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SSDI Benefits in North Carolina

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that gives financial help to North Carolina residents who can't work due to a disability.

If you've worked in the past but now have a medical problem that stops you from working, SSDI provides financial assistance in the form of monthly payments. It's designed for workers who have paid into Social Security and now find themselves unable to continue working.

What Does the SSA Do?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency that handles SSDI. They take care of things like receiving applications, deciding who gets benefits, figuring out how much money people will get, and making sure payments reach the right people. The SSA is responsible for ensuring that the program is managed fairly and that only eligible people receive these benefits.

How to Qualify for SSDI

Being eligible for SSDI in North Carolina depends on your disability and your past work history. You must have a medical condition that meets what the SSA considers a disability, and you need to have earned enough work credits.

In addition to these requirements, your disability must be expected to last at least a year or result in death. Temporary or partial disabilities don't qualify.

What Are Work Credits?

Work credits are a record of how much you've worked and contributed to Social Security. In North Carolina, you can earn up to four credits each year. How many credits you need depends on your age when you become disabled. These credits are based on your earnings.

The more you work and pay into Social Security, the more credits you earn. For most people, you will need at least 40 credits, with 20 of them earned in the last 10 years before becoming disabled. Younger workers might need fewer credits.

Work credits are an essential part of SSDI because they show that you have been part of the workforce and have paid into the system. If you meet the necessary number of work credits and have a qualifying disability, you could be eligible for SSDI.

How Does the SSA Define Disability?

The SSA has strict rules about what counts as a disability. It must be a condition that severely limits your ability to work and do basic tasks like walking, remembering instructions, or using your hands.

According to the SSA, a disability isn't something minor or short-term. It has to be a major health problem that affects your daily life. The SSA has created a guide called the Blue Book, which lists many different medical conditions and what needs to be shown for each one to count as a disability.

How to Apply for SSDI in North Carolina

Applying for SSDI in North Carolina can be done online, by phone, or in person. You can visit the Social Security Administration's website to apply online, or you can call the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone.

If you'd rather talk to someone face-to-face, you can find a local Social Security office in North Carolina where you can apply in person.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

When you apply for SSDI, you will need to provide some important information. This includes your Social Security number and your birth date. You will also need details about your medical condition, such as the names and contact information of doctors and hospitals, a list of medications, and any lab results you have.

Your work history is also needed. You should be ready to share a detailed account of your work over the past 15 years. Your most recent W-2 or tax return if self-employed will be required as well. You might also need information about your education and job training. Having this information prepared ahead of time can help improve your chances of being approved.

Filing an Appeal

If your SSDI claim is denied in North Carolina, you don't have to give up &mdash you can appeal the decision. The appeal process has different levels, including reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, and an Appeals Council review. The final stage of the appeals process is a federal court review.

The process can be complicated, but help is available. You may want to consult with a disability advocate or an attorney. They can assist you in understanding the process and making your case as strong as possible.

Do You Need a Disability Lawyer?

Hiring a disability lawyer can make it easier to win your appeal. A disability lawyer knows the laws and rules related to SSDI. They can guide you through the application or appeal, help gather the needed evidence, and represent you at hearings.

Disability lawyers usually charge a fee only if you win your case, and the fee often comes out of the back-pay benefits you receive. Some people find that having a lawyer helps them feel more confident and less stressed.

What Is a Disability Advocate?

A disability advocate is a professional who can assist you in applying for SSDI or appealing a denial. An advocate can also be an attorney, but it is not required. Advocates undergo special training about the SSDI process.

Disability advocates can help you fill out forms, gather medical evidence, and prepare for hearings. They can also represent you during the appeal process. Advocates might charge a fee similar to disability lawyers, often based on whether you win your case.

One difference between advocates and attorneys is that attorneys might offer specific legal protections, such as attorney-client privilege. While choosing between an advocate and a lawyer depends on your individual needs and situation, they both provide valuable services.

Supplemental Security Income in North Carolina

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides financial support to low-income residents of North Carolina who are either disabled, blind, or aged 65 and older.

Unlike SSDI, which is based on an individual's work history, SSI is determined by financial need. Both SSI and SSDI aim to assist people with disabilities. However, SSDI focuses on those who have worked and paid into the system, while SSI helps those with limited income and resources.

