Quick Guide to NJ Disability Insurance
With so much information on the internet, sometimes it is hard to find the facts about eligibility requirements and applying for NJ disability insurance benefits. This article will help clarify and direct those looking for assistance on disability insurance in the state of New Jersey.
If you are suffering from a short-term illness or physical injury that’s not related to your job or an impairment that did not arise because of your employment, then you may qualify for New Jersey’s state TDI program.
Eligibility for NJ Disability Benefits
In order to qualify, you must show proof that you have a health or medical condition that’s not related to your work. The injury or condition should also impede you from carrying on with work and you need to be currently receiving treatment for the said disabling condition. Next, you ought to have worked for 20 weeks earning at least $145 a week for a New Jersey employer who is covered. Also you ought to have had made at least $7,300 or more for your “base year” (which is the 52 weeks before you became actively disabled).
Now just because you fall under these parameters does not automatically mean you will receive TDI benefits. There are at least ten other factors that can disqualify you from being eligible for NJ disability benefits:
- If your disability does not extend for more than 7 days.
- If your disability began after 14 days from the last date of formal employment while working for a covered NJ employer.
- If you are not receiving any kind of treatment for disability by a licensed medical professional.
- If your disability was a result of a criminal act.
- If your disability was self-induced.
- If the latest employer sacked you for misconduct on the job or if you were fired for committing a crime.
- If you received pay for working as soon as you were disabled.
- If you sustained a serious disability through labor dispute with the latest employer.
- If you receive salary or wages from your employer and the cumulative pay and the TDI is greater than the salary/wages you were paid before you were incapacitated or disabled.
- If you are an employee of the government who qualifies for sick leave but haven’t used all sick leave days you’re entitled to as a worker.
- If you are receiving support payments from other welfare programs like unemployment, workers compensation, etc.
Estimating NJ Disability Insurance Benefits Payout
Once you have determined that you fall under the set guidelines for NJ disability then the next step is to calculate how much benefits you will be paid. You can figure your WBR (weekly benefit rate) by averaging the last 8 weeks of the salaries/wages earned. Your WBR is supposed to be 2/3 of said average. Also it is important to know that this money isn’t free as it a portion of your WBR is taxable. You may be able to receive benefits for a period of 26 weeks so no matter how long your medical condition lasts, your WBR will stop once it matures.
In the event you suffer another disability you will be able to apply again for TDI and the 26 week timer will start over. If you don’t understand the legal aspect of disability, you might want to talk to disability lawyers to advise you on the way forward.
How and when do I apply for TDI?
Applying for TDI is a straightforward thing. All you need to do is fill the Form DS-1. You must fill out all three parts. The first part is for you, the second part is for your employer, and the third part is for your physician or medical professional. Once you fill in the details, send the completed form to the Trenton NJ main office and make sure to have your full name and SSN included. The “when” can be a bit troublesome in some cases but for most people you should apply for TDI 30 days from the date you were disabled.
Should you file after the initial 30 days you will need to “prove” why you didn’t submit your application earlier. If you don’t show a valid reason you can be denied benefits or the benefits can be reduced. Also you may not file for NJ disability benefits in advance in the event that you are likely to become disabled because of situations such as scheduled surgeries.