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A basic primer on Social Security Disability


No one wants to have a disability. Having a minor disability can send ripples throughout a New Jersian's life. Having a severe one can fundamentally alter a person's life. But once a disability strikes, it is important that people know that help is available. It is possible to receive SSDI benefits for injuries or illnesses; benefits that can help make ends meet.

One type of benefit that the Social Security Administration provides is SSDI. To be eligible, a person must be disabled. Disabled, in turn, has a specific meaning to the SSA. It means that a person's condition stops him or her from earning a certain minimum monthly income as a full-time worker, and that the person's disability has either lasted or is expected to last 12 straight months or is result in their death.

To obtain benefits, a person must apply to a SSD program. This can be done in person, online or by telephone. Before starting the application, it is helpful to assemble the necessary information and documents ahead of time. Common documents that will be needed include a person's medications and medical history, namely the dates of any medical procedures and therapy sessions. A person will also have to provide their tax returns.

Once the SSA has this information in hand, one of the key factors it will evaluate is when a person first became too disabled to work full-time. This date is called a person's disability onset date. The SSA will calculate this date by comparing a person's work history against the rest of their application, especially their medical evidence and, in some cases, by interviewing family and friends.

Those interested in learning more may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. It is important that disabled individuals understand their rights at all phases of the application process, which includes appealing if an initial claim is denied.

Source: FindLaw, "Social Security Disability Explained," Accessed Nov. 8, 2016

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