In addition to meeting the low-income requirements, eligible SSI applicants must belong to one of the following groups:

  • People who are unable to work because of a disability
  • People who are blind
  • Adults aged 65 and above

Applying for SSI can be done online, over the phone at 1-800-772-1213, or in person at a local Social Security office. You'll need to provide detailed information about your income, resources, living arrangements, and medical conditions.

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213

In North Carolina, once you qualify for SSI, you may also automatically become eligible for other assistance programs like Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps). These additional programs can further support individuals in meeting basic needs for food, healthcare, and shelter.

North Carolina - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
320 CHARLOTTE NC Ste 100, 2201 Coronation Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28227 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-383-1598
321 SALISBURY NC 1840 Jake Alexander Blvd W, Salisbury, NC 28147 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-3157
322 RALEIGH NC 4701 Old Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-803-6311
323 ASHEVILLE NC 800 Centre Park Dr, Asheville, NC 28805 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-572-8361
324 WINSTON SALEM NC 1370 Lockland Ave, Winston Salem, NC 27103 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-402-0828
325 GREENSBORO NC 6005 Landmark Ctr Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27407 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-3075
326 ROCKY MOUNT NC 1071 Hunter Hill Rd, Rocky Mount, NC 27804 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-0784
327 WILMINGTON NC 1528 S 16th St, Wilmington, NC 28401 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-6227
328 DURHAM NC Ste 200, 3511 Shannon Rd, Durham, NC 27707 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-759-3908
329 GOLDSBORO NC 915 W New Hope Rd, Goldsboro, NC 27534 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7372
330 FAYETTEVILLE NC 145 Rowan St, Fayetteville, NC 28301 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-6485
331 HICKORY NC 1501 Us Highway 321 Nw, Hickory, NC 28601 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-877-1615
332 GASTONIA NC 609 Cotton Blossom Cir, Gastonia, NC 28054 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-331-2193
334 NEW BERN NC 1420 Mccarthy Blvd, New Bern, NC 28562 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-491-1885
335 GREENVILLE NC 2805 S Charles Blvd, Greenville, NC 27858 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-494-4001
338 LUMBERTON NC 4430 Kahn Dr, Lumberton, NC 28358 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-931-7099
344 CONCORD NC 830 Florence St Nw, Concord, NC 28027 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-366-6149
336 ELIZABETH CITY NC 1865 W City Dr, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-572-2819
339 WILKESBORO NC 1517 River St, Wilkesboro, NC 28697 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-331-2298
340 ROANOKE RAPIDS NC 833 Gregory Dr, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-269-2010
341 STATESVILLE NC 2038 Davie Ave, Statesville, NC 28625 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-722-3497
342 ROCKINGHAM NC 220 E Greene St, Rockingham, NC 28379 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-7673
343 KINSTON NC 2559 N Queen St, Kinston, NC 28501 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-593-5671
481 ALBEMARLE NC Brookwood Executive Pk, 202 Charter St, Albemarle, NC 28001 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-319-8268
482 FRANKLIN NC 2123 Lakeside Dr, Franklin, NC 28734 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-562-0738
483 HENDERSONVILLE NC 205 S Grove St, Hendersonville, NC 28792 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-5053
484 SMITHFIELD NC 633 Venture Dr, Smithfield, NC 27577 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-527-9331
A48 WHITEVILLE NC 204 S Lee St, Whiteville, NC 28472 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-779-7257
A49 WILSON NC 1911 Westwood Ave W, Wilson, NC 27893 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-366-5804
B01 SHELBY NC 707 Schenck St, Shelby, NC 28150 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-3576
B05 SANFORD NC 401 Tiffany Dr, Sanford, NC 27330 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-5774
B10 HENDERSON NC 858 S Beckford Dr, Henderson, NC 27536 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-628-6584
B11 REIDSVILLE NC 2402 Freeway Dr, Reidsville, NC 27320 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-748-2091
B16 MT AIRY NC 1187 North Andy, Griffith Parkway, Mount Airy, NC 27030 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-587-4418
B17 WASHINGTON NC 1633 John Small Ave, Washington, NC 27889 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-574-2589
C45 AHOSKIE NC 1231 1st St W, Ahoskie, NC 27910 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-828-3810
D01 ASHEBORO NC 157 Dublin Square Rd Ste K, Asheboro, NC 27203 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-472-6119