Can I be eligible for social security disability if I’m working?
One of the purposes of the Social Security Disability program is to provide financial help to people who suffer from a disability that prevents them from being able to work full time. Although there are some ways you can get away with working part time, but if you make too much money you will be denied. This article will discuss working while drawing disability.
When looking at disability claim, one of the first things that the Social Security administration looks for is whether you are earning what it calls "Substantial Gainful Activity" (SGA). This actually happens before the SSA will even look at your medical condition. SSA has defined SGA as any work activity that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. The dollar amount changes each year for inflation. The SSA figures that if you can earn over this amount, you must not be "disabled" and you will be denied immediately.
There is some income that is not actually earned. For example, gifts, workers' comp, insurance payments, passive income, or delayed payments do not require any specific work "activity" and would therefore be excluded from the SGA evaluation.
If you trying to hide your earnings by being underpaid, SSA will look at the fair market value of the activity. The SSA can even treat volunteer work or criminal activities as SGA if the activity perform would typically receive compensation in excess of the monthly SGA amount. This goes both ways, however. Say a mentally challenged person who does work bagging groceries and is overly compensated, then this type of subsidized employment will not be included. In short, the SSA will first look at the actual dollar amount paid and will then consider all the facts to see if someone's work was actually worth more or less than the SGA amount.
The extent of your work will have a practical impact on your judge. The judge will look at your dollars earned, hours spent, and the physical or mental demands of your job. For example, even though you might be working less than full time making less than SGA, if it is a job on a construction site where you lift up to 100 pounds all day, the judge might wonder if you could work a few more hours at a job that is more light duty.
If you are unable to work because of a physical or mental impairment, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. If you need help and are looking for an experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer in Virginia who can assist you in navigating the sometimes very complex process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits, then call Kals-Nachman. We will assist you in your initial claim and at the reconsideration level, and we will also represent you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge if this becomes necessary. In addition, there is no charge for your first visit, and there also is no attorney fee unless your claim is allowed by the Social Security Administration for Social Security Disability benefits.