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Should I Work While I am Disabled and...

Social-Security-Disability-Forum » Should I Work While I am Disabled and Drawing Benefits?  

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Starting a buisness internet texasholde7-23-06  6:57 pm
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Anonymous

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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 9:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am being reviewed.SSA lang.is because of work I suppose they do not consider me disabled but will continue my benefits.now the medical 10pg. form has been turned in.My Dr.writes I am not able to work fulltime mental illness is chronic & episodic.Can ssa. overrule medical records?
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Paul McChesney

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Posted on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 6:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes they sure can! You need a lawyer, and quick.
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donna fullen

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Posted on Saturday, June 16, 2001 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hi i have been dianoise as having DID this is multipal personalities and are currently on ssi and disability i use to have a cleanning service and recently able to go back to work on some days when i am able my question is am i permitted to have a bussness or just work like subcontract labor and still recive my benifits also what all do i turn in and really how do i go about doing all this i can't make it on what i get now and i am better some days than others this is why i choose this type of work and the people understand my condition but i need to know what is the law and what i need to do first i don't want to earn this income only to have to pay back all my benifits and really put myself in the hole i want to help myself and do what i can but i have to face the facts i can't always do for my self this is why i am on disabiliy please i need some advise i don't even know where to start i just went out there and did the work when i could and the days i can't i don't i want to do what i can i hate the fact i have to be on this but thank god it is there for me and others
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 6:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The issue of when to work when getting benefits is a complex one; if you are not careful you can get into a serious overpayment situation. Please see my frequently asked questions for more detail. Talk to an attorney before you do any serious work.
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JohnDoe

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Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought I read several years ago that a disabled person could earn maybe between $400 and $500 a month and not effect their disability payments. I don't see how anyone can exist for long on the $900± SSI pays. Am I dreaming or is their a maximum amount that can be earned?

Reply by Paul This is a complex and dangerous issue for the disabled. If you have applied or are drawing benefits, you must report your earnings. And, the Administration is perfectly capable of finally examining your earnings several years after you started working and claiming you should pay all of your checks back for all of those years because you were able to work.

What you often hear is that someone who is drawing disability "can make less than $780 a month." It is true that if you make less than that amount in 2002, there is no presumption from the mere wages paid that you are able to work. The limit changes each year.

Even though there is no such presumption, you can still be ruled able to work because of work activity which nets less than $700. For example, someone could work for a charity and make nothing at all and work 40 hours steady every week, just like a regular job. Such activity proves that he can work, and under the law if he does it for 5 years he might be held to owe the Administration back 5 years of checks.

Further, reported earnings tends to trigger a review of your claim.

So if you make $400 a month for a year or two, you can almost count on a review, even though you are making less than the limit.

If all of that makes you scared, that indicates that you are finally understanding the situation.

That being said, the Administration also has some excellent programs to encourage people to return to work.

People drawing SSI will have their checks reduced based on the amount they earn. Once the check is reduced to $0, if you stop working within a year, you can go back to SSI without having to prove that you are disabled.

People drawing Social Security Disability can often work and draw a check for 9 months during any 36 month period, provided that they have not recovered medically, whatever that means; this means that they can give work a trial and not have to start all over with a new claim if they fail.

There are a number of other programs that are covered elsewhere on this site, that do not involve earning money.

In general, it often works out well for those who try to go from drawing disability, through unsuccsessful work attempts, back to disability; or of course for those who go from disability to full employment.

But it is dangerous to plan to draw a check indefinitely and work indefinintely.

If after reading this you feel confused and anxious, that means that you understand your situation.

If you are applying or drawing benefits, never attempt ot work without talking to a good attorney about exactly what effect your activities will have on your check. But don't give up on returning to the work force, either.

Anybody who relies on this post to plan a work attempt is nuts. Be careful and consult an attorney!

Take care.
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IQTGJ

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Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 7:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know of someone who has been drawing disability for several years. This person also has received a salary for at least the past 5 years. How do I help this person comply with the laws? How much can one make while on disability? If they exceeded the set limit, are there penalties attached to back payment? Is it possible to set up a payment plan if back payment is due?

Reply by Paul This person could be in serious legal trouble, both civil and criminal, if they are drawing any income and not reporting it.

