Knowing that you are under the legal age of retirement but are unable to work due to injury or illness may cause you to worry about your future, especially if you happen to be the sole breadwinner in your family. The U.S. government understands the need to help workers who are no longer able to carry out their duties or earn income because of physical or mental disability. The Social Security Disability Insurance program works to provide benefits to sick or injured workers who satisfy qualification requirements.

You may be less-severely disabled and able to take care of most of your personal daily needs, such as feeding yourself, performing basic hygiene functions and even moving around from one place to another. On the other hand, you may be one of many New Jersey residents who need an in-home nurse or other living assistance support system to get through an average day. Either way, if you meet eligibility requirements, you may be able to collect benefits to help make ends meet when you are unable to work.

Your condition must be on the government’s approved impairments list

There’s no guarantee that the mere fact that you are no longer able to earn sustainable income means you can collect SSDI benefits. Your particular medical impairment must be on the list of approved conditions set forth by the government. This list is not permanent, so it’s critical to make sure you review the most current information. The following list includes examples of medical impairments currently approved for SSDI benefits claim applications:

  • Most joint and bone problems that cause bodily dysfunction are approved. SSDI officials categorize these impairments as musculoskeletal problems.
  • If you suffered injury in an accident or developed illness complications that include vision or hearing loss, perhaps even speech problems (such as those commonly associated with having a stroke), you may be eligible to apply for SSDI benefits.
  • Certain chronic conditions, such as blood disorders like hemophilia or sickle cell disease, satisfy SSDI medical impairment qualifications.
  • Neurological, cardiac and respiratory conditions are also included on the approved impairment list.
  • Various mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, autism or depression, may also create SSDI eligibility.

As with most government programs, there’s quite a bit of paperwork involved in applying for SSDI benefits. You’ll also have to obtain certain written and signed documents from your doctor. The more documented detail you can provide regarding your physical or mental limitations that prevent you from being able to work, the better when it comes to qualifying for benefits.

There are resources available to help New Jersey residents more easily navigate the SSDI application process. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions or seek experienced guidance that can help you avoid delays or other obstacles that may impede your ability to collect benefits.