North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have been injured or are suffering from an illness that has forced you out of work, you may be eligible to receive benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Social Security Disability benefits are available to Americans who suffer from health conditions that prevent them from working for at least a full year or that are expected to result in death. North Carolina Social Security Disability does not pay benefits for partial disability or short-term disability. You must have a long-term or permanent condition that makes it impossible for you to continue working at your previous job and that renders you incapable of realistically supporting yourself through other types of work.
The amount that you can receive in benefits through Social Security Disability is tied directly to the level of income that you have earned over the course of your lifetime. Social Security Disability is not a handout. Instead, it is essentially a social insurance fund into which you have been paying every single time your paycheck was reduced by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. Whenever you have worked at a job where your earnings were subject to the FICA tax, you were paying "premiums" on this insurance through your payroll deductions. Now that it is your turn to claim benefits, you will receive an amount that is determined according to your contributions to the Social Security fund.
It is not possible to predict with accuracy how much you will be paid if your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is approved. The Social Security Administration uses a complex series of calculations to determine the amount of benefits that a claimant will receive, based on factors including the worker's average wages over the years and how many credits he or she has accumulated through paying the FICA tax. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are not enough to fully replace your income and will not allow you to live a life of luxury. Instead, the purpose of these benefits is to provide you with partial replacement of your lost wages and to help you avoid a financial catastrophe after becoming disabled. The average monthly payment for disabled workers in June of 2013, for example, was reported as being $1,129.44, which would add up to a yearly salary of $13,553.28.
More About Your Disability Benefits
Unless you elect to opt out, after you have received SSD benefits for at least two years, the Social Security Administration will automatically enroll you in Medicare, regardless of whether you have yet reached the age of retirement. If you are approved for Social Security Disability and are also receiving long-term disability (LTD) through a private insurance company, the amount that you receive in LTD insurance may be reduced, with the insurer treating your SSDI benefits as a deductible on the policy.
In fact, many LTD insurance providers will require their policy holders to claim Social Security as a prerequisite to receiving coverage. In the event that you are being paid workers' compensation or another type of benefit that is required by the government, the amount of your SSD benefit might be reduced by the Social Security Administration in order to limit your total benefit amount to the maximum allowable threshold of 80 percent of the wages you were earning prior to becoming disabled.
It is also important to note that you can claim retroactive benefits if your claim is initially denied and only approved following an appeal. In this way, you can receive payment for the benefits you should have received if your claim had not been wrongfully turned down. To get started on your claim and receive an estimate of how much you can expect to recover in benefits, fill out our client intake form now and contact us at Golson, McCracken Inc. We can provide you with a free initial case evaluation in person or over the phone with one of our staff and then the professional handling your case will follow up with you about your next steps.