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Attorneys are available to help file for SSI in New Jersey

This blog has previously discussed the various differences between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Readers in New Jersey may remember that one of the main distinctions is that SSDI recipients have paid into the Social Security system through payroll deductions, while SSI benefits are not contingent upon such payments. Further, to receive SSI benefits, applicants must generally have little in the way of income and assets.

There are, however, some similarities between the two types of applications. One of these is that for either type of benefit, the applicant must meet the definition of "disabled." This means that the person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (or for SSI, be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity or be blind) due to a disability that has lasted, or is expected to last, for a year or more. However, like in an SSDI claim, SSI applicants need not wait for a year after becoming disabled to file for benefits. In fact, due to the time it may take for an application to be processed, many applicants may be better off filing sooner rather than later.

Another similarity between SSI and SSDI is the fact that many times, applications are initially denied. This means having to go through what can be a lengthy and complicated appeals process, which may require a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ.) While in most cases the chances of being approved by an ALJ are higher than during the first step of the application process, being prepared is the best way to increase one's chances at any hearing.

To this end, experienced New Jersey disability attorneys have handled many cases before ALJs and understand what they may be looking for in terms of evidence, and the types of arguments that work most often. Applicants should remember that they can usually hire an attorney at any point during the process, even after a denial by the Social Security Administration. The law firm of Levine Law, LLC has an overview of SSI benefits that may be a good starting point for those who are deciding whether to pursue benefits.

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