Social Security Disability

Dedicated New Jersey Social Security Disability Lawyers

Social security cards in a law firm in New Jersey.If you live in New Jersey and need legal assistance to pursue your Social Security disability claim, don’t take chances. Choose the law firm you can trust and contact Petro Cohen, P.C. today.

Does my Disability Qualify to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security disability benefits may be available if you are seriously and permanently disabled. To qualify, you must be considered totally disabled from performing any substantial, gainful work, and must be disabled or expected to be disabled for a minimum of 12 months.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may consider other sources of income, such as pension and workers’ compensation benefits, in determining the amount of disability entitlement.

The Social Security Disability (SSD) Department at Petro Cohen, P.C. can assist you with applying for benefits, particularly if you are turned down after an initial request or reconsideration. It is important to contact a disability attorney within 60 days of the SSA’s decision to determine if it would be feasible to request a hearing before a United States Administrative Law Judge who will review the entire file and conduct a hearing.

The Basics of Social Security Disability

Social security application form in on a table in a law firm in New Jersey.Most people are aware that there are qualifications for Social Security benefits.  To be eligible, you must have a work history long enough to qualify you under the Federal Social Security guidelines. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, there is a specific formula used to determine your eligibility.

One important qualification is that you must be disabled with a condition that is expected to last a year or more and prevent you from working. Because it can take quite a long amount of time for your application to go through the system, you should begin the process as soon as you know the extent of your disability.

Along with your completed application, the Social Security Administration will require the following information to process your eligibility claim.

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your birth certificate
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your physicians and other healthcare providers
  • Names and dosage of your drug prescriptions
  • Medical records and laboratory results from your healthcare providers
  • A summary of where you were employed and the work you did
  • A copy of your most recent W2 form or federal tax return

Social Security disability claimants who have been approved to receive SSD insurance benefits are subject to a waiting period of five months before Social Security owes the claimant disability benefits. As an example, if the Social Security Administration were to find you to be totally disabled as of January 2017, you would not be entitled to begin receiving your monthly benefits until June 2017.

Don’t Gamble With Your Legal Rights™.

Although Social Security matters take many months to resolve, enlisting the aid and advice of a New Jersey Social Security disability lawyer is always a beneficial first step. The Social Security team at Petro Cohen, P.C. can assist you with submitting your claim and keeping your submitted medical records current, as well as unravel any confusion you may encounter concerning your case and the qualification and payment process.

Non-Medical Evidence in Social Security Disability Claims

When your disability finally prevents you from working, and you are forced to file for Social Security Disability benefits, the process can feel intimidating from the outset. It may feel like there are a thousand hoops to jump through just to present medical evidence that the government will accept and to get the benefits you need in order to survive.

It is extremely important to present all of the available medical evidence in your claim. However, it can be critical to the success of your application for Social Security disability benefits to have sound advice from a qualified and competent SSD attorney who understands the role of non-medical evidence.

How Non-Medical Evidence Plays Into Your Claim

For the submission of your Social Security disability claim, the most important goal is to show the government that you require benefits because you are unable to work. Naturally, the most important factor in that claim will be medical evidence. Your doctors and other healthcare providers will be able to show that, medically speaking, you cannot perform a job. Sometimes, however, the medical evidence alone – no matter how compelling it may be – does not paint the whole picture of how the disability interferes with your ability to function at work. There may be other convincing, non-medical pieces of evidence that clearly show that you made an attempt to work, despite your medical challenges, and yet were unable to.

For example, you may have a work record that reveals the effects of your disability. Perhaps you had a strong, consistent work history up until the onset of your medical issues, at which point your work history became spotty. Perhaps you were forced to switch jobs a few times because you found you could not perform the duties of your old job, or maybe your attendance became inconsistent due to medical treatments or chronic pain. Family members who have seen the effects of your disability firsthand can attest to the impact on your life. Your former coworkers or bosses may also be able to confirm that you made an effort to continue to work, but simply could not. This type of evidence does not portray you in a negative light. Rather, it shows that your disability is truly preventing you from doing the work that you would otherwise gladly perform. It adds to your credibility and makes the Social Security Administration far more likely to grant you the benefits you need.

