Qualifying for New Jersey Social Security Disability Insurance

Do You Qualify for New Jersey Social Security Disability Insurance?

No one plans on becoming disabled, but when it happens to you and an illness or injury makes it impossible for you to work, it can be very scary—and even lead to financial ruin. For these reasons, the federal government offers assistance in its Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.


SSDI differs from the other main source of support, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In a nutshell, SSDI is designed for disabled workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is for those in severe financial need.

In this article, we will answer two of the most common questions about getting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) decide if I am qualified to receive disability benefits?

In order to determine your eligibility for benefits, the SSA looks at a number of factors. Some of these include:

  • You have worked in jobs that were covered by Social Security and earned work credits with the SSA. These credits are based on your yearly income and you can earn up to four in a year.
  • You have a medical condition that meets the SSA definition of disability. This definition includes only total disability. You cannot qualify if you are partially disabled or disabled for a short term. In general your disability must appear on the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments.”
  • You are unable to work or have not worked for a year or more due to your disability. You must prove that you cannot do the work you did before and cannot adjust to other work.

How does the SSA decide if I am disabled?

The Social Security disability program looks at five questions in a step-by-step process. These questions are:

  • Are you currently working? If you are working in 2013 and making more than $1,040 a month, you will be denied.
  • Is your condition severe? You must be able to prove that your condition interferes with basic work-related activities.
  • Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? SSA disability maintains a list of medical conditions that automatically define your ailment as disabling. However, there are ways to qualify based on conditions not on the list.
  • Can you do the work you did previously? Your condition must interfere with your previous work. If it is not as severe as the listed medical conditions, the SSA will determine if it qualifies.
  • Can you do any other type of work? The final step in the qualification process considers the possibility of your ability to adjust to another type of work. If you are unable to do this, you will be approved.

While these requirements seem fairly straightforward, the actual process of acquiring New Jersey SSA disability benefits is complicated, full of twists and turns that can result in a denial.

If you or a loved one suffers from a disability that prevents the ability to work, you may want to get some legal help. Whether you need help applying for benefits, or if you’re fighting a New Jersey disability benefit denial, Gaylord Popp in Trenton can help. Call us toll free today at at 888-716-8086 to find out how.