Our Lowell Social Security Lawyer on Applying for Disability While Working
The great majority of Social Security disability claimants are not working; although a Lowell Social Security lawyer can explain that there is no prohibition against doing so, it is important to realize that it may be more difficult to be approved for benefits if you continue to work.
Substantial Gainful Activity
This is the dollar amount of monthly income a recipient is permitted to earn while collecting disability. For 2015, the SGA is $1090; however, a Lowell Social Security lawyer cautions that the Social Security Administration can look to other factors in ultimately determining eligibility for disability.
What the SSA Includes and Deducts
Most claimants who are employees will consider their regular gross earnings and compare that amount to the SGA, but the SSA regulations call for a different treatment of certain types of earnings. For instance, bonuses are included but sick pay and vacation pay are deducted to determine your SGA. Additionally, if your impairment requires you to spend money to accommodate your ability to work, those expenses are also deducted. Similarly, if your employer is covering expenses to enable you to work, the SSA should offset that amount in determining your SGA.
Perceived Value vs. Real Value
Some employers actually subsidize an employee who is struggling with an impairment by paying a full salary even though the employee’s true value is less because of his or her physical or mental limitations. The SSA may consider this factor. On the other hand, if you are self-employed, there may be ways to claim you are making less money than is the true value to your business. If so, the SSA may consider your SGA amount to be higher than your declared net profit in the business.
Contact a Lowell Social Security Lawyer for Legal Advice
The rules and regulations governing the disability process are confusing, and more than half of all applicants are initially denied benefits. If you have any questions at any stage of your claim, call the Palma Law Offices, PC, a Lowell Social Security lawyer, at 888-295-4955.