How An Attorney Can Help Appeal Your SSD Case in New Jersey

If you are unable to work and earn a living because of a medical problem, you might be able to receive monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two different disability programs administered by the SSA. There are specific criteria that must be met to be approved for disability benefits. The Blue Book, which is a medical guide, is used to determine eligibility.

Most disability claims are denied during the initial review process. When a claim is denied, an appeal can be filed to request a reconsideration review. If the review also results in a claim denial, you can request an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

While there are countless reasons for disability claims to be denied, there are some reasons that are much more common than others. Claims are frequently denied because there is a lack of hard medical evidence, which supports your claim. Your medical records must be detailed and contain all the information needed so Disability Determination Services (DDS) can fairly evaluate your claim and decide based on your diagnosis, restrictions, and limitations.

Another reason for claims being denied is that the claimant is still working and is earning enough to exceed the limits for substantial gainful activity (SGA). You need to continue with follow-up care after a diagnosis, so DDS can determine if your condition has worsened or improved. In New Jersey, 43.2% of applicants are approved during the initial application and 14.3% are approved during reconsideration. On the hearing level, 59.4% of disability claims in New Jersey are approved.

Visiting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in New Jersey

If your claim is denied then you file an appeal and the reconsideration is also denied, you will file another appeal to request an appeal hearing before an ALJ. Appeal hearings are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). During the hearing, the ALJ will question you. A vocational expert will also be present and will ask you questions. Your attorney will help you prepare for the hearing by getting you ready for questioning. You will be asked about your work history, your educational background, your work skills, your health problems, your restrictions, and your limitations. These are all used to determine what kind of work, if any, you can do.

In New Jersey, there are three ODARs. On average, it takes 21.3 months for a hearing to be set and there is an average processing time of 703 days. On average, 47% of claims are approved on the hearing level in New Jersey. At the Jersey City ODAR, there are 11 judges and an average hearing wait time of 21 months. That ODAR has an average approval rate of 47%. In Newark, there are 14 judges and a 21-month wait. There are 11 judges at the South Jersey ODAR where there is an average wait of 22 months for a hearing date. That ODAR has an average approval rate of 53%. An attorney can have a significant impact on your hearing and improve your odds of having your claim approved.

Disability benefits in New Jersey

Getting Help From A Disability Attorney

Because disability claims are complicated, you should get help from a Social Security attorney. Your attorney can help you throughout the claims process and even file your initial claim for you. Your lawyer can go with you to DDS or the SSA so your file can be viewed to make sure all your evidence and documentation is ready, so you can get a fair review. Your attorney can also take care of all communications between the SSA and you. There are several SSA offices throughout New Jersey.

Social Security Administration
149 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302

Social Security Administration
2200 State Route 10, 2nd Floor
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Social Security Administration
325 West Side Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07305

If medical problems have left you disabled, you should complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your information will be shared with a Social Security attorney who will help you get your claim on track and determine the proper way to pursue with it so you can access the benefits that you need.

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