, your North Carolina disability attorney should gather a full listing of your impairments and conditions, including a list of all treating medical professionals, hospitals and clinics you have been to. This listing should include any relevant addresses and phone numbers for the SSA examiner to contact during your evaluation. It is important that your treating physician is familiar with SSA disability criteria before he submits statements on your behalf. The SSA examiner will look for any reason to deny your claim, and your doctor's opinion holds a significant amount of influence. It is important to have a professional medical opinion that discusses your limitations in as much detail as possible. The more supporting information the examiner has to consider, the more likely it is that your claim will be approved.

Non-Medical Requirements for SSA Benefits

In order to qualify for your SSDI disability benefits, you must have paid your Social Security payroll taxes for a significant length of time. The number of years you must have paid into the Social Security system varies depending on your age. If you stop working and paying taxes, you must be able to prove that you became disabled before your insured status ended.

Appealing Disability Denials

It is extremely common for an initial Social Security or SSI disability benefits application to be denied on the first try. In fact, it is uncommon to be approved in the first round. Most cases are approved during the appeals stage of application. However, it is common for your claims to be denied due to a lack of medical records and other documentation to establish the severity of disability. While many applicants make the mistake of reapplying, you should instead initiate an appeal and ensure that all relevant information is included in your file. A North Carolina disability lawyer can help you ensure that your file is complete.

Representation During Appeals

Once you receive a notice of hearing, you should consider consulting a North Carolina disability attorney who can provide representation and guide you through the appeals process. Claimants who receive legal assistance have a higher chance of winning than those who go it alone. Fortunately, the appeals process holds a good chance of success for claimants who can logically and thoroughly demonstrate the severity of their disabilities and their inability to return to work.

Contact a North Carolina Disability Attorney

Call the Bridgman Law Offices today at (888) 632-9912 to speak with a North Carolina disability attorney who can represent you.