Do you have to notify your employer if you apply for Social Security?
The simple answer to this question is that you do not have to notify your employer if you are filing for disability. When you complete your disability application you will be asked for your permission with regard to contacting your employers to verify work information. Generally, Social Security has no need to speak with your employer when you file for disability.
There would be some situations for which contact with your employer might be beneficial to your disability claim. One example would be if your employer is actually subsidizing your employment by giving you special considerations such as: allowing your to take more breaks, allowing more absences, allowing you to perform limited duties, or even continuing to pay you even though your work is not worth that of other employees.
If your employer states they are paying your regular salary but your work is worth only 50%, then only half of your monthly salary will count toward the month SGA limit (this is the limit for how much earned income you can have and get disability).
Another example might be that Social Security could pay you more months of disability benefits if they can verify the date you stopped working.
The above situations occur rarely and Social Security does not arbitrarily contact employers. Disability examiners and Claims representatives prefer to speak with you alone about work activity. If you are working and earning below SGA, or think your employer is subsidizing your work, you should contact Social Security to file for disability.
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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