Can you be over the Social Security earnings limit?

Yes, you can be over the Social Security SGA limit if special considerations are being made. If this is the case, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

What are "special considerations"? The determination of whether or not you are working and earning more than the allowable limit for monthly gross earned income (which will disqualify you from receiving disability benefits) can be affected by special considerations that you get from your that allow you to perform your job.

Special considerations exist when an employer is making an active effort to give a person help in staying on the job and examples might be less production requirements, more breaks, more sick time, and so forth. If you get special considerations, it basically means your work may not be worth the amount you are actually paid, which means that you may be to keep receiving disability benefits even though you are exceeding the SGA (substantial gainful activity) earnings limit for Social Security.

If you claim that your employer is giving special considerations, Social Security would verify your alleged special considerations or subsidy with your employer. They may call your employer or mail them a subsidy questionnaire to complete.

This questionnaire allows your employer to address special considerations and the worth of the work you are performing for them. Depending on their answers, your disability claim may be sent for a medical disability determination or it may be denied for the performance of SGA.

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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