Penalites for failing to report go so high as incarceration, if it is intentional.

Payment plans are possible in some cases.

He or she should hire an attorney, and a good one, to get out of the mess he is in.

Sooner or later, the Administration compares W-2 wages reported to the list of people that draw disability.

Please see other posts for answers to your question about how much one can make.
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SSIer

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Posted on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

SSA says that 24.5% of all persons on SSI have a diagnosis of MR.
SSA says that 46.9% of all persons on SSI reporting wages have a diagnoss of MR.
SSA says that 23.0% of all persons on SSI have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia.
SSA says that 16.4% of all persons on SSI reporting wages have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia.

http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ssi_qtrly/dec2000/table05.pdf

Summary Data over time
http://demo.ssimanager.com/ssistats.asp

Wonder why the big difference in working %
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Robert Graham

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Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 7:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a 56 year old male who has limited mobility and have been receiving SSI and medicaid for about 8 years. I have acquired new computer skills and there may be a possibility of me going to work at a job where I don't have to move around a lot. How would this affect my SSI and medicaid. Is there a certain amount of money I can make and keep my benefits?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Monday, April 30, 2001 - 5:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robert, working while drawing disability is a complex question. Yes, any significant income you have will affect your SSI disability benefit amount. And enough work activity will cause the Administration to review your case to see if you are still disabled. But on the other hand, if you can step out into a full time job with benefits, that will be better money than SSI.

I would talk to an attorney before I took any big step.
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Bill Root

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Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2001 - 8:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been on SSD for five years, I am sixty two years old and would like to work part time to supplement my income as my health care costs have risen sharply since I retired, I would like to know how much I can earn and still keep all of my benefits. Bill

Reply by Paul You are in a fortunate situation because you can claim Social Security Retirement, or Social Security Disabilty, as you prefer, as can anyone who is 62-64. Generally, unless you have a certain kind of worker's compensation claim, disability is better.

If you choose Disability benefits, you can usually work up to 9 months in a trial work period and continue to draw your check. After that you can enter in to an extended period of eligibility during which you can probably keep Medicare, but no check.

You can do the above only if medically you continue to be disabled. The Administration can come in at any time and claim that medically, you are not disabled, and try to cut your check off. This is a serious concern for people who are younger than you, but at your age this is unlikely, and even if it happens you can always fall back on retirement benefits.

If you choose Retirement benefits, you can make up to $10,000 a year and still draw benefits. But if you have a lot of work activity, the Administration might of course say that since you can work you cannot return to Social Security Disability.

For younger people who are thinking about going back to work, the alternatives and hazards are both greater.

For people drawing SSI, as opposed to Social Secuirity Disablity, the effect of work on a check is different.

Take care.

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Anonymous

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Posted on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello everybody, I feel I have a unique problem. I was on Dis.and mustard up enough health so I thought, to try their trial work program.Well Ive just made everything alot worse on myself and family.My condition is probley twice as bad as it was and the ssa.just turned a delft ear to my request to restart my checks... While I was on this trial work program they decided that it was time for a checkup,when I went in to the doc.office he ask "Well how are you getting along". My reply, the best I can,I take it a day at a time. I work when I can,but Im tring. Well from this he sent SSA a letter telling them what I was doing and that I should be encouraged to keep working,in addition made it a point to tell them what I was wearing.From that they decided I did'nt qualify for dis. anylonger and never told me until I tried to restart my benefits. So they ssa. say because I returned to work I did'nt Qualify for the extended period of eligibility. Based entirely on the doctors statment. "Well what else could he had said or I. I was on a trial work program..It was the longest before I could even get anyone to admit the trial work program even existed. This is the truth. I was shocked. Well hopefully this will help someone not to make the same mistakes in trust I made. Ive been waiting 2 years, and my court date is set for the end of dec."After Christmas." Any advice ? Thanks, nice web site..........

Reply by Paul I wish your experience were unique. Be sure you have an attorney at your hearing. Trying to go back to work is very tricky. I often encourage it, and it would be sad for someone who thinks they can to avoid work out of fear of this sort of treatment. The rules are so complicated that you should sit down and talk to an attorney before you try it.

