Archives for November 2014

When You Cannot Work Because of Injury or Illness

Obtaining Benefits through the Social Security Administration

Handicap parking spaceWhen you are unable to work because of injury or illness, you can look to private or employer-sponsored disability insurance. But you are not without options if you don’t have this type of coverage. Regardless of your age, if you meet the requirements, you can receive payments under a Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security income claim.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits

To be eligible for SSDI payments, you must first show that you are disabled. For purposes of eligibility, the Social Security Administration defines a disability as a condition that keeps you from being gainfully employed for at least one year. In addition, because payments for SSDI claims come from tax receipts, you must have enough “work credits” to qualify. While the number of credits generally depends on your age and when you became disabled, as a general rule, you must have worked at least some part of the five of the last ten years before your disability claim is filed.

The Benefits under an SSDI Claim

Once your application is approved, you will receive payment of benefits based on your personal earnings record, with average payments ranging from $1,000 to $1,400. For the first two years during which you receive benefits, you may be eligible for Medicaid, based on your total income. However, after two years, you will automatically qualify for Medicare, regardless of how old you are.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Social Security Administration operates the SSI program as well, but it’s based primarily on financial need, and is generally funded in a cooperative program between state and federal government. To qualify under the federal guidelines, you must:

  • Be blind, disabled or over the age of 65
  • Be a citizen of the United States or meet strict requirements related to permanent residence, asylum or refugee status
  • Fall below the income guidelines
  • Own a minimal amount of property
    • Contact Us

      At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.

When You are Hurt at Work in New Jersey

Man watching televisionAs in all states, when you suffer a workplace injury in New Jersey, you have a right to pursue benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. You must notify your employer in a timely manner, and you must submit to a physical examination from a doctor chosen by your employer. If your claim is approved, though, you may be entitled to receive a broad range of benefits.

Compensation for Lost Income

If you are unable to return to your job within seven days of your injury, you have a right to receive what are known as “temporary total disability” benefits until you can return to work, subject to certain limitations. Under New Jersey law, the compensation for lost wages pursuant to a temporary total disability is approximately 70% of your average weekly wage for the last year, with minimum and maximum payouts under law.

You are entitled to receive payments for temporary total disability until:

  • You are able to return to work, or
  • Your doctor determines that you have reached “maximum medical improvement,” i.e., there is no treatment or care that will lead to a cure or complete return to health.

If your doctor finds that you cannot return to full health, you will be re-categorized as having either a permanent partial disability or a permanent total disability. If your doctor states that you can return to work in some limited capacity, you are considered to have a permanent partial disability, and are entitled to payment of benefits according to a schedule set forth in the New Jersey statutes. The schedule identifies the amount and length of payments based on the body organ—hands, arms, legs, feet, eyes, ears, etc.—that is disabled.

If you cannot return to work in any capacity, you will receive payments for a permanent total disability. These payments are also determined by the statutory schedule, and are typically for a minimum of 450 weeks. They may be extended, however, if you are still unable to work at the end to the designated period.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.

Alimony or Spousal Support in New Jersey

Woman carying groceriesThough New Jersey courts are generally less inclined now to grant alimony or spousal support in divorce proceeding than in years past, either party to a divorce may still pursue compensation after a marital breakup. When a party to divorce requests alimony, the court will consider a number of factors to determine whether the petition has merit. The court may grant permanent support, order payments for a specific period of time, or require a party to pay support until the ex-spouse can take care of his or her own needs.

The Criteria for Obtaining Alimony in New Jersey

When considering whether or not to compel a party to pay spousal support, the New Jersey court will look at:

  • The length of the marriage—generally, the longer the marriage, the greater the likelihood that the court will order some form of support
  • The age and health of the parties—courts are less inclined to order spousal support when the potential recipient is young, healthy and capable of providing for himself or herself
  • The actual needs of the potential recipient, as well as the ability of the other spouse to pay—in New Jersey, alimony is based primarily on need.
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The earning capacity of both parties—the court may look at specific skills, job training or education, and need not focus on whether the party was employed during the marriage. However, the length of time a party has been away from the job market may be a mitigating factor. Furthermore, the court may consider how much time and what it will cost for the non-working party to obtain education or training to become self-sufficient.
  • The extent to which the parties participated in the acquisition of marital assets
  • The property award in the divorce—If the court considers the property award to be sufficient to provide for necessary support, alimony may be denied.

Contact Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we have more than 70 years of combined experience representing parties across New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us at 856-234-2233.