Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Can I file for disability for degenerative disc disease if I am still working?

The short answer is, yes, filing for disability with degenerative disc disease is possible even if you are working. This is because Social Security does not require that a person be completely unable to work. It does require, however, that their condition be severe enough to make it impossible to work and earn more than a certain amount, known as the SGA earnings limit.

If you file for disability with degenerative disc disease, you may be in the position of working but increasingly finding it more difficult to perform your job's duties, and/or work full shifts or hours on the job. Degenerative disc disease, because it is often a progressive, as well as exacerbating and remissing condition, will typically put individuals in the position of being unsure of when to file a disability claim.

If you are in this position, simply remember that you can file if you are working as long as your earnings are under the SGA limit (see the link in the first paragraph). If your earnings are over this limit, filing for disability will simply result in a quick denial that does not even involve reviewing your medical records.

Obviously, consideration of work plays a very important role in being approved for disability, evidenced by Social Security’s definition of disability.

Social Security law defines disability as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

To emphasize once more, you can file for disability while you are working if your degenerative disc disease has prevented you from working and earning the substantial gainful activity (SGA) earnings limit. SGA is a monthly earning limit that Social Security considers self-supporting. If you are earning more than the limit, your disability claim will be denied without a medical disability determination.


1. Denied for disability with degenerative disc disease
2. Disability claims involving spinal stenosis, arachnoiditis, degenerative disc disease

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Will I get Social Security Disability back pay?
    Can I get permanent Social Security Disability
    What are the disability requirements for degenerative disc disease?
    Can I file for disability for degenerative disc disease if I am still working?
    Social Security disability criteria for degenerative disc disease?
    What if my disability claim for degenerative disc disease is denied?
    How much does Social Security Disability SSI pay?
    Winning disability benefits, how do I win?
    How to win your disability benefits
    How to apply for disability for medical conditions
    Social Security Disability application, how to apply, file
    How long to get a disability hearing decision answer?

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    Social Security Disability status, How to check
    How to find if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or denied?
    How to qualify for disability, who qualifies?
    Qualify for disability, eligibility requirements, criteria
    How long does a request for a disability hearing take?
    How Long Will it Take To Get a Disability Decision Letter from Social Security?
    How long does it take to get or be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
    Applying for disability, how to apply, where to go
    When should you File for Disability benefits
    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability