Can I work while applying for Disability Benefits?

Applying for Social Security Disability can be a very stressful process, especially if you’re unsure how you’ll be able to pay your bills or buy groceries. Many clients ask if they are able to work while applying for Social Security Disability. The answer is yes, but there are strict rules regarding working that Social Security has put into place. These rules must be followed or you will be ineligible for disability benefits.

To be eligible for disability benefits you must work below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) guidelines. Substantial gainful activity is work that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. As of 2019 the SGA guidelines state that you can earn up to $1,220 (gross) per month as long as you are not working more than 20 hours per week. If you are making over those limits, Social Security assumes that you are not disabled and your claim will most likely be denied.

Can I work full time for just a few months?

This is another question we are often asked by our clients. Technically the answer is yes. If you attempt to go back to work full time, but after a few weeks or months are unable to continue, Social Security can consider the time you worked as a failed work attempt. In most cases, a failed work attempt will not negatively impact your claim. However, if you continue to work in a full time position for 6 months or longer, Social Security will consider you capable of working, and will likely deny your claim.

Call us!

Do you have questions about working or your eligibility for disability benefits? Give our office a call for a free evaluation of your situation and we’ll see how we can help!