What Conditions Qualify You for Disability Benefits (SSDI) in New Jersey?
Suppose you’re living with a medical condition that prevents you from working. In that case, you may be able to receive disability benefits. Before you can start receiving payments, however, you should know whether or not your condition qualifies you for benefits in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, both physical and mental conditions can qualify residents for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. When determining eligibility, condition severity matters, as well as the length of time you’re expected to live with your condition. To successfully apply for SSDI benefits, New Jersey claimants must compile evidence proving their conditions’ severity. An experienced attorney can help you apply for benefits and understand additional eligibility requirements so that you can receive SSDI payments in New Jersey.
Our attorneys are here to help New Jersey residents recover the disability benefits available to them. For a free case evaluation with the New Jersey disability lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane, call today at (609) 557-3081.
What Physical Conditions Qualify You for SSDI Benefits in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, residents that meet the criteria for certain physical conditions can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The list of qualifying physical conditions generally only includes disabilities that prevent New Jersey residents from earning a sufficient income to support themselves.
Many physical disabilities and conditions qualify New Jersey residents for SSDI benefits. Physical conditions are placed into 13 categories and then evaluated by severity. The list of eligible physical disabilities for adults is relatively long and can be difficult to navigate. Based on your physical condition, an experienced East Brunswick disability lawyer can inform you whether or not you qualify for SSDI benefits.
The many physical conditions that qualify New Jersey residents for SSDI benefits are broken down into the following categories:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Special senses and speech disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders effecting multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders
- Immune system disorders
Physical conditions that qualify New Jersey residents for SSDI benefits can be caused by medical illness or injury. For example, suppose you lost your hearing in an accident. In that case, you are still eligible for SSDI benefits, just as you would be if you lost your hearing from a medical complication.
Keeping in mind that there are 13 categories of physical conditions that qualify New Jersey residents for SSDI benefits, it is likely that your disability makes you eligible, especially if it prevents you from earning a significant income. That said, it is important to be sure your physical condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits, so ask a Hamilton Township disability lawyer for clarification.
What Mental Health Conditions Qualify You for SSDI Benefits in New Jersey?
Although you may initially think that SSDI benefits are only available to New Jersey residents with physical conditions, that is not the case. The Social Security Administration (SSA) also allows those with mental disorders to receive SSDI benefits.
A mental illness can be just as life-altering as a physical one. These disorders may be life-long or come about later in life, making it difficult for New Jersey residents to earn a substantial income. The SSA acknowledges that, by allowing the following mental disorders to qualify New Jersey residents for SSDI benefits:
- Neurocognitive disorders
- Schizophrenia spectrum disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Intellectual disorder
- Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Somatic symptom disorder
- Personality disorders
- Impulse-control disorders
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Neurodevelopmental disorder
- Eating disorders
- Trauma disorders
- Psychotic disorders
The Social Security Administration provides detailed information regarding how such mental conditions are evaluated to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits. A diagnosis alone may be insufficient. Therefore, it is important to consult an experienced New Jersey disability lawyer if you plan to claim a mental condition as a reason to receive SSDI benefits. Unfortunately, establishing mental illness and impairment can be more challenging than establishing a physical injury or disability, so it’s a good idea to have a compassionate attorney by your side to help you.
Can a Partial Disability Qualify You for SSDI Benefits in New Jersey?
Although your physical or mental condition may initially appear to qualify you for SSDI benefits, that may not be the cause. It’s important for New Jersey residents to understand how severity plays a part in determining eligibility for SSDI benefits.
In New Jersey, only those who experience total disability can qualify for SSDI benefits. That means any injury that can heal, or an illness that is likely to go away quickly, will not qualify you for SSDI benefits. According to the SSA, a person’s condition must prevent them from working for an entire year, or be likely to cause death, for them to be eligible for benefits.
Severity also matters. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, New Jersey residents must also be unable to do their previous work or other work because of the severity of their conditions. Generally, SSDI benefit recipients in New Jersey are prohibited from earning a substantial income, as their conditions should not allow them to do so.
So, if you are partially disabled, or your disability is short-term, you may not qualify for SSDI benefits in New Jersey. The Social Security Administration provides guidance for evaluating the severity of mental and physical conditions, which your Marlton disability lawyer can help you understand.
If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits because of the short-term nature of your condition, ask an attorney for help. There may be other ways to recover compensation for lost wages that result from your medical condition in New Jersey.
How Can New Jersey Residents Apply for SSDI Benefits?
Applying for disability benefits can be challenging for New Jersey residents, especially if their conditions make such tasks even more difficult. Instead of submitting an application yourself, allow an experienced New Jersey lawyer to help you.
In order to get SSDI benefits for your condition, you first have to file an application. New Jersey residents can do this online or visit a Social Security office location with their attorney.