Take care.
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Terrel Barnett

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Posted on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is there a web site where I can find updated information on earnings limits for SSDI recipients? I didn't find it at ss.gov site.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 1:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It will be presumed that someone who makes a certain amount of money, in 2002 that amount is $780 per month, is performing substantial gainful activity, that is, that he is able to work. But that does not mean that making $700 per month is safe!!! Please see the above posts.
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gary maples

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Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

can you have income if you are drawing disability
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is no question I can think of that you might ask that has a more complex answer. Study all of the quesitons under working, and I am afraid that you will probably be only more confused and worried than you were before you asked. Which is good; it's a dangerous area of law. You should sit down with an attorney before you take any final action.
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Dale

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Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a 60 year old male and have recently been approved for SSD (not SSI). I have several health problems, FMS/CFS, high blood pressure, bulged disk in my back and other problems. I can do a small amount of work for a short period. I do not plan to work at a job for income. My question is, can I do odd jobs around the house such as mowing grass, home repairs and etc without losing benefits. I am a resident of the state of Missouri
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Around your own house without pay, I assume? That is a question that is impossible to answer yes or no; it has a common sense answer. If you go back to the judge, and he is trying to decide whether you can work, if you put a 6 room addition to your own house without help, he will decide that you are not disabled. If you try to mow the lawn once a week and have to stop every 5 minutes and rest for an hour, your case is stronger than it would be if you never tried. In between are an infinite set of examples that could help or hurt you.
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Earl Johnson

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Posted on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 9:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been on disability every since Iwas 3years old now I'm 24years-old, and I want to get job. but people tell me if I get off want be able to get back on if I get real sick. I have cancer, 1kidney, and scoliosis. I never had a real jobs and i want to try an work.If If start working and get ill! could I get my ssi back? An I live in mississippi!
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 6:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is a very hard question to answer, and I won't pretend to answer it completely.

First, if you start working, you must report that to the Administration.

Second, as you earn money, the amount of your SSI check gradually goes down, until it finally disappears.

Third, if you stop working within a year, it is supposed to start back up. If you stop working after that, you will have to file again, and it could take a long time to get it started back up.

Fourth, the activity described above can cause them to review your claim and try to terminate your check.

Whether or not to try to work is a tricky question; I usually encourage people to do so, but only after talking to them carefully. You should talk to someone with a lot of experience in this area, perhaps at legal aid.

Be sure you are able to prove that you gave the Administration notice of your earnings, in case they accidentally overpay you.
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tejas

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Posted on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 4:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a heart/double lung transplant about 10 years ago. Recently my company tried to lay me off so I went on disability. (Not hard to do if you've had a transplant). I will now be drawing 100% salary for 6 mos. then 60% thereafter. I must go on SSI and the insurance will pay the difference to get me to 60%. My question is I have a master's degree and have been asked to teach a night course or two at the local university. Should this get me into trouble with Social security?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The short answer is, maybe. Of all the questions that come up about disability, this is the most complex to answer. Please see the above answers, and ask again if you have further questions.
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James

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Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 2:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mr. McChesney,
I wanted to let you know that my father's claim for disability was approved on the first try without a lawyer, I realize that this was a true miracle however I want to ask a question about if he is able to do some sort of menial work for a few hours each week 10-15 max. Can his benefits be taken away?? His COBRA insurance is going to be so expensive that it will eat up nearly half of the $1100 he will recive each month. Thanks for help.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 9:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

James, that is a question that is very tricky to answer; I consider it the hardest question a person can ask about disability. If my answer leaves you confused and worried, you are hearing me correctly. Anyone who is drawing benefits and working and not worrying is being foolish. I can say these things:

The first question is whether the money itself will disqualify him. Here are some partial answers to that question:
-Most people can make any amount for up to 9 months out of every 36 months without automatically being terminated because of earnings.
-Even then, if he makes less than $800 per month (for 2003; the amount will go up each year), those earnings will not automatically disqualify him.

So, if that is all you think about, it sounds like you can work a lot without fear. Is that true? No. Because the amount you earn is not the only problem.

