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Overview of Disability

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How long does Disability take?

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Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

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Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

Can you be enrolled in school (trade, college) and apply for disability benefits?

Can you be enrolled in school (trade, college) and apply for disability benefits?

Yes, you can. Being in school is not a disqualifier for disability benefits. The only thing that is an immediate qualifier is if a person is working and earning more than the allowable gross earnings limit for Social Security Disability and SSI. That said, if you are applying for disability on the basis of some type of mental impairment, the disability examiner who is rendering your decision (or the judge who is deciding your claim if the case is at the hearing level) may be swayed by the fact that a person is able to adequately attend to an academic regimen.

This is because the criteria for receiving disability on the basis of a mental impairment is based on the individual's ability-inability to maintain attention, concentrate, learn, and function in concert with other individuals.

None of this, however, should dissuade you from applying for disability, of course, if you have one or more medical conditions that are impacting your ability to engage in normal activities of daily living, which may also limit your ability to engage in work activity at a substantial and gainful earnings level.

Here is an answer to a related question also:

Question: "Do I lose my disability benefits if I go back to school?"

Answer: "Going back to school wouldn't cause your disability benefits to be stopped under SSD or SSI. Both programs are really just concerned with the issue of medical improvement, which is why anyone approved to receive disability benefits will periodically undergo a CDR or continuing disability review.

Medical improvement, however, can be demonstrated by the mere fact that a person is engaging in work activity that earns them a monthly earnings amount that is at least equal to the SGA limit in effect for a given year.

None of this applies, of course, to school activity. So, to sum up, going back to school won't take you off disability benefits. However, if you were put on benefits for a mental impairment, the disability examiner who reviews your case during your CDR may be influenced by your ability to engage in academic studies when they evaluate your claim. SSD and SSI claim determination is unavoidably a somewhat subjective process.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Do I lose my disability benefits if I go back to school?
Can you apply for SSI for a learning disability ?
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
You can file for Social Security disability for a mental disorder or problem
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
How much does Social Security Disability or SSI pay?
How does the Social Security Disability Review work?
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI