Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Disability Advice Tips
How long do cases take?
How to win Disability
SSD Mistakes to avoid
Disability for Mental
What if you get denied?
How to file Appeals
Disability through SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Disability for Children
How do I qualify for it?
Working and Disability
Disability Award Notice
Disability Lawyer Q&A
Disability Conditions List
What is a disability?
Your Medical Evidence
Filing for your Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
SSDRC Disability Blog
Has Anyone Won Their Social Security Disability Benefits While They Had A Job?
“I was working in construction at the time and they rejected me the first time. Then they noticed my injury, so I said I lost my job because of my new disability, I need the benefits, and I need the money. Beyond my drama, I have been receiving Social Security since.”
First, its pretty obvious that Social Security does not award disability benefits simply because someone claims to have a disability. Substantiation through medical record documentation is a requisite. And an individual's need for money and benefits, though natural and normal, is not a consideration in the evaluation process..
Secondly, not all injuries are considered severe enough to qualify for Social Security disability programs. For instance, even if an individual has a severe injury, if the individual is expected to recover in fewer than twelve months, they will be denied for disability on the basis of durational requirements.
The Social Security definition of disability holds that a claimant must have a mental or medical condition that has prevented them from performing substantial gainful work activity (each year, Social Security determines a monthly earnings limit that it considers to be substantial gainful activity (SGA) and if an individual earns more than that amount their claim will be denied no matter what their injury or condition may be) for twelve months, or is expected to prevent them from performing SGA for twelve continuous months.
Thirdly, an individual does not have to cease all work activity when filing for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income disability. Even if an individual is working but they are working less hours and not earning over the monthly SGA amount, they may still qualify for disability should they be determined to be medically disabled.
If an individual has applied for both Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or just SSI disability alone, they may have to meet other resource and income limits to qualify for SSI disability benefits.
Lastly, yes, some individuals have won their Social Security disability benefits while they had a job. However, these individuals had to meet all medical requirements to be found medically disabled and their work earnings have had to be under the SGA monthly limits to be eligible for Social Security disability.
Basically, the intent of this individual's question can be addressed in this fashion:
1) If you are working and earning at least a substantial and gainful income when you apply for disability, you will be denied on the basis of SGA.
2. You can apply for disability if you are working as long as your earnings are under the SGA limit for that year.
3. Keep in mind, however, that the disability process is to some extent subjective; meaning that even if your earnings are under the allowable limit, the mere fact that you are working while you apply for disability may influence the outcome of your case either at the disability hearing level or one of the earlier levels in the process.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
How long to get a Social Security decision letter?
Denied for disability length of illness
If I file for disability do I need pharmacy printouts?
Will disability go up at retirement age?
What medical conditions get you approved for disability?
Social Security Disability qualifications
How to claim disability benefits
How far back Social Security will pay SSDI or SSI
SSI award notices are received by approved claimants
Filing for disability with sciatica
How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
Are SSDI and SSI Benefits Normally Continued After A Continuing Disability Review?
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
Preparation to win a disability hearing
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled
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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
My Social Security Disability SSI appeal status
Disability back pay, how it works
Eligibility criteria requirements for disability
Qualifying requirements for disability
Decision on disability case, are you eligible for a disability award
When is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Permanent disability benefits
How to qualify for disability with depression
If Social Security sends you to a psychiatrist
Disability denied twice
How to claim disability
How many times will Social Security deny you?
Applying for Disability with high blood pressure
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
How much time for a decision on a disability claim?
Can you work if you get an SSI disability check?
How to File for SSI
Filing for disability, how to apply for SSD, SSI
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
How to get disability
How to appeal a disability denial