Many times, people with a disability find themselves in need of financial support. If you’ve experienced an illness or injury that has left you unable to work, you may be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, part of the Social Security program run by the federal government. However, in order to receive these benefits, you’ll have to go through a lengthy process, which often involves court battles and other forms of litigation. That’s why you’ll need to contact your local New Jersey disability attorney, who can guide you through the process and help you with the following steps:
1. Determine your eligibility for SSDI and SSI
SSDI (or Social Security Disability Insurance) provides benefits for U.S. citizens who have worked in the country for a certain number of years before becoming disabled. If you worked into the system, you are usually eligible to receive a payment. SSI (or Supplemental Security Income) is aimed specifically towards low-income people who experience a disability.
There are many requirements for eligibility for both of these programs; your New Jersey disability attorney will help you determine how many years you have to have worked in the U.S. in order to receive SSDI benefits, and will also let you know if your income qualifies you for SSI. Furthermore, you have to have had a disability for at least a year prior to filing for SSI or SSDI benefits, and the disability has to have impacted your ability to work by a significant amount.
2. File the necessary paperwork for your case
After determining your eligibility, your attorney will take care of all of the necessary paperwork, a long and tedious process that can save you the stress and time that you may not be able to afford.
3. Gather evidence and support your case
Just because you may be eligible to receive benefits does not mean that you will receive them; you need to first prove that you actually have a disability. Your attorney will do this by gathering evidence – including medical records from any hospitals, physicians, specialists, treatment centers, or rehabilitation centers who have treated you or where you have been a patient – to support your claim.
4. Appeal your case if necessary
The overwhelming majority of initial claims are denied, which is why your attorney is there to submit the appeals paperwork. An even greater number of these appeals are denied, so your attorney will file to request a court hearing, and will ultimately argue your case before a judge.
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