For many of our clients their disabilities are making it difficult to work, but they are able to work part time. Social Security does allow you to work some but if you are making over $1,100 a month you will automatically disqualify yourself from receiving disability benefits. Luckily there are four ways you can reduce what is counted as your monthly income.
1. Income Averaging
In order to determine income, Social Security is supposed to look at your average earnings rather than just look from a month to month basis. They do this so that if you make an effort to work more but are unsuccessful, that short period of time where you made over the limit is not going to hurt your overall claim. Also, the time periods where you are completely unable to work will be averaged into everything.
For most clients, averaging their pay will help them qualify for disability benefits, however, for some it can actually disqualify them where they would otherwise be eligible. Luckily there are circumstances when Social Security should NOT average your monthly periods. These can include distinct periods of work or unemployment, changes in hours due to your impairments, and limit changes year to year. Your representative can argue on your behalf if you are in the situation where averaging your income will hurt your claim.
A subsidy is the difference in the value of the work you do and the amount of pay you receive. Often we see clients where they are making more than their work is worth. Common ways people are receiving these subsidies are:
-Working for a Family or Friend Who is Paying Them at an Inflated Rate
-Receiving Help from Co-Workers to Complete Their Tasks
-Receiving Significant Work Accommodations that would Otherwise Be Unavailable
-Working in a Government-Sponsored Job Training or Employment Program
If you are over the income limits due to the fact that you are receiving you have a case that without these subsidies you would be under the income limits, and therefore should be considered for Disability Benefits.
3. Sick Pay and Vacation Pay
Often, our clients will have worked for a company long enough that when difficulties arrive that make them unable to work, they receive sick or vacation pay. Many people will use this benefit to keep their income steady while they are unable to work. When determining how much you are able to make in a month, the judge should NOT look at sick or vacation pay as you did not work to receive those benefits.
4. Work Related Impartment Expenses
For many with disabilities, costly accommodations must be made in order for them to continue working. These can include medical devices such as prosthetics and other equipment as well as costly medications. Luckily, you are able to deduct the cost of these expenses from your monthly income. What expenses do and do not qualify can be tricky to determine, if you have any of these expenses you should speak to your Disability Attorney to determine what you can deduct.
Free Book Offer
The A to Z of Social Security Disability Benefits is a comprehensive guide to applying for disability. This book will not only show you how to apply for disability benefits, but will also help you avoid mistakes that can be fatal to your disability application. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of our book click here to request your copy today.