How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

NC Social Security Disability Lawyers Assist with Applications and Denials

Our Social Security disability attorneys help clients with their SSD benefits claim.

If you are unable to work because of a disabling injury or illness, then you may be entitled to benefits through programs run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) pays benefits to those who cannot work due to a disability. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based program that provides financial assistance to those with low incomes. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for one or both of these programs. However, the application process is complex and lengthy. Often, even qualified applicants may receive a denial for any number of reasons. A qualified Social Security disability lawyer can help you navigate the application and/or appeals process to ensure that you get your rightful benefits as quickly as possible.

The Social Security attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, LLP have years of experience working directly with the disability benefits system. We know how to put together a persuasive claim. We understand the SSA’s requirements, forms, documentation and processes. Let us save you from the paperwork and red tape so you can concentrate on your health and family. We know the system and are here to help you, whether you are applying for disability benefits for the first time or appealing a denial of your claim.

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Applying for SSD Benefits

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What Are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income?

The Social Security Administration has two programs that provide financial assistance to people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The two programs have many differences, but both may help you make ends meet after a disabling injury or diagnosis. The basic differences between these programs are:

Although the requirements for these programs are completely different, the application process for both can be difficult and it may take months to get approval.

Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Our North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers are ready to put together a clear and compelling application for your benefits.To receive SSD benefits, you must have a medical condition that the Social Security Administration considers “disabling”. A disabling condition leaves you unable to work for a year or more, or is expected to result in death. The system does not pay for partial or short-term disability.

In determining your disability status, the SSA generally considers your ability to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Each year, the SSA adjusts the income limits defining Substantial Gainful Activity. If you make more than these limits, or the value of your work exceeds these limits, then you likely cannot qualify for disability benefits.

However, simply having an income below the SGA limits is not enough. You must also submit medical records and other information showing that your physical or mental condition keeps you from employment. Some conditions and injuries are “listed impairments,” which may automatically qualify you for benefits. These conditions are typically severe, life-threatening or fatal, necessitating expedited benefits.

Finally, you can only collect disability benefits if you have a certain number of work credits. When you work, you pay a portion of your paycheck into Social Security, and you earn work credits as you do so. Once you have worked a reasonable length of time, contributing to Social Security, you qualify for benefits. Depending on your age, this length of time can be anywhere between one and a half to ten years. However, there are exceptions for disabled minors and certain other groups.

Since you contribute to Social Security throughout your working career, you may expect that getting disability benefits will be simple. However, that is not often the case. Specific criteria and rules complicate the process of qualifying for benefits. A Social Security disability lawyer can assist in your initial application to avoid common errors that can lead to denial.

How Do I Apply?

The Social Security Administration allows you to apply in person or online. A Social Security disability lawyer can walk you through the claims process to make sure your application is complete and includes all relevant documentation.

The information you must submit with your application is extensive, including:

Applying for Benefits? Contact our NC Social Security Disability Lawyers for Free Legal Advice

It can be exceptionally difficult to get approval for your disability claim. If there is a possibility that you could continue to earn a living, then you can usually expect a denial. Additionally, the SSA turns down many applications because the applicants failed to present complete information.

The attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, LLP understand the Social Security disability system. We have had years of experience helping people get the disability benefits they deserve. You can apply yourself, but a large number of our clients come to us when they are forced to appeal a denial of benefits. This adds time, creating serious financial problems for those who are unable to work due to a disability.

We offer free consultations, so it will cost you nothing to learn about the Social Security disability benefits process. We represent clients throughout North Carolina from our offices in Goldsboro and Raleigh as well as Jacksonville and Kinston. If you cannot come to us, then we are happy to meet with you wherever it is convenient. Call (800)525-7111 or contact us online to set up a free review today.