NJ Social Security Disability (SSDI) Attorneys
Most of us assume that should we become disabled the Social Security benefits fund that we have paid into for years will be available in our time of need. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Statistics show that the majority of social security disability claims are denied on the first application attempt; however, utilizing an experienced NJ disability attorney greatly improves your chances of obtaining the social security disability benefits you need to care for yourself and/or your family. The NJ attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to successfully assist you in your SSDI and SUI claims.
SSDI and SUI Income Assistance
Income assistance or Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI) are available through the Social Security Administration for individuals who cannot work for one or more years or who are expected to die. The disability can be either a mental of physical condition.
The federal Security Disability Act defines disability as “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death.” *
In order to be eligible for social security disability benefits you would have had to work five of the last 10 years; however, the requirements vary if you are under the age of 31 since you would have not been in the work force long enough to qualify. The amount of social security benefits you are eligible to receive will be determined by the amount of years you worked and the income earned. Widows, children and family members of the disabled may be entitled to receive benefits as well; however, there are specific criteria that must be met.
There are also benefits available to disabled individuals who either fall into a lower level income bracket or may have not worked prior to their disability. These benefits are Supplemental Security Income benefits or SSI.
Social Security Disability Application Process
As soon as you know you will not be able to work during the next 12 months, or your disability will lead to death, you should file an SSDI or SUI claim. The process is long and tedious so the sooner that you file your disability insurance claim the better. However, before you start the social security disability application process you should ensure that you have adequate medical documentation and opinions from your doctors to confirm that you have a disability that is preventing you from returning to your previous job or would prevent you from obtaining another job that would earn you over $1,000 per month. Gathering this information can be tiresome and time consuming and failure to provide the proper documentation during the disability application process will cause denial of your disability insurance claim. Therefore, it is highly recommended you hire a NJ social security disability attorney prior to even beginning the process.
There are several stages in the disability application process:
Initial SSDI or SUI Application Filing – This is the first step in the disability application process. Your completed SSDI or SUI application will be reviewed by a Social Security claims representative and either approved or denied. Typically this process takes three to five months and more than half of the applications are denied at this point.
Reconsideration – If your SSDI or SUI application was denied during the initial stage, you have 60 days to re-file your claim for reconsideration. Even more claims are denied at this stage than in the initial application filing stage.
Hearing – If your SSDI or SUI application is denied during the reconsideration phase, you can request a hearing where you and/or your representative would present your case to an Administrative Law Judge.
- Appeal – If you are not satisfied with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision during your hearing, you may file an appeal through the Social Security Appeals Council. The Social Security Appeals Council has the authority to award or deny benefits, or can refer your case back to the Administrative Law Judge for review. Should you not be satisfied with the decision of the Social Security Appeals Council, your final option is to file another appeal with the Federal District Court of Appeals.
Benefits of Utilizing a Disability Attorney to Handle Your Disability Benefits Claim
Social security benefits insurance is something most people do not have knowledge of since typically SSDI or SUI is not thought about until it is needed. Often at that time, you and/or your family are trying to cope with the news and reality of your disability and how it may be changing your life and compromising your ability to support yourself and/or your family. Unfortunately, while social security disability insurance benefits are available, the process to obtain them is not easy. It is a complicated, time consuming process and failure to file your application correctly will no doubt result in denial. If your initial claim, which can take up to five months to process, is denied, the appeals process and resulting decisions can take well over a year. Most people don’t have the patience or stamina to see this process through and as a result are not receiving SSDI or SUI benefits they are entitled to.
The benefits of hiring an experienced disability attorney are many. Claimants that are represented by a disability lawyer have far greater chances of receiving their social security disability insurance benefits than those that do not have a disability lawyer. The NJ disability attorneys know disability law and work hard to ensure you collect all the SSDI and/or SSI benefits you deserve.
Your experienced disability lawyer can assist you with:
Minimizing the time you have to devote to the process – including waiting in long lines and dealing with government clerks/representatives.
Conduct a thorough evaluation of your social security benefits claim.
Fill out the complicated paperwork required to submit your claim.
Liaison with the Social Security Administration on your behalf regarding matters pertaining to your claim.
Work with you to gather all medical records and documenting related to your disability and ensures that the medical documentation is sufficient prior to submitting your claim.
Prepare for any hearings that are required by the Social Security Administration.
- Provide you with an estimate of the disability benefits you may receive based on information received from the Social Security Administration
Remember, the Clark Law Firm, P.C. offers contingency retainer agreements where you do not pay legal fees until they obtain a recovery for you. If you have become or are about to become disabled, your future and your family’s future may be at stake – including your employment and related income stream and potentially your medical and retirement benefits. Contact the Clark Law Firm, P.C. to ensure your rights related to disability insurance benefits are protected. They will help you find the representation you are looking for in your SSDI and/or SUI benefits claim.