When seeking Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income in New Jersey, it is important to understand the basic requirements. One critical factor is how long the applicant's impairment has lasted and is expected to last. This is a fundamental part of the decision-making process and those who are considering applying for SSD benefits should know what the rules are for the impairment and if it meets the 12-month requirement.
The applicant's impairment - physical or mental - must either last for a minimum of 12 months or be expected to result in the person's death. When the person applies for disability benefits, it is not necessary to wait until 12 months have passed. The critical issue is whether it will last for a minimum of 12 months. Provided the impairment is not expected to improve until at least 12 months have passed, the application can be approved. The impairment must also stop the person from taking part in substantial gainful activity for 12 consecutive months.
Applicants must remember that it is not possible to combine two or more separate impairments to meet the duration requirement. If there is a severe impairment and another severe impairment arises, but they are not going to meet the 12-month duration requirement, the Social Security Administration will not present a finding of disabled. If there are two or more simultaneous impairments, the SSA must decide if they will last for 12 months or will improve before then.
SSI is a different program for those who are blind, disabled and 65 or older. There are income and resource requirements for SSI and this makes it different from SSDI. The 12-month requirement applies to SSI applications as well. If the person has statutory blindness, however, there is not duration requirement.
When seeking SSD benefits or SSI, it is imperative to understand all the various requirements to be approved. The duration requirement is one of the more important ones and for those who are unsure if they meet this threshold or have been denied when they think they should have been approved, getting more information about Social Security Disability regulations may be beneficial.