Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

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

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

What happens if you are working when you file for disability or work after you apply for disability?

Because the social security administration focuses on the individual's ability to engage in work activity at a certain earning level, individuals who are thinking of filing for disability benefits under the SSD (social security disability) or SSI (supplemental security income) program should know that if they apply while they are working and earning an SGA-level income, their case will receive a very fast "technical denial".

When this type of denial occurs--based on an applicant's level of earnings--their case will not have been transferred to the state disability processing agency (disability determination services, the agency that makes decisions on claims for the social security administration) and also will not have been assigned to a disability examiner. This means that the applicant's medical records will not have been gathered and evaluated, simply because the applicant's level of earnings made their claim ineligible (for non-medical reasons) from the very beginning.

By the same token, applicants who were not working at the time they filed a disability claim but returned to work at a substantial and gainful work activity level while their disability application or disability appeal was being evaluated on would receive a "denial for SGA", i.e. a denial for working and earning in excess of the allowed limit.

Because of this, anyone who is considering filing for social security disability or SSI should understand that there is little point to doing so if they are working full time as they would most likely be earning an SGA-level income. Also, a person who has a claim under consideration should be careful about engaging in work activity as this can easily bring the processing of a claim to a screeching halt if the individual's earnings are too high.

Finally, individuals who have already been approved for disability benefits should be very careful about returning to work activity as this has the potential for terminating their monthly benefits. The social security administration does allow individuals who receive benefits to attempt to re-enter the workforce and actually gives them nine trial work months in which they can work and earn as much as they can without it endangering their continued eligibility. However, if the individual's earnings match the SGA limit in the tenth month their benefits will be stopped.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Are You Allowed to Work While Receiving Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is an unsuccessful work attempt?
If my medical condition keeps me from working will I get Social Security disability?
Canít Work In My Old Job, How Does Social Security Disability Consider This?
Social Security Disability And Trial Work Months: You are allowed to Work
Medical Disability - How does Social Security view your work and medical records
Is there a Maximum I can Work and Make if I am on SSD or SSI Disability Benefits?
Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
How long do you have To Be Out Of Work Before You Get Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Can I work without it affecting my social security disability or SSI?
What happens if you are working when you file for disability or work after you apply for disability?
Will working part-time affect my SSD?
Working while on Social Security Disability and Not Reporting
What is SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity)?
If I Apply For Disability And Go Back To Work, Do I Need To Report This?
Are you allowed to work at all if you get Social Security disability or SSI?

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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria