Persons with disabilities who live in North Carolina and cannot work may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI and SSI are federal programs that provide benefits to people who meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA's) definition of disabled. Even though these programs are federal, who makes the disability determination and how much a person can receive in SSI payments differs from state to state. North Carolina does not provide short-term disability benefits.
How Do I Apply for Benefits in North Carolina?
There are three different ways you may be able to apply for benefits, regardless of where you live: by phone (800-772-1213), in person at your local Social Security office (www.socialsecurity.gov/locator), or online, for SSDI only (www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm).
North Carolina's Disability Determination Services
After Social Security decides you meet the basic eligibility requirements (income level or amount of work credits), your application is sent to North Carolina’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. DDS, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for making the initial decisions about whether you are disabled. Here is the contact information:
North Carolina Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 243
Raleigh, NC 27602
Phone: 919-212-3222, 800-804-5509
For more information, visit the DDS website.
What Will My SSI Payments Be in North Carolina?
North Carolina also pays a supplement to SSI recipients who live in adult care homes. (An adult care home is one in which the management provides around the clock and unscheduled care to at least two residents.) If you receive basic care at an adult care home, you can get up to $554 from the state supplement per month. If you are in a special care unit for Alzheimer's at an adult care home, you can get up to $887 from the state supplement per month. This is in addition to the $710 a month in SSI payments you can receive from the federal government.
The state supplement payment is made under the State/County Special Assistance program. For more information, visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services website.
Am I Automatically Eligible for Medicaid if I Get SSI?
In North Carolina, if you are approved for SSI, you are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Your eligibility for Medicaid will begin the first day of the month you became eligible for SSI benefits and will continue as long as you remain eligible for SSI.
Contact a Lawyer
If you decide to get help for your disability case, you can find an experienced disability attorney in your area by visiting our disability attorney directory.