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Hackensack Disability Law Blog

Depression may be affecting parents

Your parents are important fixtures in your life. They taught you, comforted you and nurtured you. When you were down, your mom wrapped you up in her arms and told you everything would be alright. When you fell and scraped your knee, your dad was swift to remedy the cut with a bandage and some words of encouragement.

You love your parents, so seeing them age can be difficult. When people age, symptoms of depression can appear. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 14.8 million adults suffer from major depression in the United States.

What is ERISA?

In the mid-1970's, the United States government created the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, commonly known as ERISA. The purpose of ERISA is to protect the assets of American workers, including New Jersians, who have put in contributions towards their retirement funds, such as a pension.

Although, there are no laws in place requiring an employer to create a pension plan for their employees, if one is in place. ERISA has specific guidelines to assure that the retirement funds are protected. This includes how long an employee needs to work to qualify for a pension, how long an employee can be away from their job before the benefits are affected, how long an employee must work for their investment to obtain a nonforfeitable interest and whether a spouse is entitled to a pension, if the contributor dies.

What are the requirements for Supplemental Security Income?

There are two programs offered by the Social Security Administration to help victims of injuries or illnesses in the United States who are unable to work - the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI and the Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI. While the Social Security Disability Insurance programs is paid for and handles victims who paid into the program through payroll taxes, Supplemental Security Income is geared towards Americans who did not pay into the SSDI program, are unable to work and who meet minimum income thresholds.

In order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, one must have a serious illness, injury or mental condition that prohibits them from maintaining gainful employment and must prove that the condition is expected to last at least at least a year or end in death. The program is available to those who are 65 or older, adults who are proven to be disabled and children who are disabled or blind. The amount of payments will depend upon the victim's income and resources.

How a disabled person can qualify for SSD benefits

Many people who have been permanently injured or diagnosed with chronic diseases may not consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits because of how difficult the process may be. Indeed, qualifying for benefits is no easy process. After all, the Social Security Administration receives more than two million applications each year. Of these applicants, an average of 885,000 received benefits.

While applying for benefits may be an arduous process, there are some basic requirements that applicants must meet. This post will identify them so that some of the mystery behind the application process may be removed.