New Jersey Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyers
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits provide valuable financial relief for individuals whose disability prevents them from working.
The Lynch Law Firm’s New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyers have the experience needed to help you file an application or appeal for disability benefits. For more than 20 years as a dedicated New Jersey law firm we have provided our clients with qualified legal help and will work to help secure your SSD benefits. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you are only required to pay for our services if we recover the benefits you deserve.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Social Security Disability Claim?
The application process for SSD benefits can be intimidating and many first-time applicants’ claims are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) on their first attempt. This can be discouraging for many people and may prevent them from appealing the SSA’s decision, which can be just as difficult.
For this reason, you should contact an experienced New Jersey Social Security Disability lawyer for help with your claim. Our disability attorneys have guided many applicants through both the application and appeals process and know what it takes to build a successful claim.
Our team can help with your application by providing:
Many SSD benefits claims are denied because the applicant was unprepared. Our New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyers will thoroughly prepare your claim so that it meets the SSA’s standards.
Knowledge and Experience
As experienced attorneys, we are familiar with the law and the many requirements of the Social Security Disability process. Through years of experience, we know how to build a strong, complete and accurate claim that could help improve your chances for recovering the benefits you need.
Making Sure Your Benefits are Accurate
Our lawyers will handle every aspect of your claim throughout the SSA’s application process. If your claim is approved, we will review the details to determine if the amount accurately reflects your disability claim.
Helping You Appeal a Denied Claim
If your SSD claim is denied, our New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyers will promptly file an appeal. We have a thorough understanding of the SSA’s appeals process and will guide you through every step.
Call (800) 518-0508 to speak with a New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer.
What Social Security Disability Benefits Are Available?
The SSA provides two federal programs for disabled individuals who cannot work because of a disabling condition:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a work-based benefits program for individuals diagnosed with a long-term disability. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be “insured,” which means you have worked long enough and paid enough into Social Security taxes throughout your employment.
As you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn what the SSA calls work credits. You can earn up to four work credits each year. As of 2017, one credit is equal to $1,300 in wages, which means you must have earned at least $5,200 throughout the year to accumulate four work credits.
To be eligible for SSDI, you will need 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled. The required number, however, will vary depending on your age when you first became disabled. If you became disabled at a young age, you may qualify with fewer credits:
- Before age 24: You may qualify for SSDI benefits if you have earned six credits within a three-year period ending when your disability started.
- Age 24 to 31: You may qualify if you have credit for working half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 29, you would need credit for four years (16 credits) out the past eight years (between ages 21 and 29).
- Age 31 or older: If you were 31-years or older when you first became disabled, you will generally need 20 work credits to qualify.
You can use the SSA’s online calculator to get an estimate of the amount of benefits you could receive.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal monthly financial support program designed for applicants who are disabled but do not meet the work requirements to receive SSDI benefits.
SSI benefits are intended for adults and children who meet one of the following requirements:
- 65-years or older
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must have little or no income and few available resources.
The value of your total assets, which includes everything you own, must be less than $2,000 if you are single, or less than $3,000 for married couples living together. However, the SSA will not include the value of your home, if you live in it, and will likely not consider the vehicle you drive.
As of 2017, the monthly maximum Federal amounts paid for SSI benefits are:
- $735 for eligible individuals
- $1,103 for eligible married couples
- $368 for essential persons (generally children)
New Jersey also provides applicants a state supplement payment that combines with the federal payment you receive each month.
Does My Disability Qualify to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you meet the above basic requirements, the SSA will decide if your medical condition meets its definition of disability. This requires that:
- You cannot perform the required functions of your previous job.
- Your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to other work.
- Your disability, illness or condition is so severe that it is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in your death.
If your disability meets these requirements and is listed in the SSA’s blue book listing of impairments, you will likely be approved for disability benefits.
However, if you do not meet the requirements for the disability listing, or if your disability is not listed, the SSA will determine if your condition prevents you from working, either in a previous type of work or any other type.
The SSA will consider your disability, age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you are unable to adjust to another line of work, your claim will be approved.
Our New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyers can help you determine if you meet the requirements to receive SSDI benefits. We will review your medical condition and employment history to show when you acquired it and how it has effected your life since.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer.
