Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

Can you work while filing for disability?

Many people considering a Social Security Disability application decide not to do so because they are unable to survive with no income while they wait for a decision. Do not let this stop you from considering a disability application because, in actuality, you are able to have some earnings when filing for disability.

Social Security has a monthly earnings limit known as SGA that will allow for a disability application while working. The SGA limit is an amount of monthly earnings that Social Security determines to be self-supporting. If you are working but earning under SGA, you will be able to file for disability and receive a medical disability decision. If you are earning over SGA your disability claim will be denied without ever being sent for a disability determination.

There is one exception to the SGA rule and that involves special considerations that an employer provides to a person to allow them to continue working. For example, if your employer allows you more time off, extra breaks, less production, etc, so that you can continue working, you may be receiving special considerations.

Disability claims that involve specials considerations have to be evaluated to determine if the work is truly SGA. As part of their evaluation process, Social Security contacts your employer to complete a questionnaire that asks them to compare the worth of your work with other employees doing the same job. If you are earning $2000.00 a month but your employer states that your work is actually only worth 50% of the value of work performed by other employees, Social Security will only consider your monthly earnings to be $1000.00.

Why does Social Security do this? Your employer is actually making it possible for you to have income and if they did not help you by giving you special considerations you would not be employed. In the example I have just provided, you would be earning $2000.00 but your earnings would be counted as $1000.00 and that would cause you to be under the 2018 and 2019 SGA limits (see SGA limit). Meaning you would be able to collect disability benefits each month.

In summary, you are allowed to work and file a disability claim. If you are under SGA you continue working while a decision is being made. And, even if your earnings are over SGA, you may be able to continue working until a decision is made provided that Social Security determines that employer special considerations are enabling you to continue work and that the value of your work is actually under the SGA limit.

Essential Questions

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Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

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Related pages:

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Which medical conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?

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Can I get married and still get my Social Security Disability?

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.