Social Security Disability Lawyers in Raleigh, NC
Showing You How to Prepare for the SSD Application Process
If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The first step in applying for SSD benefits is to know whether or not you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of “disabled.”
The SSA defines disability as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” To be considered disabled under this definition, your impairment must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful activity, and it must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least one year or result in death.
From application to appeal to a hearing or filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the Social Security law firm of O’Malley Tunstall, PC can help. If you suffer from a serious injury or medical condition that is keeping you from working or living your usual lifestyle, let an SSD attorney help you get the benefits you deserve.
Attorney Susan M. O’Malley is a board-certified specialist in Social Security Disability law through the North Carolina State Bar. With offices in Raleigh and Tarboro, we help clients throughout eastern North Carolina. O’Malley Tunstall is just a phone call away. Call today at (919) 277-0150.
What is Social Security Disability?
In order to be found disabled by the SSA, you must first have a “medically determinable impairment.” This means that your impairment must be supported by objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source. Once it is determined that you have a medically determinable impairment, the SSA will then consider whether your impairment is “severe.”
Your impairment is considered severe if it significantly limits your ability to do basic work activities. If your impairment does not meet or equal a listing in the SSA’s “Blue Book” of impairments, and it is not severe enough to prevent you from doing any kind of work, then you are not considered to be disabled.
The next step in the process is to determine whether or not you can do the work you were doing prior to your impairment. If you are able to do your previous work, then you are not considered disabled. However, if you are unable to do your previous work, the SSA will consider whether there is any other work you can do, based on your age, education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity.
If you are found to be unable to do any other kind of work, then you will be considered disabled and may be eligible for SSD benefits. SSD benefits can provide you with much-needed financial assistance. They can help you pay for things like food, shelter, and medical care. Being unable to work for your livelihood can have a profound effect on your life, and SSD benefits can help you get through this difficult time.
What Happens if My Initial SSD Application was Denied?
You can apply at any Social Security office in your area, or it can be done by mail or phone. This should be done as soon as you become disabled.
Many people are so confused by the application process and by all the questions that come up that they just give up. Please do not give up. The Social Security Administration (SSA) must pay if you are qualified for benefits. The lawyers at O’Malley Tunstall, PC have decades of experience handling SSD claims. We know what it takes to win and we will fight for you every step of the way.
Receiving a denied application can leave you feeling defeated, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Many people have their claims denied at first. Our SSD lawyers can help you.
Don’t take no for an answer. Benefits are not usually awarded on the first or second try. The Social Security Administration does not make it easy for applicants to win. The SSA also has strict time limits at each level in which to file appeals. This is why you should promptly appeal the decision as soon as possible.
We represent clients at all steps along the appeal process, including during:
- Requests for reconsideration after denial of initial applications
- Administrative law judge hearings
- Appeal council reviews
- Federal court reviews
If you have been denied SSD benefits, you should not give up. Many people are initially denied for various reasons. It is important to understand that a denial does not mean that you will never receive benefits; it simply means that the SSA needs more information to make a decision on your claim.
Who is Eligible to File for Social Security Disability Benefits and what Benefits can They Recieve?
To qualify for SSD, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.
Once it is determined that you are disabled, the SSA will consider your age, education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity to determine whether or not there is any other kind of work you can do. If you are found to be unable to do any other kind of work, then you will be considered disabled and may be eligible for SSD benefits.
Social Security Disability is an income-based program; that is, your eligibility is determined by the “disability credits” you earn with your earnings. People who earned more in their careers will receive higher disability benefits than people who earned less. If you haven’t earned enough credits, you are not eligible for SSD, but you may well be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is not based on your income.
Family members of workers who are eligible for SSD benefits are also eligible for benefits. There are no work requirements families must meet. Spouses, ex-spouses, and minor children may also be eligible for benefits known as auxiliary benefits.
There is a special program that helps injured veterans receive SSD benefits. Many war wounds are hidden from view, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries, and mental health conditions. We frequently work with ex-members of the armed forces formerly stationed at Fort Bragg, helping them get the benefits they need.
The Social Security Administration calculates your SSD benefits based on your average current monthly earnings. You can get a copy of your earning record and estimated Social Security Disability benefits by contacting the SSA office in your area.
Getting your first benefit check varies depending on the type of claim you have, when your claim was filed, and when your claim was approved. It may take three to five for a decision to be made on your application. Once approved, it may take a couple more months for the first check to arrive. This is why it is important to file an application as soon as you can.
If your work situation has changed “substantially” (meaning you receive more than what Social Security deems substantial gainful employment) or your condition has improved to the point that you are no longer considered disabled.
How Can a Social Security Disability Attorney Help Me?
A Social Security Disability attorney can help you in several ways if you are seeking SSD benefits. The first way an attorney can help is by determining whether you are eligible for benefits. To be eligible for SSD, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. Your situation must be expected to last at least a year and result in death, or it must prevent you from working.
If you are not sure whether your condition meets the SSA’s definition of a disability, an attorney can review your case and give you an opinion. An attorney can also help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claims, such as medical records and expert opinions.
Once you have applied for SSD, the attorney can represent you at any hearings that are held as part of the appeals process. If your claim is denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal and present your case to the Social Security Administration.
The help of a Social Security Disability lawyer is extremely valuable in the application process. They can help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and determine whether you are eligible for benefits. If your claim is denied, they can help you file an appeal and present your case to the Social Security Administration. With their help, you have a much better chance of being approved for SSD benefits.
The earlier you ask for our help, the faster and better we can help you win your case. We’ll even come to you. With offices in Raleigh and Tarboro serving eastern North Carolina, O’Malley Tunstall, PC offers care for your case. Your North Carolina State Bar board-certified Social Security Disability lawyer, Susan M. O’Malley, is just a phone call away. Call (919) 277-0150 today.