Social Security replaces a portion of your income when you retire. New Jersey retirees will begin receiving benefits at the federal retirement age between 66 and 67 years old. Social Security bases your benefit payment on your highest 35 years of earnings. Social Security disability insurance benefits differ from social security because the benefits are based on a disabling medical condition, not earnings from work.
You contribute taxes to Social Security from your paycheck. Social security benefits those retired workers and their surviving dependents, while Social Security Disability Insurance payments are exclusively designated for disabled workers and their dependents.
Applying for Social Security
Social Security benefits begin immediately at the age of eligibility for most retired workers. Survivor benefits get paid automatically after the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives the death notification. If you’re supposed to receive survivor benefits and are not, then you can apply through the SSA. In most cases, you will apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) if you have a medically disabling condition. The SSDI process is complex and requires extensive medical documentation.
Applying for SSDI benefits
You may be eligible for SSDI payments if:
- You’re 18 years of age or older.
- You’re not currently receiving social security benefits.
- You cannot work due to a qualifying disabling medical condition that is expected to last 12 months or longer.
- You haven’t had benefits denied within the previous 60 days.
Although initial denials of Social Security disability applications happen, you can appeal and benefits are granted once all requirements are met.
If you are employed but earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold, you still might qualify for benefits. If you’re physically able to work but less than full-time in a job that suits you based on your abilities, you still could be eligible for SSDI benefits.