If you need a Raleigh Social Security Disability Lawyer, The Bishop Law Firm can help with your case. We represent Social Security Disability clients in Raleigh and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Read on for what information we need from you to know if we can help.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
There are two types of Social Security Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security Disability is based on the credits from the work you have done in your life while SSI is a need based program. You must apply for disability benefits and be found disabled under the Social Security Administration's Five Step Process before you are entitled to either benefit.
Social Security Administration Five Step Process:
- 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 $1,550 (2024) a month. If you are making that amount you generally will not qualify for disability.
- Step 2 – Is Your Condition “Severe”? Severity is key when it comes to what qualifies as a disability. Severe is defined by the Social Security Administration as: your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.
- 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.
- Step 4 – Can You Do the Work Your Past Work? 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.
- 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 in the national economy. 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.
How can a Raleigh Social Security Disability Attorney help?
Unfortunately, most people are denied disability benefits when they initially apply for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. It helps to have an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer on your side. Keeping up with appeal deadlines, ordering medical records and ensuring that your disability claim isn't gathering dust on someone's desk are all ways an attorney can help.
Most importantly, a Social Security Disability Lawyer should be present with you if you have hearing before a Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Providing the ALJ with the information that he/she needs to make a decision in your claim for disability benefits can mean the difference between winning and losing.
We are paid on a contingent fee basis which is capped by the Social Security Administration. So, if you do not win you do not have to pay us! If you win and receive backpay, we are paid out of your Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income backpay.
Free Social Security Disability Case Reviews
The Bishop Law Firm offers free Social Security Disability case reviews by phone or you can start you review online now. When you call us, we need to know where you are in the disability process. There can be several levels to a Social Security Disability case: initial, reconsideration, request for hearing, the Social Security Appeals Council and even Federal District Court. If you have been denied benefits by the Social Security Administration, we will need information about that denial.
Another easy way to know where you are in the Social Security Disability Process is to count the denials you have received since you applied (one denial means you need to request a reconsideration, two denials means that you need to request a hearing...).
Your work history and current financial situation will determine which type of benefit you are eligible for so be prepared to answer a few of those questions as well. Other questions include: education, marital status and if you have minor children. I know this seems like a lot of information, but every question is important to your case!
Next, we need to know why you feel you are disabled. Symptoms are helpful but we really need to know what your doctors have diagnosed you with and what medications you have been prescribed. Tell us what surgeries, therapies and treatments you have tried. We do not need exact dates; just do the best you can.
Even if you do not know the answers to all of the above questions and need help with Social Security Disability Benefits, give The Bishop Law Firm a call today at (919) 615-3095 or start your free case review online now. We want to help!