Can I Apply For Disability While Working
The short answer is, yes, you can apply for disability while working.
However, you need to be earning under a certain amount and the Social Security Administration may look at the number of hours you are working as well as the type of work being performed to ascertain whether you could be working full time.
The amount that you are not allowed to earn more than is called the substantial gainful activity or SGA limit. If you earn more than that amount, SSA assumes you can do a substantial amount of work and determines that you are ineligible for disability. The 2020 SGA limit is $1,260 per month.
I believe working part-time while you are seeking disability benefits is a very risky proposition, and I am not the only experienced disability lawyer who thinks so.
The SSA might also check how many hours you are working per week. If you are working more than part-time, it may be difficult to persuade the SSA that you cannot work and should receive disability.
As part of the disability claim process, the SSA will be looking into what type of work you are capable of doing. If you have regularly been doing work that you claim you cannot do, this will negatively impact your case.
For example, if you injure your back and are applying for disability while working, it wont help your case if you are working stocking shelves while you wait for approval of your claim.
So to those wondering can I work while applying for disability, the answer is yes, but you will need to:
How Dependents Benefits And Attorneys Fees Affect The Offset
If Social Security is paying dependents benefits to your spouse or children based on your disability , many LTD policies allow the insurance carrier to offset these amounts as well.
Social Securitys yearly cost-of-living adjustment is rarely factored into the offset.
Attorneys fees are generally not included when figuring the offset, allowing many Social Security disability claimants to obtain essentially free legal representation. While your insurer may offer to provide you with an attorney or a non-lawyer representative to handle your disability case, its usually a better idea to hire an experienced, independent disability attorney, especially if you can do so free of charge.
Every policy is unique, so read your policys summary plan description or contact your insurer to learn how dependents/auxiliary benefits and attorneys fees can affect the Social Security offset.
The Right To Work While Pursuing Social Security Disability Benefits
Can I still work when I am receiving social security disability benefits? How many hours can I work and still receive Social Security Disability benefits? Read on to learn more about your rights!
You can work and still receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income , but it is wise to consult an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best way to make your work comply with your benefit payments. Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal insurance program that provides benefits to the disabled. At;Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, we encourage our clients every day to seek job opportunities. We will also help them to do so if it is plausible considering their disability, injury or illness.
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Social Security Work Incentives
The SSA offers incentives to help people on SSDI or SSI get back to work, without jeopardizing their current benefits. These incentives include:
- Anine-month trial work period where you can still receive full Social Security benefits, regardless of how much money youre earning, as long as your reporting your work to the SSA.
- Anextended 36-month eligibility period where you can receive Social Security benefits for any month that you earn less than $1,260 .
- Expedited reinstatement, which includes a five-year period where you can request for the SSA to restart your benefits if your disability prevents you from continuing to work, without having to go through the entire application process again.
- Anextension of Medicare coverage for at least 96 months after your 9-month trial work period, if your Social Security Disability benefits have ended due to your earnings, but you are still disabled.
How Are Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Benefits Funded
Disability Insurance is funded by payroll tax contributions from workers and their employers. Workers currently pay a tax of 0.9 percent of their wages up to $113,700, and their employers pay an equal amount. These tax contributions go into the Disability Insurance trust fund. Funding for Supplemental Security comes from the federal income tax and other federal revenues.
The Social Security Administration administers both of these programs. State agencies, usually called disability determination services, make the initial determination of whether applicants meet the disability standard. These state agencies are federally funded and follow federal guidelines.
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If You Disagree With The Decision
If you disagree with the decision, you may ask to have the decision reviewed. You must request this review in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.
Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in making the original decision on your application.
Can You Work While On Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Benefits are designed to help those with disabilities stay financially afloat. A common question people have is Can I work while on social security disability?
When youre injured or unable to work for medical reasons, you can apply for Social Security Disability. We get questions about working while on workers compensation, but do the same rules apply to disability? Can you work while;on social security disability?
Its a good question with a complicated answer. Yes, you can work while receiving disability benefits. However, there are rules and limits to how much you can earn to continue receiving disability.
SSA disability isnt the same as receiving workers compensation benefits. Workers comp is typically short-term financial help to cover medical bills and lost wages while recovering from an on-the-job injury.;Social security disability is available to people with a long-term injury or health condition that prevents them from completing full-time employment.
Lets explore how you can work and earn some money without violating the rules of Social Security Disability.
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Disability Benefits From State Government
From January 2021, the;Department of Paid Family Medical leave offers a cash benefit to Massachusetts employees who need to take paid leave for medical or family reasons. Find out more at;Paid Family and Medical Leave .
Some employers offer short- or long-term disability insurance as a benefit to their employees. You should check with your human resources department to find out whether your employer offers this benefit and if you have previously enrolled in it.;If you have private disability insurance through your employer, or that you’ve;bought individually, typically it will require you to apply for any public benefits available. In conversations about disability insurance, if people are referring to “disability,” they often mean PFML.;
The Department of Transitional Assistance provides cash benefits to people with very low income and assets. If you are unable to work for at least 60 days due to a disabling condition, you may be eligible for one of their programs.;
If Youre Not Sure What Changes To Ask For
Check for charities or organisations which help people with your disability. You could also contact Access to Work for advice. Your employer can also ask them for advice and financial assistance with making adjustments for you.
If youre a member of a trade union, ask your union representative what changes have been made for others.
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Reduced Functional Capacity From Herniated Disc
Assuming you cant qualify under the above impairment listing, you might be able to qualify because your herniated disc has reduced your functional capacity. The SSA will evaluate your doctors notes on your functional limitations and restrictions, as well as your reports of pain, to determine if your back problems rise to the level of a disability that prevents you from working. The SSA will give you a rating of the type of work it thinks you can do based on your doctors restrictions. This is called your residual functional capacity . If the SSA determines there are no jobs you can be expected to do with your RFC, theres a chance you could qualify for disability benefits under a medical-vocational allowance.
The most common doctors restrictions for herniated disc are no lifting heavy objects and limited bending over. If you are limited to lifting 25 pounds or less, youll receive a light RFC. If you are limited to lifting 50 pounds or less occasionally, youll receive a medium RFC. If youve had surgery for herniated disc, youre likely to have restrictions of occasional bending and lifting no more than 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently a medium RFC.
Additional Things To Consider
Lastly, its important to remember that Social Security has a wide-ranging definition of whats considered income. While many private benefit programs are not considered part of that, there are other things like outside assets, investments, and more that could affect your ability to qualify for federal assistance.;
If youre considering applying for SSI or SSDI, its potentially worth your time to contact a qualified Social Security claims attorney to ensure that your application has the best possible chance of approval. Schott Law is a trusted source for eastern Washington and Idaho applicants working through these issues. Call 328-5789 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.;
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Is Herniated Disc A Permanent Disability
A severe herniated disc can be considered a disability and make you eligible for Social Security disability benefits if it meets the requirements in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book.
The Blue Book is the official listing of all of the conditions that qualify a person to receive disability benefits.
Each listing in the Blue Book also contains a set of requirements that a person must meet in order to qualify for benefits because of that condition.
A herniated disc by itself is not usually enough to qualify for disability benefits unless it is expected to make a person unable to work for at least 12 months and it meets the criteria that are listed in the Blue Book.
According to the Blue Book in order to qualify disability benefits a herniated disc must meet one of these three conditions:
- results in the compromise of a nerve root or the spinal cord, such as
- causes distributed pain, limits spinal motion, and/or causes motor loss due to the atrophying of unused muscles,
- causes sensory or reflex loss and limits motion in the legs measured with a positive straight-leg raising test
If your herniated disc has caused one of those conditions and you have medical documentation like X-rays or MRIs to prove it then you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to a herniated disc.
How To Prove Your Herniated Disc Should Qualify For Disability Benefits
There is no doubt that a herniated disc can cause severe, debilitating pain. But to qualify for SSD, you must prove your herniated disc pains bad enough to force you to stop working. you must meet the Social Security Administrations evidence requirements. While the SSAs website clearly lists these requirements, knowing how to interpret them is a different story. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must prove your herniated disc causes both these problems:
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What Other Requirements Are Beneficiaries Required To Meet
In order to receive Disability Insurance, a worker must have worked during at least one-fourth of his or her adult lifetime and during at least 5 of the 10 years before disability onset. There is also a five-month waiting period before a worker can qualify for benefits.
Supplemental Security provides assistance to people with severe disabilities who have very low incomes and assets and who either lack sufficient work history to be covered for Disability Insurance or receive only a very small Disability Insurance benefit. It is important to note that many Supplemental Security beneficiaries, although lacking the sustained work history necessary to be insured under Disability Insurance, have worked and paid into the Disability Insurance system. And others, particularly women, are not eligible for Disability Insurance because they took time out of the paid labor force to care for children or other family members.
Workers must apply for and exhaust all other available benefits before qualifying for Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security. Accordingly, Social Securitys disability programs serve as a true last resort for people with severe disabilities and little to no ability to work.
What Can Happen If I Do Not Report My Earnings From Working
It can be difficult to make ends meet when trying to survive solely on disability benefits. It may be tempting to do a little work on the side and not report the earnings, so you do not lose your disability benefits. This can have serious consequences.
You must report all work and all changes in work. You must include all earnings, including both wages and self-employment. If you continue to accept disability benefits while working and not reporting your income, the SSA may determine it made an overpayment to you for every month in which you worked.
Even if you quit your unreported job, the SSA can withhold future benefit payments until you have paid off the overpayment amount. If the SSA terminates your disability benefits, you may have to repay the entire overpaid amount out of pocket. The SSA can intercept tax refunds and garnish your wages to collect the overpayment.
You might even face Social Security fraud charges. The SSA has a zero-tolerance policy for fraud. Consequences can include having to pay back all overpayments, fines of up to $5,000 for each occurrence, and imprisonment.
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Working And Ssi Benefits
You can begin to work and continue to receive SSI benefits as long as your wages and other resources do not exceed the SSA’s income limit for SSI; however, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced in proportion to your income.
Here’s how the SSA reduces your income. Both the federal benefit amount and the SSI countable income limit are $794 . The SSA will reduce your benefit by the amount of your countable income. Fortunately, not all of your income is countable income.
If your only income is from your job, the SSA does not include the first $85 you earn toward your countable income. After taking the $85 adjustment off of your income, the SSA will deduct, from your monthly benefits, 50 cents for every dollar you earn. For example, an individual who earns $1,000 a month from working has $457.50 of countable income . The individual’s monthly SSI benefit amount would be reduced by $457.50.
Your monthly benefit amount is also affected by the amount your state adds to the federal SSI payment, if any. For more information, see our article on how much SSI pays.
If your SSI payments stop because you earn too much money , but you are subsequently forced to quit work because of your disability, the SSA will reinstate your benefits without the need for a new application for a period of five years.
Learn more about the SSI work incentive programs.
How Does Social Security Know If You Are Working
The SSA is legally obligated to verify the details of your case from time to time.
Additionally, once approved for disability, you are required to update the SSA, by mail, phone, or in person, of certain changes that may impact your disability claim.
- If you work, no matter what you earn
- If you receive other disability benefits
- If youre offered services under the Ticket to Work program
- If you move
- If you change direct deposit accounts
- If youre unable to manage your benefits
- If you get a pension from work not covered by Social Security
- If you get married or divorced
- If you change your name
- If you care for a child who receives benefits
- If you become a parent after entitlement
- If a child receiving benefits is adopted
- If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest
- If youre convicted of a crime
- If you violate a condition of parole or probation
- If you leave the United States
- If your citizenship status changes
- If a beneficiary dies
- If youre receiving Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits
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