New Jersey residents unable to work because of an injury or illness have several types of benefits that may be available to get them through their rough times. One of them is Social Security Disability. Workers interested in these disability benefits will need to demonstrate they qualify before receiving payments.
Social Security Disability applicants must show their recent work history and sufficient time at work before qualifying for benefits. The qualifications for both elements depend upon the applicant’s age.
Applicants under 24 years of age must show a one and a half year work history over the three years before applying for SSD benefits. Applicants aged 24 to 30 need to show work history equal to 50% of the time between their 21st birthday and their application. Individuals reaching their 31 birthday must show five years of work experience over the 10 years before the application.
Additionally, applicants 44 years old and older will need to meet additional requirements for total work time in their lives. Those who are 44 will need to show at least five and half years of work experience. By age 60, lifetime work requirements increase to nine and a half years.
Individuals interested in Social Security Disability benefits must also possess a qualifying disability. The Social Security Administration is specific in its definition. Applicants must suffer from a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from maintaining gainful employment. This impairment must have already affected the applicant for a calendar year, or the diagnosis for the illness can indicate more than a full year of disability. A terminal sickness also qualifies a patient for disability benefits.
The terms used to define a disability are set forth by the SSA. These terms are subject to interpretation by the person processing an application. Applicants may find it helpful to study the guidelines carefully and discuss them with their doctor before preparing an application.
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can become confusing for individuals unfamiliar with the process. An experienced attorney may prove helpful in this regard.