What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Will Social Security deny my disability claim if I am working ?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security disability guidelines do not preclude all work activity. If you are working but not performing SGA, your disability claim may very well result in an approval for disability benefits. Each year, the Social Security Administration sets a monthly SGA amount. Substantial gainful activity, or SGA, is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers self-supporting. Generally SGA is full time work, however part-time work may be considered SGA if it results in monthly earnings that are over the SGA limit.
When you file your disability claim, the claims representative will thoroughly address all work activity for the prior fifteen years, as well as your current work activity. While evaluating your work activity, they determine if your current work activity is SGA.
SGA can be affected by special considerations given by your employer that allow you to perform your job. Special considerations might be less production, more breaks, more sick time, etc. If you receive special considerations, your work may not be worth the amount you are paid. If you allege that your employer is giving special considerations, Social Security will verify them with your employer. They will include a subsidy questionnaire for your employer to complete. The questionnaire allows your employer to indicate the value of your actual work.
For example, if you are earning $1600.00 a month and your employer indicates that your work is worth fifty percent of your pay, your earnings for the purposes of a SGA determination would be counted as $800.00 a month. In this example, Social Security would make a determination that you are not engaging in SGA, even though your reported earnings are above SGA.
However, if you have no special considerations or subsidy from your employer and your earnings are indeed over the SGA monthly earnings limit, your disability claim will be denied. There is no flexibility other than subsidy that would allow you to be approved for disability if you are working and earning over the SGA limit.
The Social Security definition of disability is two-fold. Not only must you have a severe medical or mental condition, your condition must prevent you from performing substantial work activity for at least twelve months. You cannot be approved for disability if both of these criteria are not met.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials