Are you disabled and can still work but looking for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits? Well, it helps to know that to be eligible for such benefits, you must be incapable of engaging in significant income activity.
Social security comes with some special rules for work activities known as work incentives. This means you qualify for disability benefits while working in a limited capacity. So, you can earn some income while still receiving your disability payments.
The fact remains that, no matter their status, the disabled still need support. One out of every six working-age individuals (29.5 million) in America has a disability. This makes them more likely to face economic hardships than those without disabilities.
So, let’s learn whether you can receive social security disability benefits while still working. And, if your SSDI application is rejected in the initial review, you can still win the approval of the SSA with the help of an SSD lawyer.
Can the Disabled Work Entirely?
Many people with disabilities can work only to some extent. But, they still experience significant challenges finding work more than those without disabilities.
It gets even worse for those with long-lasting and severe disabilities. They may have minimal work capacity and are highly vulnerable to economic challenges.
Generally, to get considered for disability benefits, your physical state must limit your capacity to carry out basic activities like walking or lifting for a minimum of 12 months. It also involves mental disabilities like memory loss and lack of the ability to make decisions.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers some specific medical conditions to be highly disabling. But, they prioritize some claims for other conditions as well.
To start, you need to talk extensively with your primary care physician or specialist and discuss how the impairment affects your capacity to work fully. The doctor will most likely write you a letter to explain your condition, starting with why you need SSD benefits.
In the next step, you can apply for the benefits by filling out an application online or visiting a social security office within your area.
Can You Work While Getting SSD Benefits?
Once you start receiving disability benefits, you can continue working to some extent. At this point, you must keep a keen eye on your earnings. Usually, your SSD benefits will continue if you earn anything below $880 per month from your job.
Besides, if you spend some amount on job-related needs caused by your impairment, you might deduct this amount from your monthly earnings. Indeed, the National Disability Institute justifies that disability comes with extra living costs.
Hence, the SSA allows you to deduct any disability-related work expense from the total income. Such extra spending might originate from:
- The need to use a taxi instead of public means of transport to get to your workplace,
- Special medical equipment you may need for work that you must buy on your own, and
- Counseling services.
In such cases, you may have to report work-related details regularly to the Social Security Administration. Other things you may have to notify the SSA are:
- The start and stop dates for the job,
- Any changes in work duties, shifts, or hours worked,
- Your monthly wages, and
- Any other work-related expenses you may experience due to your disability.
The amount you can earn while on disability varies from one person to another. It also differs for those getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
What if Your Claim to Receive Disability Benefits Is Rejected?
When applying for social security disability benefits, there are several reasons why your application could get rejected. Failure to comply with the rules on your part or the lack of sufficient data and documents to support your claim can affect your application’s status.
If your Social Security Disability application is rejected the first time but you feel that you need the benefits to improve your living, then there are still options to explore. File for reconsideration of your application with the SSA with the help of a skillful disability attorney. Such social security disability lawyers can navigate the legal system for you and strengthen your application with the right data. The more evidence you have, it is highly likely that you can prove your claim earlier in the process.
SSD lawyers use their knowledge and experience to help gather the supporting documentation and evidence for your case. They’ll use this to prove on your behalf that you deserve the social security disability benefits.
Please note that most disability claims are often rejected in the initial review. Without detailed medical records and other documentation, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) can hardly determine whether you meet the criteria for social security disability approval.
But, with adequate documentation and hard medical evidence showing your condition’s severity, you have a very good chance of receiving SSDI benefits successfully.
You may also have long-term disability insurance through your employer, or perhaps you may have purchased private insurance. In such cases, you might be told that the insurance is distinct from social security disability.
But, the SSD lawyer can intervene in such an issue too. Expert lawyers for disability claims can save you from a lot of legal complexities and hassle. They can get you the disability benefits you deserve by pleading your case thoroughly.
It helps to know that you can work and earn income while still receiving your disability payment. But, the Social Security Administration will always prioritize substantial gainful activity.
The SSA necessitates that you, the applicant or disability claimant, be in a situation where you are incapable of performing SGA or any meaningful activity. In this case, you should only be able to work to a certain extent.
So, if you make anything beyond the specified monthly amount, the SSA concludes that you are not in the need of disability support. They presume you can engage in competitive employment and do not need disability benefits.
Remember that even if your social security disability benefit ends because of continued employment, you can still have it reinstated.
You can do this in the period when the impairment makes you unable to work. In this case, you can receive the benefits again because of your inability to engage in any significant SGA activity.