What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability in North Carolina?

If you have suffered a life-changing injury at work, your doctor’s prognosis may indicate that you no longer have the functional capacity to handle your job duties. Some people suffer injuries at work that are so severe they will be unable to handle any other alternative work and face complications with simple household tasks.

Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be invaluable to anyone in this situation, and it is vital to know whether you qualify to claim these benefits. Unfortunately, the claim process for Social Security Disability benefits is very challenging, and many people carry misconceptions about what conditions qualify someone to receive these benefits.

Qualifying Conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits

Many people suffer workplace injuries and are left wondering how they can recover from long-term medical expenses and the inability to work and earn income. Workers’ compensation insurance may provide some relief, but a permanently disabled claimant can only expect so much from their employer’s insurance company. If you find yourself in this situation and are concerned that you will be unable to work because of your injury, it’s vital to assess whether your condition could qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.

The SSA maintains a comprehensive list of specific conditions, but ultimately the single qualifying criteria for disability benefits in North Carolina is the inability to work. It is possible for many people to have what appears to be the same medical condition but express the condition very differently. You must be prepared to provide complete and accurate medical records that clearly establish your condition’s severity. The SSA will evaluate whether you retain any functional capacity for gainful activity in their determination.

Filing a Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits

You must submit a claim for benefits, including a complete description of your medical status and various supporting records from your medical treatment team. If you are unable to work and unable to perform any substantial gainful activity, you likely qualify for disability benefits. The two types of disability benefits issued by the SSA are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This form of disability is for those who suffer disabling injuries at work. The amount they receive depends on the number of other benefits they receive through workers’ compensation and other benefits programs. These benefits will last until the recipient is no longer disabled or until they reach retirement age. In the latter case, their disability benefits transition to Social Security retirement benefits automatically.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This form of disability is available to disabled Americans who are both unable to work and have very limited financial resources. SSI is an invaluable lifeline for many low-income families that include individuals with advanced disabilities.

An experienced attorney can make the claim filing process much easier and more likely to yield the results you hope to see. The SSA denies most of the claims it receives each year for disability benefits, citing clerical and administrative errors and other technicalities. As a result, many claimants must re-file their claims multiple times before they are approved, and others must endure very difficult appeals.

If the SSA denies your claim for benefits, it will provide an explanation for their rejection. For example, if the SSA cites clerical errors, inconsistencies in paperwork, or other administrative discrepancies, these may not be too difficult to resolve, but if they challenge the basis of a claim for disability benefits and assert the claimant retains enough functional capacity to work, a very difficult appeal process will ensue.


Q: How Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits in North Carolina?

A: You will need to provide medical records that prove the scope and severity of your condition, and eligibility to receive disability benefits hinges on the residual functional capacity you hold to perform gainful employment. Many people who suffer serious injuries at work are able to train for alternative employment, but this is not an option for everyone. If you cannot work at all because of your condition, you are likely to qualify for disability benefits.

Q: How Hard Is It to Get Disability in North Carolina?

A: Unfortunately, it is very difficult for anyone to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits anywhere in the United States. The SSA is extremely discerning in approving claims for disability benefits. There is no limit to the number of times you can file a claim, and hiring an experienced attorney can increase the chances of succeeding with an initial claim to the SSA.

Q: How Much Can I Receive in Disability Benefits?

A: The amount you receive in disability benefits if your claim is approved typically hinges on the severity of your condition and whether you receive any other benefits. The best way to maximize the results of the claim determination in your case is by hiring an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to represent you. A good attorney can also provide an estimate of how much you should expect to receive in disability benefits if you succeed with your claim.

Q: Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Get Disability Benefits?

A: Technically, there is no legal requirement to hire a disability attorney if you plan to file a claim for disability benefits. However, you are much more likely to reach positive results if you have an attorney assist you with your claim. Your attorney can ensure all claim forms are error-free and include all necessary supporting documentation. If you do encounter resistance from the SSA, your legal team will guide you through the difficult proceedings you may face in resolving the matter.

Disability benefits available through Social Security, various state-level programs, and workers’ compensation insurance can be invaluable lifelines to anyone who cannot work and support themselves. Different programs are available for those who are injured at work and those born with severe disabilities. Many variables influence how much you can receive each month, and a good SSD attorney is the best asset to not only succeed with your claim for benefits but also maximize the amount you receive. Contact Christina Rivenbark & Associates today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you secure the disability benefits you need.

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