Before you can receive disability, you must qualify for it. In North Carolina, you must first file with a social security representative. Once that is done, the representative will verify that you meet the non-medical portions of the requirements. Then, your case will be sent on to an agency that will determine if your medical injuries are enough to qualify you for disability in North Carolina. You may be required to take a consultative examination at this point if your current medical records aren’t detailed enough.
For those who are eligible for social security income, you will receive payments each month that are designed to allow you to maintain your lifestyle without a major source of income. These payments are available to more than just the disabled: the elderly (over the age of 65) are also eligible, as are the blind. However, note that not everyone receives the same amount of money. That depends on your resources.
There are several things that count as income for a person with a disability in North Carolina. These include your social security benefits, wages, pensions, and even non-monetary items like food and housing. However, there are some exceptions to these. For example, the first $20 of income you receive each month, any food stamp money, and any housing or food you receive from private nonprofit groups do not count as income or resources. Students may not have to count their scholarships or earnings. Money you use to pay for things necessary for you to work, like a wheelchair, are also not counted as income, even if you earn that money from a job. Your social security representative will be able to give you a complete list of exempt income.
As far as resources go, you’ll have to include all of your investments, real estate, and cash on hand. Once again, though, not everything is included in your list of resources. Your home and land you live on, your vehicle (although there are some exceptions), your life insurance policy if it’s worth less than $1,500, and your burial plots and funds (again, under $1,500).
It is possible to work while on disability in North Carolina, but there are some specific guidelines you must follow. If your wages are over a specific amount, you may find your disability payments reduced or even eliminated completely. However, you may still be eligible for Medicaid. Also, if you set aside money for a specific goal or for your education, that money may not count against your disability.