To become eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must be incapable to participate in substantial gainful activity. But, you may be able to earn a small amount of income while receiving Social Security disability payments. One of the purposes of the Social Security Disability program is to provide financial help to those who suffer from a disability so severe that it limits you form being able to work full time. Although there are some ways you can get away with working part time, if you make too much money you will be denied. In this article we will discuss the nuances of working while drawing Social Security Disability payments.
When evaluating a disability claim, one of the first things that the Social Security administration judges 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. SSA thinks that if you can earn over this amount, you must not be "disabled" and you will be denied immediately.
However, there are several exceptions discussed below. If you don’t have work that earns over $1,220 per month in 2019 (or $2,040 if you're blind), SSA will then, and only then, consider your medical condition.
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.
How our experienced disability attorneys can help
If you are confused about your SGA or your income limits, or need help applying for benefits or appealing a denial of benefits with the SSA, you should consider hiring a disability benefits lawyer or advocate. A lawyer or advocate can help you gather necessary evidence, fill out your application, and make sure that you maximize your chance of receiving the disability benefits you need.
At Kalfus & Nachman PC, we've helped hundreds of people get the disability help they are entitled to. The process of applying for early Social Security Disability benefits can be long and frustrating. Without legal help, it can take up to 2 ½ years to get benefits. Hiring Kalfus & Nachman PC to help you receive these benefits can significantly lessen this waiting period. We have solid experience and understand complicated federal regulations governing Social Security Disability claims. We'll help you get through the system to get the benefits you need. Call us today!