New Jersey Disability (SSDI) Benefits Lawyer
Between car accidents, rough weather, hereditary illnesses, and all the unexpected twists and turns of life, anyone can become critically injured with little or no warning. If you have been injured or are suffering from an illness and can no longer generate income through work, you may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits. However, the Social Security Disability benefits process is not for the faint of heart. Approximately 42% of initial disability claims are approved in New Jersey. This means that over half of the claims are denied. By having our experienced New Jersey disability (SSDI) benefits lawyers handling your case, you increase your chances of approval.
Your journey does not end because your initial disability claim was denied. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a process in place to appeal denied claims. However, if you approach your appeal with the same documentation you used in your initial claim, you will most likely be denied again.
Our team of lawyers and staff understand what is necessary to strengthen your case. If you did not have legal representation the first time, it is highly advisable to have a skilled attorney at your side during your appeal.
While it can be challenging to have a claim approved, our experienced social security lawyers can help. To arrange for a completely free and private evaluation, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey today.
Should You Hire a Disability Attorney?
Unfortunately, applying for social security disability is not always easy. Estimates report that approximately 50% to 60% of all social security benefits applicants will be denied on their first attempts to qualify for aid. The SSA (Social Security Administration) uses stringent guidelines to determine precisely who will be granted financial assistance, and sometimes, even with the support of a physician’s medical opinion, the SSA may rule that an applicant can perform alternative work that is less physically demanding than the work that was previously being performed.
According to the SSA’s Congressional Statistics, in 2019, approximately 1,619,000 residents of New Jersey received social security benefits. Being approved is not impossible — but it is a challenge. Having an aggressive team of New Jersey disability lawyers on your side can greatly improve your chances. Whatever stage of the social security application process you’ve reached — whether you’re considering applying, are applying for a second or third time, or are appealing a rejection — our veteran disability attorneys have been there before. We know the ins and outs of the system, and most importantly, we know how to obtain results for our clients.
Why Choose Our New Jersey Social Security Disability Lawyers?
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we provide our clients with an edge when it comes to receiving social security benefits. What are the benefits of working with us?
- We are highly experienced. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we have over 25 years of experience representing thousands of clients across New Jersey. We are highly familiar with the technicalities, rules, and regulations imposed by the SSA, New Jersey state legislature, and federal law.
- We are conveniently located. We believe in being accessible. For the convenience of our clients, we have New Jersey office locations in Trenton and Mt. Holly. We also have six offices located across Pennsylvania, including Lower, Central, and Upper Bucks County, Montgomery County, Lehigh County, and Philadelphia. Wherever you’re located, we’re never far.
- We treat our clients with respect. Our goal is always to treat our clients with respect, dignity, and compassion as they endure the challenge of managing their health issues while striving to obtain social security benefits. While we are compassionate to our clients, we are aggressive in the courtroom and will fight vigorously on your behalf.
The New Jersey Disability Benefits Application Process
To apply for social security disability in New Jersey, you can take one of three routes:
- Apply online via the SSA’s website.
- Apply over the phone.
- Apply in person at a social security office.
- When you apply, you will be required to present:
- Forms of valid personal identification.
- Employment records (e.g. tax returns).
- Information about your work history.
- Contact information for former and current physicians.
Applicants should be aware that, on average, the entire application process in New Jersey can take anywhere from 12 to 17 months.
If your initial application is rejected, you can either apply again from scratch, or appeal the decision. Provided no deadlines have already passed, it is generally preferable to appeal a decision rather than create an entirely new application, in terms of both time and expense. It should be noted that if you wish to appeal in New Jersey, you have a window of 60 days to request a Reconsideration.
Types of Disability Benefits
Oftentimes, the term “social security” is thrown around as if it were one single concept. However, social security is actually made up of several different types of benefits, which are dispensed for different reasons. The main types of social security are SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Benefits). Our attorneys can help to determine which may be better-suited to your case — or if both are appropriate.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is given to those who are disabled and who are under 65 years of age. SSI is need-based, which means that applicants must have limited financial resources (e.g. income, property) to be eligible candidates. To qualify for SSI, you must have an eligible impairment and significantly limited income and resources. Counted income comes in various forms, including wages, family contributions, inheritances, and the income of people who live with you. Resources must be limited to $2,000 if you are an individual and $3,000 if you are a couple. While most assets are considered “resources” according to the SSA, your home and one car are exempt.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI, on the other hand, is given to workers who have earned “disability insured status” over the years by paying into the system with taxes. The amount of SSDI dispensed by the SSA is based on the applicant’s work history and record of earnings. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a qualifying condition and must have earned enough work credits. You can earn up to four credits a year. Most recipients require anyway between 20 and 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI.
