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?
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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.
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