Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSD, is a government program that provides payments to people who are disabled and unable to perform substantial gainful employment.
SSD is for workers who paid into Social Security. When an injury, illness, or disability limits an individual’s ability to work, SSD is available to those who qualify.
Do You Qualify for SSD?
The evaluation process follows strict criteria to determine an applicant’s eligibility. For example, the type of disability must be included in the Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments.
Types of disability in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders: spine disorders, amputation(s), major fractures, osteoarthritis, etc.
- Special senses and speech disorders: blindness, hearing loss, or loss of speech due to any cause
- Respiratory disorders: chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, lung transplantation, etc.
- Cardiovascular disorders: chronic heart failure, recurrent arrhythmias, heart transplant, etc.
- Digestive disorders: gastrointestinal hemorrhage, liver dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), etc.
- Genitourinary system disorders: kidney disease, kidney transplant, etc.
- Skin disorders: Ichthyosis, dermatitis, burns, etc.
- Neurological disorders: epilepsy, parkinsonian syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), etc.
- Mental disorders: There are currently 11 categories of mental disorders. Click here for a complete list.
- Cancer: lymphoma, leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
- Immune system disorders: lupus, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), inflammatory arthritis, etc.
Disability evaluation is a complex process that involves multiple agencies, medical professionals, and sometimes an administrative law judge should a claim determination be disputed.
If you’re unable to work because of an illness, injury, or disability, you may be entitled to SSD.
At the DeMayo Law Offices, we understand how important SSD payments can be for injured workers and their families. And we’re proud to support members of our community in Charlotte, Hickory, Monroe, and other nearby areas in North Carolina.
North Carolina’s Disability Backlog
According to the Social Security Administration, 5.6 percent of North Carolina’s population receive social security disability payments.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of social security administrative law judges overseeing thousands of disability claims.
North Carolina applicants wait, on average, more than 20 months to receive a hearing. And about 50 percent of all initial disability claims are denied.
Rejected claims are extremely common and usually the result of missing records, improper filling, or lack of legal advocacy.
In many cases, people are initially rejected and forced to appeal the decision several times before their disability claim is approved. This can result in significant financial strain for injured workers and their families.
If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). There are four North Carolina offices located in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Fayetteville.
The appeals process can take years to complete and may require the review of medical records to show that the disability does, in fact, prevent you from earning a livable income.
To expedite the appeals process, it’s best to contact an experienced social security disability attorney in North Carolina.
Do you need help applying for SSD? Call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today at 877-529-1222.
Social Security Disability Payments Explained
SSD benefits are earned through payroll tax contributions. Your personal contributions are calculated into credits, and credits are used to calculate eligibility and payment amounts.
Employees can earn up to four credits per year or one credit per quarter. There are three eligibility requirements to collect social security disability:
- The worker must be disabled for five months prior to applying for SSD;
- Employees must have between 6 and 40 earned credits (depending on age); and
- The worker needs to have earned at least 20 credits within 40 calendar quarters that ends when the disability began.
If your application is accepted, you will receive disability payments beginning from the time you first became disabled.
SSD payments are calculated based on a worker’s previous earnings, or the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME): this calculation is an average of the worker’s income throughout employment history.
Eligible workers receive benefits equal to the primary insurance amount (PIA). PIA is adjusted annually per changes to the national wage average and the consumer price index.
In 2017, the average SSD recipient received $1,171 per month or about $14,000 a year.
Click here for answers to other common questions about SSD.
In rare cases, SSD applicants may also be eligible for Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Unlike SSD, SSI is a needs-based program. SSD applicants may be eligible for SSI if they qualify for SSD and receive low monthly payments.