When people in New Jersey are too disabled to continue to work, they may turn to Social Security Disability for support. One-quarter of all Americans become disabled before age 67, and in many cases, this may interfere with their ability to work, especially in jobs that require a significant level of physical strength and dexterity. However, while disability benefits may provide a safety net for many, the process of applying can be complex and challenging. In order to receive SSD benefits, people must meet certain criteria regarding their inability to work, their years of work in the past and their medical condition.

The SSD benefits that people receive may vary depending on their pre-existing income, years of work and age. Like other forms of Social Security, disability benefits are funded by the taxes that people pay through their payroll withholdings. In most cases, people must have paid Social Security taxes for 5 of the past 10 years before their disability in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability. When applying for SSD benefits, people must prepare medical information and other details that show they are unable to work and achieve a gainful income, even if that income would be smaller than their previous salary.

Medical records, including doctors’ statements and appointment details, can be helpful when completing an application for disability benefits. People must show that their condition is expected to last for at least a full year in order to be considered for SSD because it does not provide short-term protection.

The Social Security Disability application process may be challenging to many, especially because people who are truly disabled are often denied at the first step and must pursue an appeals process to move forward. A disability attorney may help people to navigate the process and advocate for the benefits they need.