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If you find yourself suffering from an injury and unable to work, you may qualify for disability. It’s important that you understand the details about applying for disability and what you can do if you are denied. Here’s what you need to know.

What is disability and do I qualify?

If you were employed in a job covered by Social Security, you may qualify for disability. If you are currently working and earning a certain amount of money, you will likely not qualify, but even if you are in an assisted living community in New Jersey, you are still able to receive disability.  You must have a condition that prevents you from working and is included in the definition of disability. Additionally, you must be unable to return to work after a year. You must also have worked a certain amount of “credits” in order to qualify. If you meet these criteria, then you can apply for disability.

How do I apply?

As soon as you are eligible to collect disability, you should apply. You will need many documents to do so, including your Social Security number, your birth certificate, your medical records, and copies of your most recent W-2 Forms. Once you provide this and complete the application, it will then be reviewed by the Disability Determination Office.

How do they determine if I am eligible?

The office will review your application and your information. They will contact your doctors and ask them about your condition, past treatments, and how that condition affects you. Sometimes this information is not enough and they may ask you to go to a special examination, which will help determine your eligibility. The office will then take everything they have learned and determine if you qualify for disability. They will consider your medical condition, if you can do the work you did previously, and if there is any other work you can do with your condition. They will then determine the next step.

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What if my application is denied?

If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You will most likely want to contact an ICBC lawyer in Vancouver and have an attorney assist you with the appeal. You will probably start by submitting a request for reconsideration, which means you are simply asking them to take another look at your application. If that fails, you can request a hearing before a judge within 60 days of your denial. If you lose your hearing, you can ask the Appeals Council to review your case. Finally, you can file a lawsuit. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. If your application is denied, the best thing to do is contact a lawyer to go over your remaining options.

What percentage of appeals are approved?

Unfortunately, the odds are not high that you will win your appeal. Only ten to fifteen percent of the appeals that are reconsidered at the first step are approved. However, if you take your appeal to the next step, your odds increase. About half of the people who request a hearing with a judge are approved for disability. If you are denied after this hearing, your odds of eventually being approved become even smaller. Only about two to three percent of people are approved by the Appeals Council. If you have to take your case to the Federal Court, yours could be in the fifty percent of appeals that are sent back to Social Security for reconsideration. Otherwise, you may be out of luck.


If you qualify for disability, complete your application and submit it with all of the required information. If your request is denied, find an ICBC lawyer to help you move forward. Disability could be a necessity for you and your lawyer will help you appeal the decision and receive the compensation you deserve.