When a New Jersey resident applies for Social Security disability, it can be a worrisome time. Simply having a condition, illness or injury that prevents them from working might not be sufficient to qualify. It is important to understand the foundational requirements for SSDI.

The Social Security Administration has rules to qualify for SSDI. The job the person had must have been covered by Social Security, and the person must have worked for a sufficient period and accrue credits. A person is considered disabled if he or she cannot perform work done previously; the SSA determines that the person cannot do other kinds of work, and the disability will last for a minimum of one year or end in the person’s death. There are five questions that will be asked as part of the process.

First, it is key whether the person is working or not. The person can work but cannot earn more than $1,260 monthly. The condition must be “severe,” meaning basic requirements such as lifting, walking and standing cannot be completed for 12 months. Third, the condition must be on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. Known as the Listings, this must include the person’s condition, or it must be found that their disability meets the equivalent of one listed to be approved.

Then, it will be determined whether the impairment does not allow the person to do work he or she did in the past. Finally, if the person cannot do any other kinds of work appropriate to the age, previous work, education and skills, then there will be a finding of disabled, and SSDI claim should be approved. Given the fundamentals to getting SSDI benefits, it is a complicated process. For assistance, those seeking benefits may need legal advice from the start.