Social Security Disability Attorney Serving Greensboro, North Carolina

Social Security Disability Attorney

If you have a disabling condition that has left you unable to work, you might qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Obtaining disability benefits can be challenging. The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability, and the application process is filled with potential pitfalls that could result in denial of your claim. An experienced Greensboro SSD lawyer can help you submit an SSD application, or file an appeal if your initial claim has been denied.

For the last 30 years, the Greensboro personal injury attorneys at Hardison & Cochran have provided trusted guidance to those in need of disability benefits. We treat every client that walks through our doors with kindness, respect, and compassion. Our goal is to help our clients seek the full disability benefits available by law. Call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.

Qualifying for Disability in Greensboro

If you need to file an SSD claim, the first step is determining whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Two things must be true:

  • You must have been employed long enough in jobs covered by the Social Security system to qualify
  • You must have a medical condition that meets the definition of disability set forth by the Social Security Administration

The SSA has a strict definition of disability. You may qualify for benefits if:

  • You can’t work due to your medical condition
  • You can’t do the work you did before, and you can’t adapt to other work due to your medical condition
  • Your medical condition has lasted or is expected to last at least a year, or it will result in your death

It is important to note that the Social Security Administration only provides benefits to individuals with a permanent disability. Partial or short-term disabilities do not qualify for SSD benefits.

Once you’ve applied, claims examiners will review your application and medical records to determine whether your medical condition and disability entitle you to benefits. They will consider certain factors, including:

  • Are you working? If you are working and earn enough to be classified as performing a substantial gainful activity (SGA), you will not be eligible for SSD. If you are not working, the SSA will send your application to Disability Determination Services (DDS). An examiner there will also review your application and the details regarding your disability to make a final decision.
  • Is your medical condition severe? Your condition has to be severe enough that it substantially impairs your ability to perform work activities for at least a year.
  • Is your condition listed on the SSA’s list of impairments? The SSA has a list of conditions that they consider to be serious enough to prevent a person from performing their work duties. If your diagnosed condition is not on this list, the examiners will make a separate determination about whether it is severe enough.
  • Can you do the work you were doing previously? The SSA will decide whether your impairment prevents you from performing the type of job duties you were performing in the past. If they think you can do your prior work, you won’t qualify.
  • Can you do some other type of work? If you’re unable to do the job you were doing previously, the SSA will evaluate whether you could still perform some other type of work with your impairment. They take certain details into consideration, including your age, medical condition, and skills.

The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits and getting a response can be complicated. A Greensboro SSD lawyer can help address any questions and concerns you may have throughout the process.

Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments

The Social Security Administration provides a list of severe impairments that automatically count as qualifying disabilities. Most of the listed impairments are particularly serious, or terminal conditions that lead to death.

Adult impairments include:Social-Security-Disability-signSocial-Security-Disability-sign

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Special senses and speech impairments
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Impairments related to the cardiovascular system
  • Digestive system impairments
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Hematological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Immune system disorders

Childhood impairments include:

  • Low birth weight and failure to thrive
  • Mental disorders
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Special senses and speech impairments
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Impairments related to the Cardiovascular system
  • Digestive system impairments
  • Hematological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Cancer
  • Immune system disorders

If you suffer from a medical condition that is not listed, it may still be considered a qualifying disability under the Social Security Administration’s strict definition.

If you need guidance regarding your medical condition and whether you may qualify for disability benefits, discuss your case with a Greensboro Social Security disability claim lawyer at Hardison & Cochran.

The Process of Seeking SSD Benefits

If you believe you have a disability that qualifies you for Social Security benefits, it is best to apply as soon as possible. It is essential to have patience. It is time-consuming to apply. You may have to wait a while to receive a decision.

To apply for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to follow certain steps.

Gather Information

Before you begin, you may want to make a list of all of the information you’ll need for your application. This includes:

  • Your Social Security number (or permanent resident number if you were born outside the United States)
  • Information regarding your medical condition or disability
  • Information of the healthcare providers who have treated you for your medical condition
  • Your employment history
  • The type of duty, branch, and period of military service if you were in the military

Collect Relevant Documents

Along with your completed application, the Social Security Administration will need to see certain documents. These include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Tax information from the previous year
  • Medical records for your condition

Typically, the more documentation you provide detailing your disability, the better.

Submit Your Application

social security disability claim formsocial security disability claim form

You can fill out your application online or in person. It is usually best to apply online, as you can fill out the application at your own pace and save your work if you’re unable to complete it in one sitting.

Once you’ve finished your application and have all of the requested documents, you can submit everything by mail or at your nearest Social Security office.

The Social Security Administration Thoroughly Reviews Your Application

Once the SSA receives your application, the agency will begin its review process. The Social Security office in Greensboro will review your employment history to determine if you have worked enough years and paid Social Security withholding taxes long enough to be eligible for disability benefits.

If you meet the employment history and earnings requirements, then your applications will be sent to N.C. Disability Determination Services, a state agency that processes claims.

They will check to make sure you have a qualifying disability. The claims examiner at Disability Determination Services may decide more information is needed about your condition. The agency may arrange for you to be examined by a medical doctor selected by the SSA to provide an evaluation of your medical condition.

After the investigation is complete, you will receive a letter explaining whether your application for SSD benefits has been approved or denied. It generally takes three months to five months to receive a decision on the initial application.

What Happens If My Application is Denied?

It is not uncommon for the Social Security Administration to deny the initial application for benefits. Many people with legitimate disability claims receive rejection letters. If your application is denied, you can file a request for reconsideration.

If your claim is denied upon reconsideration, you can file an appeal and request a disability hearing. Your hearing will be held before an administrative law judge. The hearing will give you the opportunity to testify regarding your disability and present medical evidence as to why your application should be approved. A knowledgeable Social Security disability attorney can help you prepare and present your case at the hearing. The judge will issue a decision after the hearing is concluded. It may take a number of months to receive the judge’s decision.

If the administrative law judge rules against you, then you may ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review the decision. Denial can be frustrating when you need disability benefits. Fortunately, a Social Security disability claim attorney can file an appeal on your behalf.

When Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney in Greensboro, NC?

The Social Security Disability claims process can be difficult and stressful to navigate on your own. You can turn to an experienced Greensboro Social Security disability lawyer for help.

An attorney at Hardison & Cochran can guide you through the process and do the following:

  • Prepare and file your application and supporting documents
  • Gather necessary medical documentation
  • Handle your claim denial
  • Prepare a legal strategy to help pursue your benefits
  • Represent you at your claim denial hearing
  • Help you seek all the benefits available by law
  • Handle and represent you in an appeal, if necessary

As soon as you decide to file for disability benefits, contact a Greensboro SSD lawyer for the knowledgeable counsel you deserve.

Contact a Greensboro Social Security Disability Lawyer

The Social Security disability application process can be challenging. But you don’t have to go through it on your own. The experienced Greensboro SSD lawyers at Hardison & Cochran are ready to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.