Each and every year thousands of North Carolina residents apply for Social Security Disability benefits. What many of these applicants are not prepared for is just how complex the claim process truly is. These applicants often file their applications, assuming that they will be awarded benefits in just a few months. The truth is that very few applicants are awarded benefits during the initial stage of the application process. In fact, most disability applicants must pursue a disability appeal in order to obtain the disability benefits they need in order to make ends meet.
In the State of North Carolina a mere 26.2 percent of the applicants who apply for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) are approved during the initial application process. That means that 73.8 percent of applicants must pursue a disability appeal if they hope to receive benefits in the future. A disability appeal normally involves a disability hearing, which is where you will have your best chance of overturning the SSA’s decision to deny the benefits you need.
If your initial claim for disability benefits has been denied by the SSA, you will likely need to attend a hearing that will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge who works for the SSA. This hearing will be processed by an office known as an ODAR office, or Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.
In the State of North Carolina there are 4 ODAR offices that are in charge of processing the disability hearings for all North Carolina Social Security Disability applicants. The specific office that handles your disability hearing will depend on which part of North Carolina you live in. The ODAR offices that are responsible for North Carolina disability hearings are located in the cities of Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Raleigh. The processing times of these ODAR offices can be quite lengthy. Depending on which ODAR office handles your hearing, it can take anywhere from 335 days to 466 days for your hearing to be scheduled from the time it is requested.
The table below outlines the approval rates and processing times for the ODAR offices in the State of North Carolina versus the national average.
|Hearing Office||Approval Rate||Processing Time in Days|
There are currently 49 Administrative Law Judges who hear cases for the ODAR offices located in the State of North Carolina. These judges must follow the same laws and guidelines that have been set forth by the SSA, but each and every judge does handle his or her cases in their own way. This is why their approval rates vary so drastically, ranging from 33.4% to 94.9%. Being familiar with the Administrative Law Judge who is handling your case is crucial to the success of your hearing outcome. This is why hiring a North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer is so important.
North Carolina Social Security Disability attorneys are familiar with the different Administrative Law Judges who work with the North Carolina ODAR offices and how each judge handles his or her cases. Your lawyer will know which judge will be handling your case and will be able to present your case in such a way that it is seen in the best light possible by the judge who is handling your hearing. This is why applicants who pursue a hearing with the help of an attorney tend to be more successful than applicants who try to represent themselves.
If you would like a free consultation with a disability attorney in North Carolina, please fill out the free evaluation form provided for you on this site. The initial consultation with a disability attorney is always free and your attorney will not collect a fee unless you win your Social Security Disability case.