The second question, which most people never realise is an issue, is whether the activity represented by the work will tend to show that he is able to work. Partial answers:
-If he works 15 hours a week, regular as clockwork, why can't he work 20 or 30?
-On the other hand, sometimes work activity will tend to show someone can't work. For example, if an individual has seven jobs in 8 months, all lasting a few days, and has to quit each because of heart pain and emergency room treatment.
-He can get into big trouble by working steadily at even moderate numbers of hours per week.

The third question is what effect work activity has on review by the administration.
-If you don't report your work, you break the law, and might wind up owing the Administration back hundreds of thousands of dollars, and worse, destroying your credibility, and worse, committing a crime.
-If you do report it, it encourages the Administration to review your case.

So, should he work? It depends. Before he makes a final decision, he should design his planned work schedule and talk to a very smart attorney.
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blueritche

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Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My father-in-law has been on Social Security Retirement since 1986 drawing about $890.00 a mont less medicare b payment to net $836.00and he also draws a small check of $85.00 per month retirement benefits from his former employment as an Insurance Broker. He has become legally blind. Can he receive any more money for blindness and can he receive any help in his daily care such as transportation costs etc.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not from the Administration by way of a Social Security claim. People who are blind have advantages in the way they might qualify for benefits, but do not get any more benefits once qualified.

However, there are some complicated ways in which blind people get more favorable treatment if they try to go back to work. It is more complicated than I make it sound, but to simplify and be a little inaccurate, as they try to work benefits will eventually be suspended, but they will start right back when they stop trying. And the amount of money earned that will cause them to be terminated is higher. Here is the regulation in all its complexity. Hopefully it will motivate you to talk to an attorney before making any decisions about a work attempt:

§ 404.1584 Evaluation of work activity of blind people. [20 CFR SEC 404.1584]
Current through March 12, 2003; 68 FR 11750
(a) General. If you are blind (as explained in § 404.1581), we will consider the earnings from the work you are doing to determine whether or not you should be paid cash benefits.
(b) Under Age 55. If you are under age 55, we will evaluate the work you are doing using the guides in paragraph (d) of this section to determine whether or not your work shows that you are doing substantial gainful activity. If you are not doing substantial gainful activity, we will pay you cash benefits. If you are doing substantial gainful activity, we will not pay you cash benefits. However, you will be given a period of disability as described in Subpart D of this Part.
(c) Age 55 or older. If you are age 55 or older, we will evaluate your work using the guides in paragraph (d) of this section to determine whether or not your work shows that you are doing substantial gainful activity. If you have not shown this ability, we will pay you cash benefits. If you have shown an ability to do substantial gainful activity, we will evaluate your work activity to find out how your work compares with the work you did before. If the skills and abilities of your new work are about the same as those you used in the work you did before, we will not pay you cash benefits. However, if your new work requires skills and abilities which are less than or different than those you used in the work you did before, we will pay you cash benefits, but not for any month in which you actually perform substantial gainful activity.
(d) Evaluation of earnings.--
(1) Earnings that will ordinarily show that you have engaged in substantial gainful activity. We will ordinarily consider that your earnings from your work activities show that you have engaged in substantial gainful activity if your monthly earnings average more than the amount(s) shown in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section. We will apply §§ 404.1574(a)(2), 404.1575(c), and 404.1576 in determining the amount of your average earnings.
(2) Substantial gainful activity guidelines for taxable years before 1978. For work activity performed in taxable years before 1978, the average earnings per month that we ordinarily consider enough to show that you have done substantial gainful activity are the same for blind people as for others. See§ 404.1574(b)(2) for the earnings guidelines for other than blind individuals.
(3) Substantial gainful activity guidelines for taxable years beginning 1978. For taxable years beginning 1978, if you are blind, the law provides different earnings guidelines for determining if your earnings from your work activities are substantial gainful activity. Ordinarily, we consider your work to be substantial gainful activity, if your average monthly earnings are more than those shown in Table I. For years after 1977 and before 1996, increases in the substantial gainful activity guideline were linked to increases in the monthly exempt amount under the retirement earnings test for individuals aged 65 to 69. Beginning with 1996, increases in the substantial gainful activity amount have depended only on increases in the national average wage index.