Generally, New Jersey residents need to have the following information on hand when applying for SSDI benefits:
- Social Security number
- Birth certificate
- Medical history
After filing an initial application, New Jersey claimants will have to partake in a disability interview with a representative from the SSA. You’ll likely be asked questions regarding your condition and treatment during this interview. You may also be asked questions about your finances, family, and work history. This can be especially daunting for those who require access to SSDI benefits but are unsure how to proceed. A wrong answer can put your claim in jeopardy. Your attorney can prepare you for a disability interview and compile the necessary information, so you are ready for any questions a Social Security Administration representative may ask.
Do New Jersey Residents Have to Prove Conditions to Qualify for SSDI Benefits?
Although you may think you have a physical or mental condition that qualifies you for SSDI benefits, you still have to prove that to the Social Security Administration. Establishing your condition can be a challenging and complex process that often requires a Mercer County disability lawyer’s experience.
Medical evidence is crucial for a successful disability claim. With help from an attorney, a New Jersey claimant must compile sufficient medical evidence demonstrating the severity of a condition and its impact on their life.
The first hurdle New Jersey residents must overcome when attempting to show that their conditions qualify them for SSDI benefits is providing proof that a condition exists. For physical conditions, proof may be an X-ray or initial medical records. For mental illnesses, that may mean compiling records from a therapist or psychiatrist who has diagnosed your mental condition. Your lawyer can help you identify the proper evidence to demonstrate you are living with a physical or mental condition.
The next step is to ensure that the medical records provided establish severity. When the SSA evaluates a person’s physical or mental conditions, two things matter: their existence and severity. Suppose you cannot prove that your condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. In that case, your claim for SSDI benefits may be denied. This can happen to New Jersey residents that have serious conditions, but unfortunately do not understand the importance of proving their conditions to the Social Security Administration.
The SSA may also assess your daily activities, medication dosages, and any ongoing treatment you receive. In the event that the medical records you provide are insufficient to prove that your physical or mental condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits, the SSA may arrange a consultative examination.
Are Your SSDI Payments Be Based on Your Medical Condition?
New Jersey residents might expect their SSDI benefit payments to be determined based on their medical condition. In reality, your specific physical or mental condition has very little to do with your payment amounts. What does matter, however, is your work history.
Although having a qualifying physical or mental condition is crucial to becoming eligible for SSDI benefits, your illness or injury won’t impact your payments. Instead, your payments will be calculated largely based on your work history.
A crucial aspect of determining eligibility for SSDI benefits is whether or not New Jersey residents have paid into the system, so to speak. You may have noticed that taxes are taken out for Social Security each time you receive a paycheck. That’s how New Jersey residents create a work history that can ultimately contribute to their SSDI benefit eligibility. To be clear, you don’t have to do anything yourself. Your employer is responsible for withholding for Social Security.
Monthly SSDI benefits are determined based on your average covered earnings at jobs where your employer took money out of your paycheck for Social Security. While this can be confusing initially, your Mount Laurel disability lawyer can help you understand it. Generally, those who have worked longer can receive greater payments.
The bottom line is that your condition’s severity doesn’t matter when determining the monthly payments you’ll receive. Severity only matters when determining your eligibility for SSDI benefits in the first place. It’s also important to note that if your condition worsens over time, you will not receive greater SSDI payments.
Can You Qualify for SSDI Benefits if You Are Diagnosed with a Condition at a Young Age?
What can you do if a physical or mental condition begins affecting you before you have a work history? Fortunately, the Social Security Administration understands that New Jersey residents cannot schedule a disability. Instead of preventing young people from recovering SSDI benefits simply because of their lack of work credits, the SSA provides a pathway for benefit recovery.
Those under the age of 22 with medical conditions that prevent them from working may be eligible for SSDI benefits through a parent’s average covered earnings record.
For minors, the process is relatively straightforward. A child’s disability is assessed according to the SSA’s listing of childhood impairments. Children may continue eligible for SSDI benefits via a parent’s earnings record after turning 18 if their disability persists. Marriage may impact a person’s ability to remain eligible for SSDI benefits through their parents, so ask a New Jersey disability lawyer what can happen.
It’s not always so easy to become eligible for SSDI benefits as an adult disabled child (DAC). Suppose you are between 18 and 22 when you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition. In that case, receiving SSDI benefits from your parents may be more difficult. To do so, a New Jersey resident’s parent must either receive Social Security benefits or be deceased with a sufficient earnings record. In addition, a DAC’s disability must meet the definition of disability for adults.
To help your child apply for SSDI benefits, you must complete an application as well as a Child Disability Report. This process can be quite complicated, as parents need a lot of information on hand to properly apply for SSDI benefits on behalf of their children. To simplify the process, parents can turn to a Mt. Holly disability lawyer for help.
Can Other Disability Benefits Impact SSDI Benefits in New Jersey?
While having a qualifying mental or physical condition is necessary to be eligible for SSDI benefits, it is not all that matters. In fact, to remain eligible for benefits in New Jersey, you must be aware of how other types of disability benefits can impact you.
