For workers who are injured or ill for at least one year or are not expected to live due to the injury or illness, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has Social Security Disability benefits to help with financial needs of the disabled. There are two forms of aid available, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.
Social Security Disability Insurance is funded by workers who have paid into the Social Security program during their lifetime of employment. Supplemental Security Income is for those who are blind, children, and low-income individuals. People in New Jersey who need disability benefits should understand the differences between these two options, and for which type they should apply.
In order to receive these benefits, you must apply and prove that your disability is preventing you from continuing gainful employment. There are is a list of criteria and a strict process that is used to determine eligibility. The list of eligible disabilities includes both physical injuries and illnesses as well as mental conditions. Nearly two-thirds of those who apply for Social Security Disability Claims are initially denied, but that does not mean that all hope is lost, as there is an appeals process available if the SSA denies a person’s application.
You may apply online, in person, or over the telephone. You will need a series of forms and provide documents to prove your disability, including but not necessarily limited to tax statements, a complete medical history including prescriptions and medical procedures. It may seem overwhelming, and with the disability it may be even harder to properly fill out all the necessary forms to follow protocol. With that in mind, many find it helpful to seek legal help to maximize the potential of having their claim accepted.
Source: FindLaw, “Social Security Disability Explained,” Accessed Sept. 8, 2015