Table I
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Over In year(s)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
$334 ................................................................ 1978
$375 ................................................................ 1979
$417 ................................................................ 1980
$459 ................................................................ 1981
$500 ................................................................ 1982
$550 ................................................................ 1983
$580 ................................................................ 1984
$610 ................................................................ 1985
$650 ................................................................ 1986
$680 ................................................................ 1987
$700 ................................................................ 1988
$740 ................................................................ 1989
$780 ................................................................ 1990
$810 ................................................................ 1991
$850 ................................................................ 1992
$880 ................................................................ 1993
$930 ................................................................ 1994
$940 ................................................................ 1995
$960 ................................................................ 1996
$1,000 .............................................................. 1997
$1,050 .............................................................. 1998
$1,110 .............................................................. 1999
$1,170 .............................................................. 2000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[48 FR 21939, May 16, 1983; 65 FR 42786, July 11, 2000]
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Bo Mack

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Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was on disability for apporx. 3 years following a cancer removal surgery gone bad.
I have recently gotten off of the disability and started working. My trial period is up & I now find it hard to work.
Can I essentially "go back on disability"?


Bo Mack
Fayetteville NC
YamaHoss27@nc.rr.com
http://techmallz.pcmallz.com/
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 6:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes. For Social Security disability, once your 9 month trial work period is over, you enter into an "extended period of eligibility" of 36 months. If your income drops during that period, you are supposed to go back on "right away." That program is a great idea; but the Administration's idea of what "right away" means is a lot slower than anyone would reasonably imagine.
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pcrouse

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Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 6:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I live in Indiana started drawing social security plus working a part time job now i have hurt my back can no longer work can i reapply for disabilty social security? Does it pay more?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 6:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes you can re-apply. It will probably pay a little more than you got last time because of inflation. It might or might not pay more because of your earinga.
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JamieChristian

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Posted on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 1:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello, I am a 23 year old male, and I have been recieving Supplemental Security Income since I was 12, due to Trichotillomania, Manic Depression and Severe Anxiety, my mother has always been the one who recieved the checks and took care of the money, well in the beginning of 2000 I experienced this brief time of confidence, I was going to show everyone one way or another that I could be "Like everyone else" and I left home and stayed with a friend, whom I got a job with, my mom moved and didn't tell the Social Security Office that she moved so I stopped getting the Medicaid cards and checks, the job I had consisted of me being by myself the majority of the time, no interactions with people, the job lasted about 2 months before that "brief spurt of confidence" went away and I was fired for messing things up and not coming to work, so I went back home but then later that year that "confidence" came back and I tried to work with that friend again, and after 3 months I was fired again, and for the past 2 years I haven't even been able to leave my house alone, and I am deeply depressed to the point where I am slicing my arms and hands up, and I really need to see a doctor (psychiatrist) but my mom refuses to do anything because she says I have to have my Supplemental Security benefit's back in order to recieve medicaid, and she says I cannot get them back because, and I quote, "You have worked, and that shows them that you aren't disabled".
So how do I get those benefits back? because as I said, I am in extremely bad shape and need to see someone immediately but have no money or medicaid? Is it even possible to get the benefits back, and if so how would I go about doing it?

Sorry for making this so long.
Jamie
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You should file. You can file on the web at www.ssa.gov without leaving your home. Try to get in to your local Mental Health, which might be free. If you have trouble getting in, try going to a regular doctor one time and asking him to refer you.

Those short work attempts ending in failure really tend to show that you cannot work.
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terribell

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Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

so, on disability, you have a 9 month trial work period? do you tell them and still get your benefits or do they stop you rbenefits during the time you are working? please explain about this 9 month trial period. been on disability after serious accident an am on trial period at a job. may or may not be too strenuos, do not really know yet as has only been a few days. But basically i feel it is going to be too much as i can barely walk. please explain this 9 month thing as when i called ssa, i did not get much more than the fact that a person gets a nine month trial with in a 36 month period.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 6:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1. Do I need to worry about trial work?

Yes, if you are drawing Social Security Disability benefits or SSI and hope to go back to work. Everyone in that situation should struggle to understand the trial work concept. If after reading this you think you understand it, you have not read closely. Using the trial work process involves a fairly high risk; but it is often exceeded by the risk of not using it. DO NOT read any further without promising to run whatever you plan by a good lawyer. This explanation is oversimplified!

