If you need a Disability Lawyer in Cary, NC to help with your case, The Bishop Law Firm can help you. We do not get paid unless we win and we offer free case reviews, (919) 615-3095.

Types of Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration generally has two types of benefits that the disabled can apply for: Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is based on credits from the work that you have done in your life while SSI is a need based program.

Generally, if you have worked 5 of the last 10 years, you are eligible for SSDI. If not, you could be eligible for SSI. If your work earnings were low enough, you may be eligible for both types of disability benefits. But, you must be found disabled by SSA before you are entitled to either type of disability benefit.

The Appeals Process

Applying for Social Security disability can involve several appeals. The initial claim, reconsideration level, hearing level, Appeals Council and District Court can all be a part of your journey to attain Social Security Disability. You can be approved at any level in the appeals process but statistically speaking you have your best chance of approval at the hearing.

At every level mentioned above (except for District Court), SSA uses the Five Step Sequential Evaluation to determine if you are disabled.

  1. Step 1 – Are You Working?  The Social Security Administration defines work as “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). SGA is roughly defined as work from earnings that average more than $1,260 (2020) a month. If you are making that amount you generally cannot be considered disabled.
  2. Step 2 – Is Your Condition “Severe”? Severe is defined by the Social Security Administration as: your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.
  3. Step 3 – Is Your Condition on the List of Disabling Conditions? The Listings are very hard to meet in most cases and not always interpreted as a common reading would suggest. If you meet a listing you are gravely ill. The listings are found here.
  4. Step 4 – Can You Do the Work You Did Previously? The Social Security Administration will look at your past work and determine if it was sedentary, light, medium, or heavy. They also will evaluate the skill level: unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled. For instance, an attorney would be sedentary skilled work. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is found here.
  5. Step 5 – Can You Do Any Other Type of Work? If the Social Security Administration finds that you cannot do what you used to do, they then look to see if you can do anything else. This is where the “grids” come into play. The grids are the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The grids are only for exertional impairments. Non-exertional impairments are not considered by the grids. If you are found to be capable of any other work, you will be found not disabled. Read The Grids and Your Social Security Disability Case.

Next Steps

The most important step to attaining SSDI or SSI is the first step, which is to apply:

  1. Call The Bishop Law Firm for your free case evaluation at 919-615-3095. We will send you some information to get you started.
  2. Call your local Social Security Office and set up an appointment to file for SSDI or SSI. The SSA office for Cary is located in Raleigh at 4701 Old Wake Forest Rd. Their phone number is 1-877-803-6311. You will need this information to file.
  3. Make a list of your medical treatment and the medications you take. You will also need a family member/friend who will be willing to give information about your impairments to Social Security.
  4. After you apply, your case will be sent to DDS (Disability Determination Services) for the initial level of review. An examiner at DDS will review your information and send you forms to fill out. Fill out this information as soon as possible and return it to the examiner.
  5. Meet with us! One of our paralegals will set up some time to discuss your claim with your representative at our Raleigh Office. Bring your medications and list of doctors with you to this meeting.

You should know that DDS denies most of the claims that they see. If you receive a denial, do not be upset. Many people receive denials from DDS and they go on to be approved at a later level. Unfortunately, this seems to be part of the process.

Do you need a Disability Lawyer Cary, NC?

While it is not required to have a Disability Lawyer in Cary, NC to help with your case, it can help your claim for disability benefits go more smoothly. Disability claims revolve around medical evidence demonstrating your impairments. A Social Security Disability Lawyer can gather all your medical evidence and ask your treating doctor for their medical opinion regarding your illness.

If your case goes to the hearing level, this evidence will need to be presented to the SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in a orderly and complete manner for them to make the right decision on your disability claim. In addition, an attorney will make arguments to the ALJ regarding your eligibility for Social Security Disability.

The Bishop Law Firm handles Social Security disability cases in Cary, NC. We do not get paid unless we win and we offer free case reviews by phone, (919) 615-3095.

Also read Overview of the Disability Process