Does disability contact your employer?
This is a good question because there are many people who might be eligible to file for disability but they are worried about Social Security contacting their employer.
Social Security generally does not have to contact your employer provided you provide good information about your work during your disability interview. Social Security does not demand that you not be working to file for disability, just that your earnings be under the SGA monthly earnings limit.
For instance, if you are working a part time job and you are earning under $1220.00 gross per month (for the year 2019--to see the current SGA limit), you can file for disability and continue working.
If you are earning more than the SGA limit, the only way you would be eligible to file for disability would be if you allege that your employer is giving you special considerations to enable you to continue working. Special considerations might be longer breaks, more absences, less production, etc., and these are basically things your employer does to make it easier for your to work than other employees performing the same job. If you still want to file for disability, you must allow Social Security to contact your employer to see if your work is actually worth less than the work of other employees doing the same job.
Lets say you are earning 1500.00 gross per month but you employer states that your work is worth 50% of the other employees' work, Social Security would only count $750.00 as your monthly earnings toward the SGA monthly earnings limit. Consequently, you are eligible to file for Social Security Disability or SSI even if you are technically earning over the SGA limit.
The only other reason that Social Security might contact an employer would be if it were discovered during the development of your disability claim that you are working and potentially performing SGA. Sometimes a doctor might mention that you are working, or perhaps you notified the disability specialist working. No matter how they become aware of your work, they will request that a Social Security claims specialist contact you to determine if SGA might be an issue.
If they cannot reach you they may contact your employer to verify your earnings, so that your disability claim can be closed out for the performance of SGA or if they proceed with their disability determination.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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