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Disability benefits in north carolina

How Much Does Disability Pay in North Carolina?

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 13, 2024  ·  3 min read
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Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

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In North Carolina, more than 333,000 people rely on Social Security disability benefits for financial support. If you’re unable to work due to injury or illness, you might be eligible to receive monthly payments through programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help you manage your health and living expenses.

Read on to better understand the financial support available in North Carolina and how the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines eligibility.

How much are disability benefits?

In 2024, the maximum disability payment across the United States is $3,822 monthly for SSDI and $943 for SSI. Couples receiving SSI can receive up to $1,415 per month. If you receive SSDI, you are also eligible for Medicare, including hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverage. SSI recipients, meanwhile, have access to Medicaid, which covers doctor visits, hospital stays, and long-term medical care.

We've helped 5,891 people apply for disability in North Carolina.

How much is the average disability check in North Carolina?

The exact amount of your disability check depends on factors like your work history and income. On average, North Carolinians receive $1,699 monthly through SSDI and $589 through SSI.

How is SSDI calculated in North Carolina?

To calculate your SSDI payments, the SSA begins by taking a look at your past earnings and employment history. It then uses two figures to determine your monthly benefit amount: your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).

The SSA calculates your AIME by adjusting your past income for inflation. It then uses this figure to calculate your PIA, which is the basis for the SSDI payment you receive each month. By taking into account changes in the cost of living, the SSA can provide a benefit amount that reflects your past earnings in today's dollar value.

To better understand what you can expect to receive, check out our benefits estimator.

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

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How is SSI calculated in North Carolina?

The amount you receive for SSI depends on your personal financial need. To calculate your SSI, the SSA starts with the federal benefit rate ($943 in 2024) and subtracts any countable income you have and any other benefits you might be receiving.

Countable income includes both earned income from work and unearned income, like other government benefits. If your countable income is below $943, you can receive the full SSI benefit amount.

How much does a disability lawyer cost in North Carolina?

A good disability lawyer in North Carolina does not require upfront payment. Instead, they operate on a contingency basis, meaning they only earn their fee if they win your case.

During an initial free consultation, you can discuss your case with a lawyer. If you decide to proceed, you will enter into a contingency fee agreement, which is also subject to approval by the SSA. The agreement stipulates that the lawyer’s fee is limited to 25% of your first back pay check — the benefits that accumulated between the time the SSA approved you for benefits and the time you received your payment.

The maximum amount a lawyer can receive is capped at $7,200, regardless of the back pay you have accumulated. Note that due to delays in processing by the SSA, your first disability check may not include all the back pay owed to you, affecting the timing and amount of the fee you will pay your lawyer.

While a reputable disability lawyer will follow these guidelines, be aware that some may charge additional fees for services like obtaining medical records. A good disability lawyer will be transparent about any additional costs.

SSA offices in North Carolina

Applying for disability benefits can feel overwhelming, but your local SSA office can simplify the process. Experienced professionals staff these offices and are ready to guide you through each step of the process.


1231 1St St W 

Ahoskie, NC 27910

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 828-3810

Fax Number: (833) 950-3771


202 Charter St Brookwood Executive Pk

Albemarle, NC 28001

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 319-8268

Fax Number: (833) 950-3781


157 Dublin Square Rd Ste K 

Asheboro, NC 27203

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 472-6119

Fax Number: (833) 597-0078


800 Centre Park Dr 

Asheville, NC 28805

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 572-8361

Fax Number: (833) 950-2542


2201 Coronation Blvd Ste 100

Charlotte, NC 28227

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 383-1598

Fax Number: (833) 950-2536


830 Florence St NW 

Concord, NC 28027

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 366-6149

Fax Number: (833) 950-3145


3511 Shannon Rd Ste 200

Durham, NC 27707

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 759-3908

Fax Number: (833) 950-2832

Elizabeth City

1865 W City Dr 

Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 572-2819

Fax Number: (833) 950-2846

Click here to see all the SSA offices in North Carolina.

Get help applying for benefits in North Carolina

Need help applying for your disability benefits? Start by taking our 2-minute quiz to determine your eligibility for benefits. A member of our team will reach out to discuss your case details.

We can introduce you to a qualified disability lawyer who will simplify the application process. Atticus does not charge upfront fees — you only pay your lawyer when they secure your benefits.

Related resources for disability applicants in North Carolina:

North Carolina Disability Benefits: How to Qualify, Apply, and Get Approved

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

Disability lawyers in North Carolina

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

Common questions about disability in North Carolina

How do I qualify for disability in North Carolina?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in North Carolina?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in North Carolina?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in North Carolina. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in North Carolina?

The average SSDI payment in North Carolina is $1,699 per month. The average SSI payment is $589 per month. What you’ll earn depends on your income or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in North Carolina?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does North Carolina have a state disability program?

No, North Carolina does not have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of North Carolina can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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