New Jersey Social Security Disability Attorney
Put 80 Years of Legal Experience To Work For You
If you have been injured and your disabilities prevent you from working to your former capacity, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The type and amount of benefits you could receive will depend on a number of factors and the application process can be complex.
To understand what you're up against when applying for SSD, it's worth talking to an attorney. Levinson Axelrod, P.A. has been representing residents across New Jersey since 1939. Whether you need help making sense of the SSD system, applying for benefits, or appealing a denial, we're ready to get started.
Contact us for a FREE consultation with a New Jersey Social Security disability lawyer.
How You Can Benefit from Hiring a Lawyer
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be very complex. Because of this, it may be wise to hire a lawyer who understands the process and can help you provide the correct and relevant information to the Social Security Administration.
The benefits of hiring a lawyer for your SSD benefits application include:
- Avoid missteps – Because you have to provide the correct paperwork and make sure everything is accurate, you’ll want to have someone who can help you double check everything and avoid any inaccuracies in your documents.
- Gather the necessary information – The Social Security Administration will want to know about your injury, your job description, past earnings, physical limitations and any medical records you may have proving that you are unable to perform the same tasks.
- Prepare for an appeal – A large majority of initial SSD applications are denied. In fact, the rate of approval for initial SSD applications in New Jersey is 43.5%. Having an attorney can prepare you for the possible appeal process in front of an administrative law judge.
The Difference Between SSI & SSDI
There are two types of benefits commonly thought of as “Social Security Disability.” One is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the other is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
- SSDI is the benefit most people think of when they think of disability. It is a payment system for people who have worked and paid into the Social Security system but who are (1) unable to continue working and (2) too young to receive Social Security retirement benefits.
- SSI is a benefit for persons who are ineligible for SSDI but who are incapable of working.
While both require that a person be disabled in order to receive benefits, the main difference is that SSI is based on financial need whereas SSDI eligibility does not take a person’s finances into account. It is possible to receive both benefits at the same time.
SSDI requires that a person have enough “work credits” for the ten-year period before applying for disability in order to be eligible.
- You earn one work credit for each quarter you work in a job that pays into the Social Security system.
- If a person has enough work credits, they are eligible for SSDI.
- If they do not, they are limited to applying for SSI.
- Eligibility for SSDI depends on how recently you paid into the system, not for how long you paid into the system. You must have at least 20 work credits for the ten years prior to applying for SSDI.
People often say , “but I paid into the system for so many years.” These contributions go towards your Social Security Retirement benefits. SSDI benefits require that a person paid into the system recently. This also means that once a person stops working (date of last insured), there is a definite cut off point for when they can apply; a person could be eligible to apply for SSDI in one quarter but ineligible the next.
If you are looking for a SSD attorney in New Jersey, Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is here to help. Contact us today!
Am I Eligible for SSD Benefits in New Jersey?
When someone applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will determine if the individual qualifies, taking a number of factors into consideration. The Social Security Administration considers the following:
- Available programs: Factors like the length of time worked or income and assets available determine whether an individual is eligible for Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income or both.
- Work history: The duration of work test is the general basis the SSA uses to determine if an individual is eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. This test requires an individual to have worked approximately five of the last ten years. Individuals who have never worked may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income.
- Assets available: Supplemental Security Income is a “means-based” program, meaning the Social Security Administration will evaluate an individual’s financial resources to determine if an individual qualifies for SSI benefits.
- Evaluation of work activities: If you are applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, you must not be able to perform “substantial gainful activity” (work). This includes performing your old job and not being able to adapt to a new job. For example, if you hurt your leg, but can still perform a job that allows you to sit during the day, your application may be denied.
- Medical condition: The Disability Determination Services office will determine if your disability is enough to keep you from performing work duties and if it warrants benefits.
If your Social Security Disability claim was denied, don’t give up hope. You have the right to appeal a denial from the SSA. Our New Jersey SSD lawyers at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. can help you do that.
What Information Does Applying for Social Security Disability Require?
This can include:
- Your birth certificate
- Social Security Number
- Proof of citizenship or lawful status
- Work history
- Contact information for treating medical professionals
- A list of the medication that you currently take
Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income is designed for individuals who are over the age of 65, blind, or disabled, and have low income and few resources. Your income is one of the deciding factors regarding your application for SSI. This includes wages, Social Security disability benefits, pensions, and assets such as shelter or food. Resources are the other factor. This includes bank accounts, real estate, stock, bonds, and cash.
Individuals living in a rest home, halfway home, or in prison or jail may not qualify to receive SSI.
Applications for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income may be appealed if the initial application is denied. This is where a lawyer becomes critical to your case. At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our team helps clients navigate initial applications and appeals if necessary.
Types of Jobs That May Not Be Covered By SSD
Unfortunately, not all individuals are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits due to the types of jobs they have. Some employees work in certain situations that don’t qualify under the requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration.
Jobs not covered by Social Security may include, but are not limited to the following:
- State government workers
- Local government workers
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Family business employees under the age of 21
There are some circumstances in which these jobs may be affected, so discussing your case with a lawyer may be beneficial. For example, some local and state governments make the decision to opt out of Social Security coverage and their employees would not qualify. If you know that you do not qualify for Social Security benefits because of your occupation, you shouldn’t begin the application process.
Call Levinson Axelrod, P.A. for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have questions, or you're ready to get started,contact our New Jersey Social Security disability attorneys to discuss your case. You have the right to appeal any decision. Our firm can walk you through that process. We have been representing clients in New Jersey for 80 years. With over a billion dollars recovered for our clients since opening our firm in 1939, we have the experience necessary to go to bat for you.
Call Levinson Axelrod, P.A. today at (732) 440-3089 for your free consultation.
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Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is committed to helping good people through difficult times. We build real relationships and make communication a priority to provide the best possible service and results.
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