Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
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
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
Will Social Security deny my disability claim if I am working?
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.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
What happens if you get denied for social security disability three times?
Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
What should be done if your disability is denied?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security disability or SSI?
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Does SSI disability come with automatic medical care?
How a Social Security Disability or SSI award is made
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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria