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What must New Jerseyans prove to receive SSI benefits?


No New Jerseyan wants a disability. But, disability strikes New Jerseyans every day, whether from a disease, an on-the-job injury or something else. When it does, New Jerseyans may qualify for Supplemntal Security Income (SSI) benefits. Nonetheless, being eligible for benefits and receiving them are two separate things.

What must New Jerseyans prove when they apply for disability benefits? Three things. First, the applicant must prove that the disability prevents them from doing the work they did before the disability. Second, the applicant must prove that the disability prevents them from doing other work. Third, they must prove that the disability is expected to continue for at least a year.

How strict is the Social Security Administration (SSA) about these three requirements? In a word, strict.

The SSA does not permit a person to receive benefits if they are only partially or temporarily disabled. For example, if a person meets the three requirements, but later obtains limited employment, their disability benefits might be cut. As of this year, the cut off is a wage of more than $1,090 per month.

How can a person increase their chances of being granted disability benefits? By supplying sufficient medical evidence.

Insufficient medical evidence is one of the most common reasons for denial. To reduce that risk, a person should provide medical information stretching back to the onset of the disability.

To buttress that information, it may make sense to see a specialist. But, keep in mind that not all doctors are afforded the same deference by the SSA. Medical opinions from traditional doctors will generally carry more weight than those coming from less-mainstream practitioners.

The benefit application process is complicated. New Jerseyans interested in learning more about disability and the benefit application process may want to discuss their situation with an experienced SSI attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "How to Prove Disability," accessed on Dec. 22, 2015

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