How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Filing for disability and the difficulty of switching to other work when you have medical problems
I live in Texas. I was told by a relative that you cannot file for disability if you are let go due to layoffs. I've worked for the same company for over 40 years, doing the same type of work since 1982. It is getting harder for me to do my job, especially when I am required to work overtime. There are rumors that there will be a big layoff, maybe at the end of this year. Since I have so much time with the company my severance pay would be a nice sum. Can I file for SSDI after I am let go? Or do you have to be working when you file a claim?
Before answering, let me dwell on one aspect of your situation that I find myself explaining frequently. As you said, you have done the same job for over 40 years and you are having difficulty doing the job. Possibly you are able to keep doing the job because of the expertise you have built up. Possibly this is the case and you also have some level of accomodation with your employer, i.e. they work with you with regard to your issues. A person in your position who is forced to switch to another type of work would lose the benefit of their built-up expertise and familiarity with their work and would also lose any level of accomodation they have with their employer.
This, of course, makes it much more difficult for the individual with medical problems (and resulting functional limitations) to successfully transition to news forms of employment. This fact is taken into account, fortunately, by the sequential evaluation system used by SSA.
The Social Security Disability and SSI system takes into account not only the limiting effects of your condition, but also your education, age, and skills. Individuals with fewer skills, lesser education, and less highly developed skills are considered to have a poorer chance of finding other work, particularly when they have significant limitations, and even more so when they are older. It goes without saying, of course, that many employers will pass over older workers due to the perception that they will have more health issues and will drive up insurance costs.
The reason I point all of this out is that many individuals do not understand that the Social Security is actually set up to provide a certain level of fairness by acknowledging real-world and real-work realities. Some of these individuals will also point out that factory closings are often accompanied by claims for disability. But this happens for the very reasons I have laid out.
Now, to answer your question:
If you are laid off, you can file for disability if you are not receiving unemployment benefits. To receive unemployment benefits, you are basically stating you are able to work should you get employment; if you file for Social Security Disability you are stating you are unable to work. The contradiction is fairly obvious.
The requirements of Social Security involve a severe impairment that prevents you from performing substantial and gainful work activity, or SGA. Substantial gainful work activity, or SGA, corresponds to a monthly earnings limit that happens to be one thousand and seventy dollars, gross per month, for 2014. If you are making over that you would be denied the day you file no matter what your impairment. So if you are laid off, work should be no problem. Also, severance pay is not a factor for Social Security Disability eligibility so no problem there.
To see the current SGA amount:Social Security SGA amount.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
Can You Apply For Disability Benefits When You Lose Your Job?
What Income Will Affect Your Disability Benefits? (Workers Compensation, Wages etc)
Will You Get Social Security Disability Benefits If You Cannot Work Your Old Job?
What does social security mean by other work?
Can You File For Disability While Receiving Unemployment?
How does Social Security Disability decide that you cannot work?
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
How do I check the status of my Social Security Disability claim?
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security Disability?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability (SSD) and SSI – How are they different Part II
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.