New Jersey Social Security Disability
Social Security is a term commonly used to refer to benefits provided by the Federal Government. However, most people don’t realize that there are two types of Social Security. The first, titled Supplemental Security Income (SSI), offers benefits to individuals based on a financial need. An individual’s disabling conditions, along with all incomes, assets, etc. of that individual’s household are considered. SSI does not require work credits or payments into Social Security, but still requires very specific medical and financial standards to be met.
The second type of Social Security is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to be eligible for SSDI, the Social Security Administration requires that you prove you’ve worked long enough and recently enough to meet their requirements. It also requires that you’ve paid Social Security taxes on your occupational earnings. In addition to the financial and occupational requirements, individuals must prove their disabling condition(s).How Do They Decide If You’re Disabled?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a 5-step process to determine if an individual is “disabled”. If you qualify for each step, you will move onto the next. If you fail to qualify for any step, you will not be considered “disabled”. A New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney will make these steps much easier. They are as follows:
First, SSA will determine if you’re currently working. If you are working in the current year & average more than $1,260 a month in earnings, you most likely will not be eligible for the title of “disabled”.
Second, they will determine if your condition is “severe”. In order to attain the title of “severe”, your ailments must limit your ability to do average daily tasks, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering. Furthermore, those limitations must have existed for at least 365 days. If SSA does not deem your condition(s) “severe”, you will no longer be eligible for the title of “disabled”.
Third, SSA will cross reference your conditions with their “list of medical conditions” that they consider to be so severe, you cannot be expected to obtain & maintain substantial gainful employment. If your condition is not on their pre-made list, then they will have to determine if your condition suffices.
Fourth, SSA will take a look at your previous work history and determine if your condition is preventing you from returning to any past work.
Fifth & finally, SSA will determine if you can do any other types of reasonable work. Factors that SSA considers are: your condition(s), your age, your education, your past work experience, and any skills you may have that could translate into gainful employment. If they determine that you are not working above their threshold, your condition is “severe”, and you cannot do any alternative work, you will be considered “disabled”.What Information Do You Need to Apply?
Applying for Social Security is a tedious and lengthy process that requires an immense amount of information. To help give you an idea of what is required, we’ve outlined the necessities named by our New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney in this section:
- Your place of birth and birth date
- Your Social Security number
- Names and dates of birth of all minor children
- Your bank/financial institution’s Routing Transit and Account numbers
- Contact information of an individual who is well aware of your condition(s) and can assist with your application
- Extensive details on your injuries, illnesses, or conditions
- Names, addresses, contact info, etc. of all doctors, hospitals, & medical institutions you’ve visited for your ailments
- Names of all prescriptions you’re taking them and the prescribing doctor
- Names & dates of all medical tests you’ve had done & by whom
- Amount of money you’ve earned the past 2 years
- Names & addresses of your employer(s) the past 2 years
- List of jobs you had in the 15 years prior to you becoming unable to work and the dates in which you worked those jobs
- Information on any Workers’ Compensation, Black Lung, etc. benefits you have filed or intend to file for.
- Birth Certificate or acceptable proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful citizen status (if born outside the U.S.)
- W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the previous year
- Any medical evidence in your possession
- Any proof of benefits you’ve received, pay stubs, or settlement agreements
The process of applying for Social Security benefits can be long, grueling, and at times, frustrating. Hiring an attorney to help with the process is always recommended, and can only increase your chances of completing a successful application or appeal. According to Federal regulations, a Social Security applicant is only required to pay a legal fee if your attorney is successful in aiding their application efforts, AND is paid back pay. If you seek the help of an attorney and are denied, or are accepted, but aren’t paid back pay, YOU OWE NOTHING! A Social Security Disability lawyer in New Jersey cannot charge fees that exceed 25% of back pay or $6,000.00, whichever is the lesser amount.