If you live in Greensboro, NC, The Bishop Law Firm can help with your Social Security Disability case. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take to get your claim started and how our firm can help you.
Step One: Call Us
Call The Bishop Law Firm at 919-615-3095 or start your free case review online now!
You do not need an attorney to apply for or be awarded Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income. But having an attorney on your case can improve your chances of winning by knowing the process and what SSA is looking for to approve your claim.
Step Two: Apply for Benefits
How to apply for disability in North Carolina?
The first step to file a Social Security Disability claim is to call your local Social Security Office and set up an appointment to file OR you can file an application here. For a list of what you need to apply, look here.
In theory, anyone can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but the Social Security Administration may refuse to take your application if you are still working, making over SGA or have too many resources for SSI and are not otherwise eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits.
You may be eligible for SSDI, SSI or both:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is based on the credits from the work you have done in your life. You must be found disabled before your date last insured (DLI) to be found eligible for SSDI. Your DLI is calculated by counting your “quarters of coverage” from your earnings record. You must have 20 “quarters of coverage” of the last 40 quarters. Simply put, you must have worked 5 years of the last ten years (in general). In addition, Adult Disabled Children can be eligible for benefits off their parent’s account.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a need-based program and you must meet income/asset standards in addition to being found disabled under the five steps above. In 2023, SSI is $914.00 per month for an individual and $1,371 for an eligible couple. SSI will be reduced by 1/3 if you are receiving financial help from others. In NC, SSI recipients are also entitled to Medicaid.
SSI is also available for disabled children and is evaluated under a different standard than adults. Children must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments (including emotional or learning problems) which result in marked and severe functional limitations, and the impairment(s) has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or be expected to result in death. Child SSI terminates when the child turns 18. The claimant will then have to reapply and be evaluated under the above adult sequential evaluation.
After you apply, you must continue to receive medical treatment! If you go anywhere new for treatment, take any new medication, or have any new diagnosis, you need to call us and let us know so we can forward that information onto the Social Security Administration.
After you apply for benefits, your case will be sent to DDS (Disability Determination Services) in Raleigh, NC (they cover all of North Carolina). If you are unrepresented, you will need to keep DDS informed of developments in your case.
At DDS, an examiner will be assigned to your case. The examiner may send you forms to fill out and may also send forms to 3rd parties for them to give their opinion about your daily activities. It is extremely important that you complete these forms as soon as possible and return them to the DDS examiner. In addition, DDS may send you to a consultative examination.
Step 4: Appeal denials!
DDS denies about 70% of the applications that they see. If you receive a denial, call and let us know as soon as possible so we can work on the appeal, which will take you to the Reconsideration level.
Reconsideration is essentially the same as the initial level, except that another examiner at DDS reviews your case.
Step 5: Get ready for hearing
If you receive a Reconsideration denial, call us so we can appeal to the hearing level. A hearing in front of a Social Security Administrative Law Judge is where you have your best statistical chance of being approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
Do you need a Greensboro Social Security Disability Lawyer?
Appealing denials, gathering all medical records, doctor opinions, and any evidence necessary for your disability claim are all actions that Social Security Disability Lawyers can help you with.
In addition, giving all evidence to DDS and the Administrative Law Judge in a form that they can use will be helpful in assisting the examiner or judge in making the right decision in Social Security Disability claims.
A hearing with an Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is where you have your best statistical chance of being approved. Making the correct arguments based on your specific impairments/medical evidence is imperative.
What is the most that a disability lawyer can charge?
Attorney fees for disability cases are set by the Social Security Administration. The SSA only pays attorney fees if the client wins their case and there is backpay. If you do not win your case or if there is no backpay, no attorney fees are due.
Currently, SSA allows attorneys to charge 25% of the client’s backpay up to a maximum for $7,200. For example, if the client attains $10,000 in backpay the attorney will receive $2,500. If the client receives $100,000 in backpay, the attorney receives $7,200.
If you need a Social Security Disability attorney, The Bishop Law Firm handles Social Security Disability cases at any level and is willing to assist you throughout your disability case. We do not get paid unless you win! Call us today for a free case evaluation at (919) 615-3095 or start your free case review now!