Working While Disabled: Getting Full Benefits

Posted on: 10 February 2015

If you are planning on collecting on social security disability, you may need to quit your job or at least work fewer hours if you have not reached your retirement age yet. Once you have reached the retirement age, however, you are free to work away. If you are claiming disability for another reason, you are not allowed to earn more than a certain amount and still collect full disability benefits. Working for more than this amount is considered substantial gainful activity and you will not receive social security benefits at all.

Determining Your Income

Your income is not necessarily based only on the net amount that you bring in each month. If you need several assistance devices to help you work, these devices can be deducted from your substantial gainful activity, allowing you to still qualify for social security.

Figuring Whether You are Earning Too Much

Even if you are earning less than the maximum allowed amount, the government may consider you to not be disabled simply based on the additional amount of time that you spend working. This is most likely to be a problem if you are working 25 hours a week or more. However, this will not be the case if you have another medical condition that would indicate that you are disabled, such as if you suffer from blindness or ALS.

If you are earning too much, you will begin to have 50% of your earnings deducted from your social security benefits. On the year that you turn 65, you will have one third of your earnings deducted from your social security benefits.

Your earnings will not only include a paycheck, but will also include any earnings you receive from pensions, annuities, interest, investments and any benefits that you receive from the state.

Proving That You are Disabled

The best way to prove that you are disabled is to consult with a disability attorney (such as Bruce K Billman or another person). He or she will look at your unique situation to find evidence that you are disabled and will need assistance. If your disability does not fit on a list of covered benefits, you will need to provide the social security disability office with all of your symptoms so that you will be able to prove the extent of your disability.

A second approach is to prove that you cannot perform the work that you were previously performing. For example, if you were a contractor, but you had back problems, you will possibly get disability compensation simply because you can no longer work as a contractor. But regardless, you will need to consult carefully with your disability attorney.