Burlington County, NJ Disability Lawyer
Disability benefits can mean a lot to a worker dealing with a disability. Whether the disability stems from an injury, a new health development, or a health condition they have lived with their whole life, the benefits from SSDI can make a huge difference to them and their family.
For help with a disability application, help appealing a denial, or help fighting to continue your benefits after life changes, call our Burlington County, NJ disability lawyers today. We can fight to get your benefits approved and help you keep your benefits.
For a free case review, call (609) 557-3081 to speak with the Burlington County disability lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates.
Qualifying for SSDI Benefits in Burlington County, NJ
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. Although it is a public insurance system administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it functions like other insurance systems: you pay into the system with your Social Security taxes and, if you ever need the benefits of this insurance, you can file a claim with the SSA.
This system has some overlaps with the SSI system, which is the need-based disability system. SSI is also the system that pays retirement benefits to seniors. Essentially, payments from SSDI are similar to the payments you could receive at full retirement age under SSI, but they are paid to you sooner because of your disability.
To qualify for disability benefits, you have to have the work credits necessary to support your claim. This specific requirement changes based on age and number of years worked, and our Burlington County disability lawyers can advise you as to whether you qualify for SSDI.
The more important qualifications, however, are the condition that you have and the severity of your disability:
Typically, you need a qualifying condition to seek SSDI benefits. The SSA has a listing of disabilities that qualify, ranging from heart failure to sickle cell anemia to Down syndrome to cancer. Many of these disabilities can be caused by an acute injury (whether related to your work or not), can develop over time, or can be present since birth.
Generally, the medical definition that the SSA uses for a condition will correspond to a severe case of that condition. For example, a patient with a medical diagnosis of asthma might not qualify under the SSA’s definition because that definition corresponds to a serious case of asthma.
Some disabled individuals might be able to qualify for benefits if their condition is as serious as another condition on the approved listing, even if it is not explicitly listed as a qualifying condition. Talk to our Burlington County disability lawyers for more information.
Generally speaking, all qualifying conditions must be ones expected to last for more than a year or to end in death. SSDI is intended for serious, long-term disabilities rather than short-term injuries or conditions.
Although seriousness is somewhat built into the medical definitions the SSA uses, there is a separate seriousness analysis involved. To qualify as “disabled,” your condition has to be serious enough to keep you from working. As with the asthma example above, many people with long-term health conditions are well-controlled and might not miss work because of their condition. Disability benefits are only available if your condition interferes with your activities of daily living and makes it impossible to perform work tasks and support yourself financially.
Generally, your application will involve an evaluation by a doctor to examine the effect of your condition on your daily life and your work abilities. Ultimately, your ability to work will also be compared to an objective financial measurement: if you cannot achieve “substantial gainful activity,” (SGA) you can qualify as disabled. This SGA limit says that you cannot receive benefits if you are able to make more than $2,460 per month in 2023 by working ($1,470 if you are also blind).
Talk to our Burlington County disability attorneys about whether you meet these seriousness requirements.
How Much Money Can I Make While on SSDI in Burlington County?
As mentioned, the SSA will typically not consider you disabled if you are able to work to receive more than $2,460 per month (as of 2023). This SGA limit changes annually and is usually lower for blind applicants applying for another disability. However, this is not the ultimate limit on how much money you can make while on disability.
First, your spouse can continue working and receive additional income while you are on SSDI. SSDI benefits are earned through your work credits and the fact that you paid into the program through your Social Security taxes. These benefits are not easily taken away merely because your spouse is able to continue working.
Second, only earned income should affect your SSDI benefits. If you have other passive income from investments or rental properties, that should not count against your SGA limit.
If you do perform some work on the side, you might still be able to receive SSDI benefits – but the income limit might be lower than the SGA limit. SSDI recipients are also subject to a Trial Work Period (TWP) limit. If you make more than $1,050 in a month in 2023, that could trigger a Trial Work Period. You are allowed a limited number of TWP months before the SSA potentially reconsiders your disability status. This allows workers to test the waters and see if they are able to return to work – but at the same time, you risk potentially losing your benefits if the SSA decides you are able to work again.
Always speak with our Burlington County disability lawyers about your income while on SSDI. Also, keep in mind that you must report all income to the SSA while receiving benefits.
Call Our Burlington County, NJ Disability Lawyers Today
For a free review of your disability case, call our Burlington County disability lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates. Our number is (609) 557-3081.