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Don't wait to begin the SSI process in New Jersey

Regular readers of this blog may recall that we often talk about the basic eligibility requirements for applying for disability benefits. For both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, one of these requirements is that the disability involved have lasted or be expected to last over one year or result in death. However, this one-year requirement should not dissuade potential applicants from beginning the process as soon as they are diagnosed with a potentially disabling condition.

First, it is important to note the "expected to last"' language in the requirement. While having a disability that has lasted over one year already may be the easiest way to meet the standard, many disabling conditions will very obviously affect the individual for longer than the requisite period. Let's take, for example, a person filing for SSI due to blindness. While the individual applicant may have only recently been diagnosed with vision of less than 20/200 acuity, in many cases the condition causing the loss of sight will be permanent or long-lasting. In these cases, the individual probably should not wait to begin the SSI filing process, as he or she will meet the "expected to last more than year" requirement immediately.

Of course, the other thing to take into account with regard to this time requirement is the long wait periods that often accompany applications for SSI or SSDI. Since it may well take over a year for approval of an application, except in cases that may qualify for expedited processing, the one-year requirement may be met by the time the claim is adjudicated.

It is important to note that there are several other basic tests that need to be passed along with the length of disability standard to be eligible to receive disability benefits. For more information on applying for SSI and what those requirements are, please feel free to visit our webpage on the subject.

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