Some states define disability differently. In New Jersey, disability is defines as the inability to work at any job that can sustain your and your family’s needs because of a medically determinable disability. This disability must be expected to last for at least a year or be fatal. For children, disability in anyone under 18 is defined slightly different. Here, it’s anyone who shows functional limitations. Remember, no matter what age, the disability or limitations must be medically determined, not the opinion of an individual or an individual’s doctor.
There are two different programs for those with a disability in New Jersey. The first is social security disability. This program is the one funded by social security taxes. In order to qualify for social security disability, a person must have earned a number of credits. These credits are based on how much taxable work an individual has done, and the amount each person gets is based on the amount of social security they have paid in.
The second income program is supplemental security income. It is paid through general funds, and the amount of social security a person has paid is not a factor. For supplemental security income, the payment amount is figured first by a federal rate, then adjusted depending on an individual’s income and other resources.
Children who are disabled likewise have two different program options. Supplemental Security Income is available to a child under the age of 18 who has mental or physical conditions that limit their activities and are expected to have these conditions for over a year. Social security disability funds are available for those termed “adult children.” The difference between this and normal social security disability is that the individual’s disability must have began before they turn 22 years old. One of the child’s parents also must have held a job long enough to qualify for social security.
New Jersey is a state that offered temporary disability. To be eligible, an individual must have worked for a New Jersey company (living in New Jersey is not required) and must file an application within 30 days of becoming disabled. Note that if a person becomes disabled right away because of a worker’s compensation accident, that is the beginning date of their 30 days. If they don’t actually become disabled until after surgery or some other event, that event marks the start of their 30 day claim period, and they should not file for temporary disability until after that event.