If you are thinking about filing for a claim for Social Security Disability in North Carolina due to an accident that has left you with a disabling condition, you may want to take some time to learn about the filing process. There are a variety of factors the Social Security Administration uses to validate eligibility, process claims and provide SSDI benefits. The approval process is also not as straightforward and short as you may think.
Knowing what to expect for the application process can help to alleviate many of the concerns and stress you may encounter while you await a decision. Also, it can help you to better prepare your application to reduce the likelihood of delays and denials and lead to a more favorable outcome.
Is there substantial gainful income or employment?
To qualify SSDI benefits, you must prove you have need. One way the SSA determines this is by assessing the applicant's ability to work. Initially, you must have an impairment that prevents you from working.
Some claimants return to work and receive benefits. However, working disabled individuals must not have a monthly income of more than $1,200. Any income over that threshold may result in disqualification, although in some cases there may be exceptions.
How severe is the disability?
You must have a qualifying condition or impairment that limits your capacity to work. Disabilities that are manageable with medical treatment or medications may result in disqualification. But, because disabilities affect everyone differently, the SSA also looks at how severe each impairment is and how it impacts each applicant’s ability to function and perform work. To streamline the process, the SSA maintains a list of qualifying disabilities and criteria.
As a part of determining how serious or disabling your impairments are, examiners must evaluate if you have the capacity to perform other kinds of work that are less demanding. Because this part of the process can become subjective, you could end up receiving an unfair denial of benefits. A denial does not necessarily mean that you are not eligible for SSDI benefits. Many first-time applicants eventually receive benefits after filing an appeal.