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What can budget proposal mean for individuals with disabilities?

Social Security Disability Insurance is structured so that individuals in New Jersey that live with a condition, illness or injury that prevents the individual from working for an extended period time can collect benefits to continue providing for themselves when they are unable to work and earn an income. The benefits are calculated upon the amount an individual looking to collect benefits paid through taxes into the system during the period in which they were able to work.

Some individuals have never been able to work for a period long enough, if at all, because of their disability. For these individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere, financial help can still be obtained through Supplemental Security Income. These benefits can also be received if an individual has a child with a disability that is less than 18 years of age.

At present, there are an estimate 8 million individuals in the nation that depend on SSI benefits. For more than half of these individuals, the average monthly payment of $520 is the sole source of income.

There has been talk of adjusting the manner in which the consumer price index is calculated. This could translate to increasing the cost of living for individuals that rely on benefits like this, which could further disadvantage these individuals by forcing them to live on less.

There has been much talk circulating about the budget, benefits and pressure of the Social Security Administration. This has meant backlogs, denied claims and more struggles. For individuals in New Jersey looking to mitigate these risks, speaking to an experience legal attorney can be highly valuable.

Source: McClatchy, "Obama's Social Security proposal detrimental to people with disabilities" Mike Ervin, April 12, 2013

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