Persons with disabilities who live in North Carolina and can't work may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (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 doesn't provide state short-term disability benefits.
After Social Security decides you meet the basic eligibility requirements (based on your income and assets for SSI or the amount of work credits you have for SSDI), your application is sent to North Carolina's Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency.
DDS is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. A claims examiner at DDS will request your medical records from your doctors and, with the help of a medical consultant who works for DDS, make the initial decision about whether you're disabled.
For general information, contact the North Carolina DDS at 844-259-8985, and for information on the status of a disability claim, call 866-542-8113. Or you can visit the DDS website.
The federal government pays a maximum monthly benefit of $914 to SSI recipients in 2023, but you could receive less if you have other income or you live with someone else for free.
North Carolina also pays a supplement to SSI recipients who live in adult care homes, family care homes, or group homes. It's called State-County Special Assistance.
If you receive basic care at an adult care home, you can get up to $1,355 per month from the state supplement and SSI combined (but $1,285 of that money goes to the facility and the rest is for your $70 personal needs allowance). An adult care home is one in which the management provides around-the-clock and unscheduled care to at least two residents.
If you live in a special care unit for Alzheimer's at an adult care home, you can get up to $1,717 per month from the state supplement and SSI combined ($1,647 of that amount goes to the facility with the other $70 as your personal needs allowance).
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.
In North Carolina, if you're 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.
Updated July 14, 2023