Evidence Needed for a New Jersey Social Security Insurance Disability Benefits Claim
The SSDI application process requires more than filling out and submitting a few forms. You must provide evidence to the SSA to support your medical condition and demonstrate its impact on your ability to perform the task related to your job. Our experienced New Jersey disability attorneys will work to gather enough medical evidence and documentation to support your claim.
Medical Documentation, Records, and Evidence
Your medical records are the most critical form of evidence available. The SSA will review all your relevant medical documentation for at least a year before your application was submitted. It is important to list all your medical providers on the application form, including your primary doctor, specialists, therapists, counselors, and healthcare facilities. Part of the process includes signing an Authorization to Disclose Information so Social Security can obtain the required records. While the SSA will work to obtain your records, providing them yourself avoids delays, errors, and miscommunication.
Neurological or Psychiatric Testing
Not every impairment or medical condition negatively impacts your physical abilities. Some impairments diminish your mental capacity or concentration. In these cases, it is vital to have the results of neurological or psychiatric tests included in your medical documentation. If your mental health condition can be evaluated through an objective test, the SSA will want to review the test results. It is also in your best interests to present a comprehensive picture of your medical condition. For example, for some disabilities, it is necessary to provide the results of an IQ test.
Medical records and test results play an important part in the application. However, the treatment notes and opinions of your medical providers are also critical. Test results without context might not present the full picture, especially when you are suffering from a mental disability. Unfortunately, many medical professionals fail to keep comprehensive notes during treatment. They are treating a patient, not preparing evidence for trial.
Nonetheless, the Social Security Administration is looking for details regarding your treatment, diagnosis, prognosis, medication, and how you have been responding to the various treatments prescribed.
Treatment notes should also explain how your medical condition affects your ability to perform your necessary job duties. For example, a diagnosis and test result could indicate a herniated disc. However, your doctor’s notes could explain that the severity of your condition makes it impossible to sit or stand for extended periods. The key thing to remember is you are applying for benefits because you are unable to work. If you have any questions or concerns about talking to your medical providers, our New Jersey disability lawyers are available to provide guidance and direction.
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Form
Even if your doctor keeps thorough treatment notes, they might not contain enough detail on how your medical condition impacts your ability to work. Another valuable piece of evidence is a residual functional capacity assessment form. This form specifically details how your condition impacts your ability to perform the ordinary tasks associated with your job. The Social Security Administration will place significant weight on your doctor’s opinion – if it is supported with medical evidence. An RFC is often the crucial link between the medical evidence and your impairment’s impact.
The SSA’s claims examiner will evaluate your application, medical records, and other documents you provide to determine whether it is sufficient to either approve or deny your claim. In some situations, the examiner might order an additional consultative exam.
A consultative exam is conducted by a medical professional selected by the SSA. The doctor chosen will have no history with you or your medical condition. However, it is important that you comply with this request and attend the scheduled appointment. If you fail to appear for a consultative examination, your claim could be denied for lack of cooperation.
Our New Jersey disability attorneys could help you gather medical evidence and documentation. However, one of the most important steps to take is to have an open and frank conversation with your doctor. Your doctor needs to understand that you are applying for disability benefits and that the burden of supporting your claim rests on you. You need to be clear when requesting treatment notes, test results, or medical opinions. If your doctor does not support your disability claim, your benefits will be denied.
Why Do You Need a New Jersey Social Security Lawyer?
While millions of Americans may receive social security benefits on a yearly basis, hundreds of thousands more will submit their first, second, or even third applications, only to be denied by the SSA. The social security application process is designed to be rigorous, and in roughly half of all cases, applicants’ claims will be denied — even with documentation such as medical records and work history. It’s incredibly easy to make a tiny error or omission on an application, or to phrase a statement disadvantageously, at the ultimate expense of being rejected for benefits.
Even where no application mistake has necessarily been made, the SSA may nonetheless determine that while the applicant is unable to perform their previous job, they should theoretically be able to pick up a job in a different industry or work environment. While that might seem reasonable to the SSA, we understand where it isn’t reasonable to our clients, who shouldn’t be asked to pick up unfamiliar work when they’re already managing a long-term injury or illness.
Call Our Experienced New Jersey Disability (SSDI) Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we have decades of practical experience navigating the social security system. No matter the reason for your rejection, the details of your medical or employment history, or what questions you may have about the process, we can guide you through the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Wherever you are in the process of applying for social security benefits, our dedicated New Jersey disability (SSDI) lawyers can help. To arrange for a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at 1 (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.