Whatever stage of the North Carolina Social Security disability benefits process you are in, these simple steps will help to ease the way:
1. Organize your records
Before you can be awarded North Carolina Social Security disability benefits, you will have to complete the required paperwork and produce a significant amount of supporting documentation. You will need, at a minimum, all of your medical records and records from your past employers. As you gather these and other records, create a filing system that makes sense to you and find a safe place to store these documents. You will need to refer to these records throughout the North Carolina disability benefits process, so it is best to get organized from the beginning.
2. Keep your records current
Update your records regularly. For example, if you visit a new doctor, take the doctor’s business card and add it to your files. An easy way to keep track of your medications is to keep all of your empty prescription bottles.
3. Monitor your symptoms
The Social Security Administration wants to know about your symptoms (pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.) and how your symptoms impact your daily activities. Keep track of your symptoms with a symptom diary.
4. Cooperate with the Social Security Administration
You may be asked to provide additional information or documents, or to submit to a consultative examination. Comply with these requests as completely and promptly as possible.
5. Cooperate with your treating doctors
The Social Security Administration expects that you are trying to regain your health so that you can go back to work. Accordingly, in most cases, you should see your doctor as directed and comply with your doctor’s treatment plan.
6. Plan for your disability hearing
It is likely that you will have to testify at a disability hearing in front of a judge before you will be awarded North Carolina Social Security disability benefits. You can prepare for this likelihood by making a list of things you do differently now or things you can no longer do because of your disability. Make a list of potential witnesses – friends, family, neighbors, co-workers – who can testify as to how your impairment limits your daily activities. Educate yourself about the hearing process.
A Charlotte disability lawyer can help
If you would like more advice on navigating the North Carolina Social Security disability benefits system, we are available to help. Please complete the claim evaluation form to your right or contact our office.