Sometimes, New Jersey residents sustain injuries that qualify them for SSDI benefits. Depending on how or why you sustained such injuries, you may be eligible for additional benefits. For example, New Jersey residents who sustain injuries at work may file for Workers’ Compensation and SSDI benefits. While that is possible, doing so may reduce your SSDI benefits.
In New Jersey, this phenomenon is known as a reverse offset. Your total SSDI and Workers’ Compensation benefits cannot exceed 80% of your average current earnings. If your combined benefits exceed the threshold, the excess will be deducted from either your SSDI or Workers’ Compensation payments, depending on your disability.
New Jersey’s offset laws can be complicated and may differ depending on the type of Social Security benefits you receive. Therefore, it’s important to speak with a New Jersey disability lawyer to understand how Workers’ compensation and other disability benefits can impact your SSDI payments.
Will You Still Receive SSDI Benefits if Your Condition Improves in New Jersey?
Suppose your physical or mental condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits in New Jersey. In that case, your benefits will likely continue as long as you remain disabled. The Social Security Administration does tend to check in on SSDI recipients from time to time to ensure they remain qualified. If your condition improves, you may lose access to benefits.
The Social Security Administration tends to conduct continuing disability reviews (CDR) to ensure that recipients are still eligible for benefits. Suppose your condition is an injury or illness you are expected to recover from. In that case, the SSA may conduct a CDR within six to 18 months after approving your claim.
If medical improvement is possible, the SSA may only conduct a continuing disability review once every three years. If medical improvement is not expected, then the SSA usually only conducts CDRs every seven years.
Suppose a continuing eligibility review finds that your condition has improved, and you can work a full-time job once again. In that case, the SSA may cease your payments. It is also important to note that if your condition improves and you become aware of that, you must inform the Social Security Administration.
While the SSA tends to conduct these reviews according to a schedule, you may be subjected to a CDR at seemingly random intervals. The SSA will inform you of a continuing disability review ahead of time.
Can You Receive SSDI Benefits in New Jersey if You Earn an Income?
An essential eligibility requirement for SSDI benefits is that your condition prevents you from working. Suppose you continue to work after being approved for benefits. In that case, you can only earn a certain amount each month. If you earn over the threshold, the SSA may deem your condition ineligible and revoke your SSDI benefits.
Those receiving SSDI benefits for qualifying physical or mental conditions are only permitted to earn a certain monthly income. In addition to SSDI payments, New Jersey recipients cannot earn more than $1,350 monthly from a job. Blind recipients can earn up to $2,260 each month.
That said, it is important for New Jersey SSDI benefit recipients to understand that there are additional caveats. Suppose you earn upwards of $970 in a month. In that case, you will likely trigger a trial work period (TWP), which, if extended over nine non-consecutive months, can cause your benefits to cease. However, benefits don’t lapse right away. New Jersey residents generally have several months to appeal after an unintentional TWP affects their access to SSDI benefits.
While TWPs can help New Jersey SSDI benefit recipients interested in returning to work, they can also harm those unaware of the consequences. There are complex restrictions for other New Jersey recipients, like those who work for themselves, which an experienced lawyer can clarify.
So, while you may be able to return to work in some capacity while receiving SSDI benefits in New Jersey, working full-time will likely not be possible. If you are interested in taking a part-time job or starting a business, but are concerned about how doing so may impact your SSDI benefits, speak to a New Jersey disability lawyer to learn more.
What Can You Do if Your Condition Doesn’t Qualify You for SSDI Benefits?
Although you may believe your medical condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration may disagree. If your claim was denied, all is not lost. You can file a successful appeal with the right attorney by your side.
Just because the SSA denied your claim for SSDI benefits doesn’t mean you’re ineligible. Instead, it may mean that you did not properly complete your application or compile the necessary medical records. If the SSA denied your claim, speak to New Jersey disability lawyer right away. New Jersey claimants have just 60 days to file an appeal after being denied SSDI benefits.
First, claimants can file a request for reconsideration. During this time, your Piscataway disability lawyer can submit additional medical evidence that proves your need for SSDI benefits.
If a reconsideration review is unsuccessful, you can request a hearing for an administrative law judge to review your claim. If a hearing does not go in your favor, you can request a review from the Social Security Appeals Council. Finally, New Jersey claimants can file a civil action in a federal district court if they disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision.
Filing an appeal and seeing it through can be difficult for New Jersey residents in need of SSDI benefits. An experienced New Jersey disability lawyer can help you navigate the process and prove the severity of your condition, even if the Social Security Administration initially denied your claim.
Our New Jersey Attorneys Can Help You Apply for SSDI Benefits Today
If you are unsure whether or not your condition qualifies you for SSDI benefits in New Jersey, ask our attorneys for help. For a free case evaluation with the Trenton disability lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane, call today at (609) 557-3081.