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New jersey disability benefits

Temporary Disability Insurance in New Jersey

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 24, 2024
3 min read
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If you currently live in New Jersey and can’t work due to an illness or injury, you have several options for disability benefits. On a federal level, the Social Security Administration offers financial and medical support through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Meanwhile, New Jersey offers short-term disability benefits while you recover. 

Learn more about Temporary Disability Insurance in New Jersey. 


Does New Jersey have a state disability program?

Yes. New Jersey is one of five states that administers a state disability program. The other states with their own disability benefits programs are New York, California, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. 

Most employers in New Jersey must include Temporary Disability Insurance coverage in the employee insurance package. New Jersey provides cash benefits for up to 26 weeks to those who can’t work due to a non-work-related injury or illness.

If you have a work-related injury, you are ineligible for TDI benefits; however, you can apply for workers’ compensation. 

Get personalized advice about your options.

What is the difference between TDI and disability?

There are several differences between the state and federal disability programs available to New Jersey residents. 

Eligibility

To qualify for New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance, you must prove that you have a non-work-related injury or medical condition that prevents you from working for up to 26 weeks. If you have a work injury, you can file for worker’s compensation. 

While New Jersey encourages disabled workers to apply, TDI is open to those who have paid into the program. Recipients of TDI must have worked for at least 20 weeks and earned a minimum of $283 per week. If they have not worked for 20 weeks, then their income for the base year (the first four of the last five quarters before you file a disability claim) must be at least $14,200. 

For both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must meet the SSA’s definition of a disability. The SSA Blue Book contains a full list of qualifying conditions for disability benefits. While both federal programs provide monthly benefits and healthcare coverage, their technical criteria differ. 

The SSA determines how much you’ll earn in SSDI benefits based on your highest-paying earnings, work history, and tax payments. For SSDI, you need at least 40 credits (workers who have worked five out of the last 10 years typically meet this criteria).

The SSA does not look at your work history to determine eligibility for SSI. Rather, it reviews your countable income, assets, and limited resources. If you make less than $1,000 a month in countable income and have less than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for married couples), you are technically eligible for SSI. 

Approval Timeframe

For SSDI and SSI, it can take over two years to get approved. Meanwhile, it takes about 29 months in New Jersey, which is longer than the national average wait. 

If you receive a denial on your initial application, which happens to most applicants, you can file for reconsideration. If your reconsideration is also denied, you have the right to request a hearing. The average wait time for a hearing in New Jersey ranges from 15 to 20 months. 

Payment amounts 

TDI recipients in New Jersey can receive up to 85% of their average weekly wages, capped at $1,005 per week. In 2024, SSDI pays a maximum of $3,822 per month, and SSI checks are a max of $943 a month (though you might receive slightly more as a New Jersey resident). 

In New Jersey, the average monthly SSDI payment is $1,947.46. For SSI benefits, the average payment is $575.60 per month. 

Duration of coverage

New Jersey’s TDI program lasts for a maximum of 26 weeks.

SSDI and SSI benefits last either indefinitely or until you reach retirement age. When you become 65, the SSA will transition your federal disability benefits program into retirement benefits. 


Who is eligible for TDI benefits?

Through Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI), New Jersey gives cash benefits—up to $1,055 a week, for a maximum of 26 weeks—to residents who can’t work due to a medical condition. Here’s how to know if you qualify for TDI benefits: 

  • TDI Contribution: You contributed to the TDI program through employment. Many NJ employers must include TDI in their workers’ state insurance plans.

  • Work history: You worked for a minimum of 20 weeks, earning at least $283 a week (or a combined total of $14,200 in the base year) 

Keep in mind that work injuries don’t qualify for TDI, so you would have to file a workers’ compensation claim.


How much are TDI benefits in New Jersey?

As of 2024, the maximum weekly benefits amount for New Jersey TDI recipients is $1,055 per week. You can calculate your average weekly wage by dividing your base year earnings by the number of base weeks (any week you earned at least $283). 

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

Average
monthly check

$1,489


How do I file a TDI claim?

In New Jersey, you can apply for TDI online, by mail, or by fax (make sure to sign and date the application). NJ’s Division of Temporary Disability Insurance requires the following information from you and your medical provider to complete your application: 

From you: 

  • Your personal information (Social Security number, contact information, and date of birth)

  • The date you become disabled 

  • Your medical provider during the onset of your disability

  • Relevant dates of emergency treatment and hospitalization

  • Employer information, work address, and days you previously worked within the last 18 months 

  • Dates for any PTO or benefits you received after you stopped working 

  • Your expected date to return to work 

From your doctor: 


Get help with your disability application

Applying for disability benefits can be time-consuming, but our Atticus disability lawyers in New Jersey are ready to guide you through the application process step-by-step. Get started with our two-minute quiz to see which disability benefits programs are best for you. 

Frequently asked questions about disability in New Jersey

How do I qualify for disability in New Jersey?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in New Jersey?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in New Jersey?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in New Jersey. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in New Jersey?

The average SSDI payment in New Jersey is $1,505.33 per month. The average SSI payment is $631.99 per month. What you’ll earn depends on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in New Jersey?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does New Jersey have a state disability program?

Yes, New Jersey is one of the five states with its own state disability program. Residents can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance, which offers payments for up to 26 weeks. Work injuries aren’t covered, though. If your injury will keep you out of work longer, you can still apply for SSDI and SSI. Read more about the difference between SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

New Jersey Disability Benefits

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By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in New Jersey

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By Jackie Jakab

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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