Will I qualify for disability if I tried to go back to work?

I have had multiple surgeries due to an injury and had been out of work for 5 years. I am a nurse and was determined to go back to work. I have multiple spinal discs bulging, have had fusions, and many more problems related to the injury.

I went back to work and have worked now for a year. As the days went into months, I knew I was hurting myself. The pain has now overtaken my life. Failed back surgery and will always be on meds. My recent MRI is terrible and I am so distressed and depressed. I tried to go back and now I have had to stop working.

My question is, because I tried and went back to work for a year, will I qualify for disability?

I do not think going back to work will hurt your chances of being approved for disability. However, your disability date of onset would be set at the last day you were able to work at an SGA level. The substantial gainful activity amount for 2014 is one thousand and seventy dollars, gross, per month. This means that the day you stop working or your work is reduced to an earnings amount below that amount per month will be your disability start date for Social Security purposes. Note: to see the current amount: SGA.

It seems that you have plenty of objective medical evidence to support a finding of disability, however disability determinations are weighted upon impairment and age. If you are under age 55 you may have a harder time getting approved with your initial disability application, but would most likely be approved if you pursue your disability claim through the Social Security Disability appeal process to a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

I hope this information helps and good luck with your disability claim.

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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