How to Utilize Non-Medical Evidence

If you are filing for Social Security disability benefits, it is important to take action early, as it can take 18 months or longer to get benefits. It is advised that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Social Security disability attorney who can aid you with navigating the filing process and compiling the supporting evidence. It takes expertise, diligence, and skill to put together a successful application for SSD benefits.

At Petro Cohen, P.C. we have the legal experience to know where to look for crucial non-medical evidence in your Social Security disability benefits case. If you have been turned down once before for benefits, it may have been because not all of the relevant evidence was presented convincingly. Contact us for a free phone consultation to learn more about your options, whether for the initial filing or to appeal a denial of benefits.

Why Petro Cohen, P.C.

In Litigation, You Don’t Get a Second Chance.

Select Excellence when choosing a lawyer to represent you with your Social Security disability claim. The qualifications and credentials of your lawyer can make all the difference between success and failure. Don’t Gamble With Your Legal Rights™.

Suzanne Holz Meola, who heads the Social Security Disability Department at Petro Cohen, P.C., has years of experience in helping clients with their SSD claims. If you believe you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits, we will assist you with each step of the process.  Whether filing a claim for the first time, whether Social Security has initially denied your claim and you need to file for a Request for Reconsideration, or whether it is necessary to request a hearing to obtain your benefits, Petro Cohen, P.C. can help.  We will take the time to listen to you, help you prepare a complete and compelling claim, and be there for you when you need us.

One of the best ways to determine whether a law firm can assist you is by hearing what other clients have to say about their experience with the firm. We feel our clients tell our story best and encourage you to take the time to read the many testimonials our clients have graciously provided.

Petro Cohen, P.C. takes great pride in the firm’s reputation. We are grateful to all of our clients who have helped us earn this reputation by supporting us and referring us to their friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Our goal, as with all of our cases, is to ensure a smooth and successful outcome for your case. It is our sincere hope that you will have a great experience with your claim, and will continue to count on and refer Petro Cohen, P.C. for any future legal matters.

Contact Us Today

In addition to handling Social Security disability claims, Petro Cohen, P.C. Law Firm handles workers’ compensation and personal injury claims and is recognized throughout the State of New Jersey as one of the top firms in these practice areas. Our team of knowledgeable lawyers have over 200 years of combined experience in these three practice areas and maintain impeccable credentials.

We have offices in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ.  You may contact all four of our offices Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM. Our Web site is open 24/7 with Live Chat available and you may e-mail us at any time at  There is also an answering service on call at all times.

Call today for a free consultation so we can discuss your situation and learn how we can help you and your family, or fill out our online contact form.

Our experienced attorneys handle other types of cases as well, including:


Social Security Disability: FAQs

You can apply for SSD through your local Social Security Administration office or via the Internet at The first step is to review the Adult Disability Starter Kit, which answers common questions about how to apply for benefits and includes a worksheet explaining what information you will need to start the process. Once you have gathered the necessary information, you can fill out the application online to apply. You must also fill out an online disability report, which includes information about your disability, your treatment, your health care providers, and current medications.

Ninety percent of all initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are rejected by the Social Security Administration. Initial applications are reviewed by employees of Social Security, not by a Social Security judge. Once an applicant receives a denial of benefits, he or she has 60 days to appeal the decision. This must be done in writing and the applicant must request a hearing before a Social Security judge. If your application for benefits has been denied, you should speak with one of our New Jersey Social Security disability attorneys and have them represent you in your appeal. Over 60% of those applicants who retain an attorney for their appeal are eventually awarded Social Security disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not the same as Social Security disability (SSD). SSI is designed to pay a monthly benefit to people with limited income who are disabled, blind, or ages 65 or older. Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to receive SSD benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for SSD benefits and is administered by the Social Security Administration. Unlike SSD benefits, SSI benefits are not based on work history. SSI benefits are financed by the U.S. Treasury (in other words personal, corporate, or other taxes). SSI benefits are not paid for by your contributions to Social Security through your employer, so there is no requirement that you “pay in to the system” to qualify for this benefit. In most states, a person who receives SSI benefits can also qualify for Medicaid health care coverage.

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