Mercer County, NJ Disability (SSDI) Lawyer
If you are unable to work due to age or a medical disability, it can be highly stressful to think about how you will cover your living expenses. Costs like rent or mortgage payments, grocery bills, utility bills, and medical bills can rapidly accumulate, and without the benefit of a steady income, you may be left without the means to afford medical treatment, utility services, or even a home.
To help balance life’s main expenses, the SSA (Social Security Administration) offers assistance in the form of social security benefits. If you qualify for benefits in the form of SSI or SSDI, you can receive anywhere from several hundred to over one thousand dollars per month. Young, Marr & Associates can help you get started.
To arrange for a confidential and completely free case evaluation with our experienced Mercer County, New Jersey social security disability attorneys, call (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
Mercer County, New Jersey Disability Statistics
According to the SSA, in 2012 in Mercer County, New Jersey:
- 64,840 people received OASDI benefits.
- 9,488 people received SSI benefits.
- 2,789 people receiving SSI benefits also received OASDI benefits.
Individuals receiving OASDI benefits included:
- 42,345 retired workers
- 9,450 disabled workers
- 18,810 men aged 65 or older
- 26,300 women aged 65 or older
Among county residents receiving SSI benefits in 2012, there were:
- 8,295 blind and disabled individuals
- 1,995 individuals aged 65 or older
While thousands of individuals living in Mercer County, New Jersey qualify to receive some form of social security disability benefits, many more will be rejected. For some, their claims will even be denied by the SSA more than once. In New Jersey, the current benefits approval rates are approximately:
- 43% at the initial stage
- 14% at the reconsideration hearing (appealing a denial)
These numbers mean that at the initial application stage, roughly 57% of New Jersey residents will be denied for social security benefits. In the case of an initial rejection being appealed by a claimant, 86% will be denied at Reconsideration. However, the stage after Reconsideration statistically tends to yield better results.
Applying for Social Security in New Jersey
Applicants can apply to receive social security benefits in three ways: online via the SSA’s website, over the phone, or in person at an SSA office. When an application is submitted, applicants must include personal identification, records of employment history, records of medical history and physician information, and employment documents.
If your application is denied, it is generally preferable to appeal the decision than to start all over again from square one (unless a deadline has been missed, in which case restarting the application process may be necessary). In New Jersey, applicants have a window of 60 days in which they must submit a request for a Reconsideration if they wish to appeal. Having a disability attorney to represent your interests during appeals is critical.
1. Initial Application
First, you must submit the initial benefits claim application. You can do this over the phone, via the internet, or in person at a social security office. In Mercer County, there is a social security office located at:
635 South Clinton Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08611
When you submit your claim, you will be required to include documents such as personal identification, employment records, medical records, and your physician’s contact information.
Once your claim for social security benefits has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the SSA, and you will either be approved, or denied. Be advised that it could take the SSA as little as 30 days to process your application — or as long as two years. However, a more typical wait time is closer to three or four months.
If you are approved, your work is done; but if you are denied, you don’t have to accept the rejection as a final decision. Instead, you can appeal the denial, and request a Reconsideration.
If you are denied at the Reconsideration stage — which roughly 86% of the New Jersey population will be — you have 60 days to then request a Hearing. The Hearing is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge, who may either:
- Render a decision at the conclusion of the hearing.
- Take several months to reach a decision, and send you a written verdict.
If the Administrative Law Judge approves your request, you may start receiving benefits. If not, you can continue to the Appeals Council Review.
4. Appeals Council Review
If you are denied at the hearing, you have 60 days to request an Appeals Council Review. If you fail to request the Review within 60 days, you will have to restart the application process from scratch. If you make the deadline, your claim will be reviewed by an Appeals Council, which will weigh your evidence against the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge during the Hearing stage.
5. Federal Court
If the Appeals Council agrees with the Administrative Law Judge’s verdict of denial, the fifth and final step of the process is to take your case to a Federal District Court. The Federal District Judge reviewing your case will take one of three actions. The Judge may either:
- Deny your claim for benefits.
- Submit your case for an additional Hearing.
- Approve your claim for benefits.
Being approved for social security disability benefits is often an extremely difficult task, but the expert team of Mercer County, New Jersey social security disability lawyers at Young, Marr & Associates can help. To schedule a free consultation, call our law offices at 1 (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.