Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Social Security Disability

There are many New Jersey residents who can no longer earn a substantive income in their traditional occupation and now receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Additionally, there are many more who will become eligible in the near future. Those individuals have qualified for benefits by paying into the program that will be in place for them if they can no longer continue working in the same capacity due to a medical condition. Understanding the program is essential for these future recipients.

Work record qualification

Not all disabled people will qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The program requires workers to contribute while working by receiving Social Security tax credits. One credit is assigned for each worked quarter of a given year based on a minimum of $1440 earned in the quarter. This results in four credits per entire year worked. Recipients must have earned 20 of their total credits in the immediately preceding 10 years. Younger disabled individuals are pro-rated according to their immediate work history and tax contributions.

Medical qualification

While SSDI is primarily a program directed at the inability to earn a substantive living wage, qualifying requires the applicant to prove their medical disability. This is accomplished through medical records and depositions from treating physicians. Certain diseases and disorders are automatically approved, but most who are eligible prove their medical component based on overall health. This requires going through the appeals system and presenting the case before an SSA administrative law judge.

Applicants should not be discouraged when they have been denied an initial claim for SSDI. The SSA is diligent when issuing permanent disability rulings. Those who are denied are also assessed for Supplemental Security Income eligibility. SSI is a needs-based program, and only certain individuals with minimal personal assets will qualify. These beneficiaries are also reevaluated on a regular basis for continued eligibility.