If you are 50 years old or older, Social Security makes it easier to prove your disability case. Individuals between 18 and 49 meet a tougher standard discussed in this article.
Starting at age 50, and then again at age 55 and 60, Social Security lowers the requirements for proving disability. The rationale is that the older you are, the harder it is to work in a job that you have never done before.
- After age 50, Social Security can approve you for disability benefits even though you are able to do some type of work.
- The older you are, the more physically demanding the work can be and still allow you qualify for disability benefits.
However, this is not a free pass! Do not leave this article before you read the “gotchas” at the bottom. Continue reading Secrets to winning Social Security disability at age 50 (or above)
The touchstone in disability cases is the ability to work. More specifically, the test is whether an individual can perform a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). One of the first tests of whether work is SGA is earnings. In 2015, earnings of $1,090 per month (before taxes) suggests the work is SGA.
However there are exceptions to this. One of these is for sheltered work as defined in 20 CRF404.1574(a)(3). Here is what you need to know: Continue reading Disabled soldiers: WTU earnings and Social Security disability (what you MUST know)
September 10, 2011 saw the second SSR issued for 2011 (effective September 12, 2011). You can also view and download the entire ruling as a PDF here.
SSR 11-2p deals with Documenting and Evaluating Disability in Young Adults. Much of the ruling is a summary of how Social Security should evaluate cases for claimants with ages between 18 and 25. However, there are several interesting items:
First, the ruling makes it clear that evidence generated during childhood (before the 18th birthday) can be relevant in an adult claim. Continue reading Social Security Ruling: Documenting and Evaluating Disability in Young Adults
What’s the next thing to review in the Social Security exhibit file after the medical records? Check these critical dates: Alleged Onset Date (AOD) & Date Last Insured (DLI)!
The E section usually contains for two documents that provide this information: Continue reading Reviewing your Social Security file – Part 2 Critical Dates
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits you have to show that your disability prevents you from being able to work. In Social Security’s words, you have to show that you are unable to engage in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA translates into a maximum dollar amount you are allowed to earn and still be potentially eligible for Social Security benefits.
For 2015, the most you can earn is $1,090 per month (before taxes or deductions). If you earn more than this, Social Security may say that you are engaging in a substantial gainful activity and, therefore, not eligible for disability benefits.
The SGA issue is so important that it is the very first step of the 5 step sequential evaluation process – the way Social Security evaluates adult disability claims!
What do I do if I earn more than the substantial gainful activity amount? Does than mean I can’t get Social Security disability benefits?!?
Continue reading I earn too much for Social Security disability, what can I do?
Even if you know the definition of a substantial gainful activity (SGA), could you use it? Can you be sure that the last job you tried before you applied for Social Security disability benefits was SGA?
Charles Hall proposes that substantial gainful activity (SGA) has become just too complicated.
If one is engaging in SGA, one cannot be considered disabled, but SGA is a term of art. Work may not be SGA if low earnings, unsuccessful work attempts, made work, subsidized employment, impairment related work expenses, trial work periods, etc. are taken into consideration.
…The biggest problem now is that SGA is just too complicated. Claimants have no idea how it works. Even many Social Security employees who should understand how SGA works, don’t.
Continue reading Social Security and Substantial Gainful Activity
I have written about how Social Security defines disability, work, and a substantial gainful activity.
But, how does Social Security really evaluate a case?
Social Security reviews cases using the five-step sequential evaluation process to decide is a person is disabled. Here are the 5 questions that make up the sequential evaluation process: Continue reading Social Security 5 step sequential evaluation process EXPLAINED!
Can a person work and still receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
The answer is a qualified “yes.”
Social Security wants people to try to go back to work. But, the regulations surrounding keeping your benefits while you try to go back to work make it tricky.
Here is a primer to (hopefully) keep you out of trouble. This is stuff you have to know!
Continue reading Can I work and get Social Security disability or SSI?
Social Security encourages you to try to go back to work to see if you can do it. A Trial Work Period (TWP) lets you work and still be considered disabled by Social Security.
A beneficiary receiving Social Security disability benefits may test his or her ability to work and still be considered disabled. We do not consider services performed during the trial work period as showing that the disability has ended until services have been performed in at least 9 months (not necessarily consecutive) in a rolling 60-month period.
To sum up, a Trial Work Period lets you work and still be considered disabled by Social Security. Not only that, but Social Security does not count all the months you work, just the ones where you earn more than a threshold Trial Work Period amount: Continue reading Social Security disability and returning to work
If your work is performed at a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level you may be denied Social Security disability benefits. However, you may be able to reduce the amount Social Security considers to bring your gross income below SGA levels.
One way to do this is through Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs). Here is what Social Security describes IRWEs: Continue reading Social Security impairment related work expenses EXPLAINED!