Qualifying for Disability Benefits (SSDI) with Cystic Fibrosis in New Jersey

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is characterized by the production of a thick and sticky mucus that prevents the lungs and pancreas from working properly, which can result in an array of symptoms including persistent coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, intolerance to exercise, low body weight, intestinal blockages, and severe constipation. Those who suffer from severe cystic fibrosis may be unable to work and earn a living, which may make them eligible to receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance.
If you are a New Jersey resident whose ability to earn a proper wage is impaired by your cystic fibrosis, call (215) 701-6519 today for a free consultation about how the Social Security disability attorneys at Young Marr & Associates can help you get the benefits you need.

What You Need to Know About Qualifying for Social Security Benefits in New Jersey

Social Security Disability Insurance is issued to applicants if they meet certain requirements regarding the severity and length of their illness. They must also earn an income that is below a certain threshold.
People who apply for SSDI benefits must have conditions that are severe enough to meet the criteria created by the Social Security Administration. If a condition prevents someone from going to work and performing their normal duties, their condition is considered to be severe enough to qualify them for SSDI benefits. Also, to qualify for SSDI benefits, their condition must have either already affected them for at least 12 months, be expected to affect them for 12 months into the future, or eventually result in death.
Another basic requirement that applicants for SSDI must meet is an income below a certain limit. Applicants for SSDI must make an income that less than $1,220 per month; this limit is $2,040 for blind applicants. If an applicant makes more than $1,220 (or $2,040 if they are blind), then their income will be regarded as “substantial gainful activity” and they will be disqualified from receiving SSDI benefits.

Social Security Administration Criteria for Cystic Fibrosis

In addition to the requirements listed above, an applicant for SSDI benefits must also have a condition that meets the criteria outlined in the Listing of Impairments (also known as the “Blue Book”), a document that specifies the severity of each qualifying condition. There are different ailment specifications for children and adults.
According to the Listing of Impairments, an applicant for SSDI benefits will need to have any of the following treatments or complications associated with cystic fibrosis:

  • Complications requiring three hospitalizations of any length of time within one 12-month period, each at least 30 days apart from each other
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax requiring chest tube placement
  • Respiratory failure that requires either invasive mechanical ventilation, noninvasive ventilation with BiPAP, or both; the treatment must last for more than 48 hours continuously or more than 2 hours postoperatively
  • A pulmonary hemorrhage that requires a vascular embolization to control bleeding
  • Certain levels of SpO2 (consult the Listing of Impairments for more information)
  • Two of the following complications within one 12-month period: pulmonary exacerbation that requires intravenous antibiotic treatment for at least 10 consecutive days; a hospital stay of any length for a pulmonary hemorrhage; weight loss requiring supplemental nutrition for at least 90 days consecutively; or cystic fibrosis-related diabetes that requires insulin therapy for 90 consecutive days or more

How to Apply for SSDI Benefits in New Jersey

SSDI applicants can file their applications by either visiting the Social Security Administration’s website, calling the Social Security Administration’s office on the phone, or doing so in person at their offices. Note that applicants will need to provide their Social Security Number, birth certificate, and all relevant medical records.
Applicants can expect to wait between 3 months and 5 months for a response to their application from the Social Security Administration. The response will tell them whether or not their application has been accepted. The chances are likely that the applicant will be denied, though; about 70% of applications for SSDI benefits are rejected. Applicants may be denied because there are major errors on their applications or because they earn too much income. However, applicants are most commonly denied because their condition does meet not the criteria listed in the Listing of Impairments.

Appealing a Denial of SSDI Benefits in NJ

Receiving notice that an SSDI application has been denied does not mean that all hope is lost for that applicant; applicants can make another attempt at receiving benefits by filing an appeal. The first thing an applicant can do to file an appeal is to file a request for reconsideration. This request will be followed by a disability appeal hearing, during which an administrative law judge will make a ruling. If they deny your appeal, you can take your case to the Appeals Council; if the Appeals Council denies your appeal, you can take your appeal to a federal judge,
A social security disability lawyer can greatly increase your chances of filing an SSDI application that is accepted. They can also help you file an appeal that is likely to be successful. Lawyers who specialize in Social Security disability know the specific information that administrators at the SSA are looking for.

New Jersey Disability Lawyers Can Help with SSDI Applications

The Social Security disability attorneys at Young Marr & Associates are able to help those living with cystic fibrosis to file successful applications for SSDI benefits. With more than 25 years of experience helping people qualify for benefits, they’re able to put their expertise to use to get clients the result they deserve. To learn about how you can use the assistance of these skilled legal representatives to file a successful application for SSDI benefits, call the offices of Young Marr & Associates at (215) 701-6519.

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