Is it OK to Work while Receiving Social Security Disability?

by Editorial Board on November 1, 2010 · 0 comments

in Winning Disability Benefits,Questions & Answers,Vocational or Work Issues

While it is best for your case that you are not working at all during the application process, this is sometimes impossible due to your financial obligations.  Working does not necessarily cause you to either lose a social security disability case or cause you to lose benefits you may already be receiving, as long as your earnings are below the amount considered to be substantial gainful activity (SGA).

In 2010, the SGA amount is $1,000 for a month.  It is important to note that if you are working, the disability examiner or administrative law judge may consider this an indicator of your potential to work full time.

Now there are some exceptions to the rules about SGA earnings, and you really should discuss these issues with a disability lawyer as each person’s facts will be different, and that could yield a different outcome.  For example, there is laws that acknowledge unsuccessful work attempts, meaning work over SGA during your application may not be considered as SGA earnings if they decide that work attempt was unsuccessful.  After you win benefits there is a trial work period that you can consider as well.  Again, both of these exceptions to the SGA limits should be evaluated by a disability attorney who can analyze your situation with the law to give you an answer on how the laws apply to you.

If you applied for or are receiving supplemental security income (SSI), any amount of work earnings you make will potentially affect (reduce) the amount of your monthly check.

Whether or not working is the best option for you is best left to your judgment after considering the costs and benefits of both the employment wages and any potential social security benefits.  Working will affect your claim, but to what extent varies on the type of work, amount of income the work produces, and the type of claim you have followed.

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