You may think that applying for Social Security disability payments will be an open-and-shut process, but in order to qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits in New Jersey, you will have to pass both the ‘duration of work’ and ‘recent work’ tests. These tests evaluate the length of your employment and your past earnings record to determine your eligibility for disability payments.

The “duration of work” requirement shows that you worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits. Your combined years of work can range anywhere between a minimum of 1.5 to 9.5 years (depending on the age at which you became disabled). 

The “recent work test” is a little more complicated. It is based on the calendar quarter in which you turned or will turn a certain age, and your age at the time you became disabled.

For example, if you become disabled...

  • In or before the quarter of your 24th birthday: You will need to have achieved 1.5 years of work during the three-year period ending with the quarter your disability began.
  • In the quarter after your 24th birthday but before the quarter of your 31st birthday: You need to have worked during half the time for the period beginning with the quarter after you turned 21 and the quarter your disability began. 
  • In the quarter of your 31st birthday or later: You must have worked during five years out of the ten-year period ending with the quarter you became disabled.

At Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr., our New Jersey Social Security disability lawyers can help you take the guesswork out of filing for disability benefits. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 for a FREE consultation, or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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