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Guidance from Raleigh disability lawyers on seeking Social Security disability benefits

“Will I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?” is a question our Raleigh disability lawyers hear frequently. In most cases, the question is impossible to answer with certainty. You must satisfy Social Security’s stringent definition of “disabled.” To be “disabled,” you must (1) have a physical or mental impairment that (2) has lasted or is expected to last at least a year and (3) is so severe that you are unable to do (a) your previous work or (b) any other substantial gainful work, considering your age, education, and experience.

Even if your initial application has been denied, you may still be entitled to North Carolina disability benefits. A denial letter is not a final answer. You have the right to appeal.

Seeking disability benefits in North Carolina can be a long and frustrating process. The Social Security Administration is a huge government bureaucracy with many complicated rules. An experienced Raleigh disability lawyer at A Social Security Disability Lawyer & Associates can guide you through the system and provide you with much needed peace of mind. Social Security statistics show that claimants who are represented by disability attorneys have a greater chance of success.

How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits in North Carolina?

You may apply for North Carolina disability benefits in any of the following ways:

1. Online at
2. In person at your local Social Security office.
3. By telephone.

Call Our 800 Number to make an appointment to apply in person or to have a Social Security representative take your application over the phone.

What happens after I complete my application for North Carolina disability benefits?

Once you have completed your application, the Social Security Administration sends it to North Carolina Disability Determination Services, a state agency that will evaluate your ability to work. After gathering and examining your medical records and other information about your condition, the state agency will make a decision on your initial application and notify you in writing. If your claim is approved, you will begin receiving North Carolina disability benefits. If it is denied, you will be notified that you must appeal to pursue your claim.

For further advice on pursuing benefits, see Tips for Applying and download the free PDF titled “13 Suggestions for Disability Claimants” on the right side of this page.

What should I do if my initial application for North Carolina disability benefits is denied?

If your initial application for disability benefits is denied, do not be surprised and, most importantly, do not give up. About two-thirds of all applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. But your chances of success will improve if you appeal.

Your next step is to make a request for reconsideration. For information and tips about requesting reconsideration, see Advice for Appealing.

When you request reconsideration, the North Carolina disability determination agency looks at your case one more time. But the review is by a different team of decision makers than the ones who denied your initial application.

As with your initial application, do not be surprised and do not give up if your request for reconsideration is denied. Close to 90 percent of requests for reconsideration are denied. But you must follow through with this step to get to the next level at which the odds shift dramatically in your favor.

What should I do if my request for reconsideration is denied?

After your request for reconsideration is denied, your next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Here is where you have the greatest chance of success. Over half of Social Security disability claimants who appeal to this level win benefits.

For information and tips about requesting an administrative hearing, see Advice for Appealing and download our free e-booklet, Helpful Suggestions for Appealing a Denial of Benefits.

At your Raleigh disability hearing, the judge will listen to you and your witnesses describe your impairments and how they affect your ability to work and daily life. The judge may also hear from a vocational expert and a medical expert. Your disability attorney will have the opportunity to question these experts and to present legal arguments on your behalf. After considering all the evidence and your attorney’s arguments, the judge will make an independent decision about whether to award you disability benefits.

To learn more about disability hearings, read the articles in Your Disability Hearing in our Library.

How the experienced Raleigh disability attorneys at A Social Security Disability Lawyer & Associates can help

Hiring a disability attorney who is familiar with the complexities of Social Security laws, regulations, and procedures is essential. Our disability lawyers are some of the most experienced Social Security appeals lawyers in North Carolina. A A Social Security Disability Lawyer disability attorney can:

  • Meet with you for a free initial consultation to make a preliminary assessment of you case, present you with your options, and help you decide how to proceed.
  • Prepare and file all your appeals for you.
  • Make sure Social Security has all your medical records, test results, and other necessary documents.
  • Contact your doctors to obtain reports that support your claim.
  • Appear with you and represent you at your hearing.

Get assistance with your North Carolina disability case from Board Certified Specialists in Social Security Law

If you live in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn, or elsewhere in North Carolina, the disability attorneys at A Social Security Disability Lawyer & Associates can help with your North Carolina disability claim.

Please provide a brief description of your claim using the form to the right, and we will respond promptly. Or you may contact us at:

A Social Security Disability Lawyer & Associates
Raleigh North Carolina disability lawyers
Offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn & Clinton, North Carolina

Email us


We accept SSI and Social Security disability cases at all stages including pre-and post-application, reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council, and federal court. If you live in North Carolina, please answer the questions below if you would like us to review your case.

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13 Suggestions for
Disability Claimants

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