When individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere enter the work world, they likely see Social Security taxes being taken out of their check. The idea is that by paying into the program, the program will be there for you when you need it. Take for example a disabling injury or illness. No one expect to experience such an event. However, individuals throughout the nation are met with this fate. While many are able to adapt and accommodate their life to live with a disability, others find it challenging and nearly impossible to live the life they once did. In some cases, one is no longer able to work because of a disability. This is where Social Security could be very beneficial.

Applying for Social Security Disability might seem like an obvious choice and clear answer. However, there are some factors to think about before taking the plunge and applying for benefits. To begin, it is vital to understand what the SSA uses to determine eligibility for SSD benefits. Three key factors are used to assess eligibility. First, whether there is a lasting medical condition that is so severe that it prevents you from working. Second, the medical condition must have lasted or is expected to last for 12 months or result in death. Finally, an applicant must have worked enough in order to qualify for SSDI.

With regards to SSDI, earning enough work credits is an issue. One must have paid Social Security taxes long enough to earn enough credits. The number of credits required is dependent on an applicant’s age. For example, those that are 31 years of age and older generally need 20 work credits to qualify. This translates into five years of substantial earnings.

Applying for SSD benefits is often a vital and necessary step to take. For some, the process might seem straightforward, while others view it as intimidating and complex. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it is important to understand how one moves through the application and appeals process and what rights you are afforded at all phases.