Information You Will Need to Apply for Disability Benefits
If you think you meet the above requirements, you should apply for disability benefits as soon as possible. However, before you begin your application, you should gather all of the necessary information to ensure your claim is complete. This includes:
The SSA may require you to present personal information, such as:
- Date of birth, place of birth and Social Security number
- The name, Social Security number and date of birth of your current and any former spouse (if applicable), as well as the dates and locations of marriages and the dates of divorce or death (if applicable)
- Names and dates of birth for any children you may have under age 18
- Your bank Routing Transit Number and the account number for electronic deposits
Information About Your Disability
The SSA will also require the following information about your disability and treatment plan:
- Name, address and phone number of an individual familiar with your condition
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers and dates of treatment from all doctors, hospitals and clinics you have visited for your condition
- Names of any medications you are taking and the practitioner who prescribed them
- Names, dates and outcomes of any medical tests you have had related to your condition and who prescribed them
Information About Your Employment
You will also need information about your current and previous employment, such as:
- Your total annual earnings for the current and previous year before you applied
- The name and address of your current employer and previous employer within the last year
- The beginning and ending dates you actively served in the U.S. military before 1968 (if applicable)
- A list of up to five jobs you had within the 15 years prior to becoming disabled and the dates you worked those jobs
- Information about any workers’ compensation claims you may have filed
Additional Important Documents
You may need the following documents to prove your eligibility for SSDI benefits:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the U.S.
- U.S. military discharge papers if you served in the military prior to 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for the past year
- Medical evidence, such as medical records, doctors’ reports and recent test results
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits you receive
How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Once you have gathered all of this information, you can begin the application process, which can be completed in one of several ways:
You can apply for SSD benefits online. The SSA will assign you an application number when you first apply. It is important to remember this number so you can access the application at a later time or track its status.
The SSA will require you to:
- Review the Adult Disability Checklist to help you gather information needed to complete the application.
- Fill out and submit the Disability Benefit Application.
- Complete the Medical Release Form
Although children cannot apply for SSI disability online, a parent of a child who is disabled can complete a Child Disability Report on his or her behalf once they have completed an SSI application. You should review the SSA’s Child Disability Starter Kit before applying for SSI benefits to answer any questions about your child’s disability.
You can also apply for Social Security benefits in person at your local SSA field office, which you can find by entering your zip code.
You will need to make an appointment by calling 800-772-1213 before filing a claim in-person.
Applying over the Telephone
If you are unable to access the SSA’s online application or travel to your local field office, you can apply for your Social Security benefits by calling 800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, call TTY 1-800-325-0778.
To speak with a New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer for help with your application, call (800) 518-0508 .
Appealing a Denied Social Security Disability Claim
Once you have filed your disability application, it may take the SSA approximately three to four months to make a decision regarding your claim. If your application was denied, you can file an appeal of the decision.
However, the SSA’s appeals process can be intimidating and complicated to handle alone. Having an experienced New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer on your side can significantly ease the complexities of the SSA’s appeals process and could improve your chances of reversing your claim’s denial.
To appeal the SSA’s decision, you or a New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer must send a written request to the SSA within 60 days of receiving the decision letter.
Once your request has been submitted, your claim will begin to move through the four levels of the SSA’s appeals process:
Your claim will be reviewed by a claims examiner who did not take part in the original decision to deny your claim. This representative will review the evidence you submitted when the claim was initially filed, as well as any new evidence submitted by you or your New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer.
If your application was once again denied, or if you disagree with the outcome, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The hearing will be conducted by a judge who had no part in the original decision or in the reconsideration of your claim. You or your New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer may be asked to provide more evidence and explain certain information about your claim.
The judge will examine the evidence you submitted and question you and those testifying on your behalf. Other witnesses may be present at the hearing who will provide new information and can be questioned by you or your lawyer.
Because there are many rules and requirements for these hearings, it is highly recommended that you hire a disability lawyer to represent you during this level of the appeal. Our attorneys are familiar with the process and will represent your best interests throughout the appeal.
If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can request a review by the SSA’s Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council will consider your claim for a review but may deny your claim if it finds the original decision was correct. If the Appeals Council agrees to consider your claim, it will either rule on your case itself or send it to an administrative law judge for further review.
If the Appeals Council denies your request, the SSA will send you a letter explaining the decision. You will also receive a letter if the Appeals Court makes a ruling or returns your case to an administrative law judge for review.
If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision or it refuses to review your case, you may file a lawsuit in federal district court. However, very few claims reach this level of the appeals process.
We strongly recommended that you allow a qualified New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer to assist and represent you during the appeals process.
An experienced New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer will compile all the necessary documents and potential witnesses, ensure each deadline is met, and provide useful guidance that may increase your chances of successfully appealing the SSA’s decision.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Contact our New Jersey Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyers
Social Security disability benefits are a vital means of financial support for those who are no longer able to provide for themselves.
If your claim has been denied, our New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyers are ready to fight for your right to receive the benefits you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your claim during a free, no obligation consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.
Call (800) 518-0508 to contact a New Jersey Social Security disability benefits lawyer.
Free Case Review
Lynch Law Firm
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604