Disability Benefits in North Carolina and Ongoing Eligibility

After going through the tedious application process for Social Security disability benefits in North Carolina, the successful claimant will receive a letter from Social Security informing you that your application is approved, as well as the amount of your monthly benefit. The monthly disability benefit is based on an applicant’s average lifetime earnings for a Social Security Disability Insurance claim. After being approved, the claimant’s first Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date your disability began.

However, there is a continuing eligibility requirement to receive benefits. Periodically, an applicant’s disability claim will be revisited to determine if one’s medical condition(s), including both physical and mental conditions, have improved. There are obvious policy reasons for an on-going periodic review to determine if a beneficiary is still disabled. What happens if the social security administration determines that you have experienced medical improvements? Will your benefits cease? The answer to this is, not likely. Only a very small percentage of benefits are completely discontinued due to medical improvements. Many claims, in fact, tend to be re-approved or continued until the next review period. In fact, a claimant can receive disability benefits indefinitely. The amount of time one is eligible to receive benefits depends on many factors.

The factors that affect the recipient’s entitlement to such benefits include things such as indications of medical improvements and work history. However, medical improvements are hard to prove. These difficulties are for the same reason it is difficult to obtain disability benefits in the first place. One can imagine the difficulties of showing that a medical condition has improved to the extent that the claimant is now able to work. The other main factor in continuing long-term disability benefits is work history. For example, if a recipient goes back to work full-time, it can be evidence that the claimant is able to work and benefits can cease. If you are working and your earnings average more than a certain amount each month, the Social Security Administration will generally not consider you disabled. This amount changes each year, so one should check the annual publication of the earnings.

That being said, many claimants are allowed to work while receiving social security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration does offer benefit recipients the opportunity to try working without necessarily giving up their entitlement to benefits. Social Security takes into consideration that many people who are on disability may try to go back to work, but that does not mean this attempt will be successful. Often times, people on disability go back to work only to find that working in their condition is impossible due to physical and/or mental capabilities.

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Clauson Law has focused on representing the injured and disabled for over 10 years. We have handled thousands of cases. Each client is important to us and has a unique situation.