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Total Disability: Social Security and Workers’ Compensation

Worker Accident Disability

Why is it that even if the Federal Government finds someone totally and permanently disabled that does not mean they are totally and permanently disabled under New Jersey workers’ compensation?

The answer is because the criteria for obtaining these benefits are completely different. Let's look at the differences.

For Social Security Disability you need to prove the following:

  1. Inability to work for at least 6 months with the expectation that you are going to remain out of work for the next 6 months.
  2. If you are under the age of 60, you must prove you cannot engage in any type of gainful employment.
  3. If you are over 60, you can become eligible if you can prove you can no longer work at your usual and customary job.

With SSD, you can work and make up to $1,000 per month and still be eligible for benefits. Although this criteria is not so easy to meet, it is much easier than trying to prove permanent disability under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.

Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, a worker must prove the following:

1. Inability to engage in any type of work that is available in the job market. Age, type of work customarily done, and receipt of SSD benefits are not relevant in trying to prove permanent disability in NJ from a work injury.

Also, you are precluded from any work if you are found to be totally disabled under New Jersey workers’ compensation law. If you are collecting Social Security Disability but also working a part time job or a job making less than $1,000 per month, you will be disqualified from collecting permanent disability under NJ workers’ compensation. You need to keep these concepts at your disposal whenever you are applying for SSD or workers’ compensation Permanent Disability.

If you know someone who has been injured on the job or who has questions about workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability, our attorneys at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. can help. Comprised of award-winning lawyers and New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, we have the insight to help workers across the state in all types of matters related to work-related injuries.

For a FREE consultation with a member of our team, call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online.

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