I save trial work for SSI for another post. This is about trial work in Social Security Disability cases. SSI has a trial work system that is completely different.

2. When can I start my trial work period? You cannot have a trial work period until you have been out of work for 12 months or won your case, whichever comes first.

3. How do I know I have spent one of my trial work months?

-You burn up a month of trial work when you work or earn A CERTAIN AMOUNT within any month.

-The CERTAIN AMOUNT is, for employees:
2005 and after - check www.ssa.gov
2004 - $580
2003 - $570
2002 - $560
2001 - $530
1990 to 2000 - $200

For the self employed, you also burn up a month of trial work if you work 80 hours in a month (40 hours in 2000 or earlier). For the self employed, what you make is reduced by the costs of doing business.

4. When does the trial work period end?

Keep looking back for the last 36 months. If there are 9 months which count as trial work months, your period is at an end.

5. During the trial work months can I work and draw my check, too? Yes.

6. Do the months have to be one after another? No.

7. Will the Administration cut my check off when I start working?

Not unless they were going to do it anyway. They aren't supposed to, sort of (see below), and they don't move that fast.

8. What about after I have burned up my 9 months. Will they cut my check?

Eventually they will notice, and send you a letter. How eventually? It can be right after, or years after. If it is years after, and you continue to take checks, they will send you a stamped, self addressed envelope and ask you to enclose a check for $40,000. I am not kidding. They will do this even if you only worked 10 months and gave up, sometimes. If that happens, get a lawyer and appeal it, or appeal it and get a lawyer.

9. If I keep working past the 9th month, should I send the checks back myself?

Yes! And they will keep coming even though you keep telling them to quit. Don't spend them!! Take each and every one back, and get a receipt! You will feel like an idiot then, but that is better than feeling like a felon later.

10. Am I supposed to tell them about my trial? Yes.

Practicalities:

-A trial work attempt works well to try to really go back, full time, to see if you can make it.

-It does not work so well as a way to add a little bit to your check over long time.

-It is not a good idea to work along steadily, just under the trial work month earning level.

-DO NOT work under the table. You set a sword hanging over your head, that will either drop on you, or what might be worse, hang there for a long time, twisting in the wind and haunting your dreams while you wait for it to fall for years. There will eventually be a crackdown on this, and you don't want to be in it. "But Fred's getting away with a job under the table!" Yeh but sooner or later some people are going to start serving some hard time. Maybe Fred won't, and maybe he will. The Feds are slow but kick hard when they kick. Right now in St. Louis they are sending Federal cops around to knock on doors for "Continuing Disability Reviews" and if that comes to your town, as is planned, you might wish you had never met Fred.

Remember that sooner or later you are going to go to a hearing where a judge is going to decide whether you should still be getting a check. If the judge doesn't believe a word you say, and the case turns on that, he is probably going to cut the check off. If the medicals show you have been working under the table, why should he believe a word you say? "No, no, judge, I'm really telling the truth this time" did not work for the boy who cried wolf, he was treated as a liar when he told the truth, and you will get the same treatment.

And Fred is wrecking the reputation of a system that some really sick people need desperately. Why help him do that?


Here are the screwy things about the trial work rules that confuse and worry me:

-What does the trial work rule protect you from? Well in all other situations, if you make more money than a certain amount, the Administration will probably decide that you are really working, and able to work. But during the trial work period, the Administration cannot consider that income as proving work. And during the 9 months, it cannot consider the work activity. BUT, AFTER the 9 months are up, it can consider the activity you did during the 9 months!

-During the trial work period, the Administration is free to use medical evidence to show that you have recovered from a medical standpoint. They usually move so slowly that this is no problem, but not always.

In other words, the trial work period rules just keep the Administration from using two kinds of evidence, work activity and earnings, during the trial work period. Otherwise the Administration is free to prove you are able to work.

-Once you have used all nine months of the Trial Work Period, you can THEORETICALLY still be entitled to a check if your earnings don't rise to the "substantial gainful activity level," AND if you can show that you REALLY AREN'T ABLE TO earn that much. The "substantial gainful activity" level goes up every year; it is $810 in 2004. You will often hear people say that you "can make $810 and still draw benefits." But my personal opinion is that you are crazy to try this, once the trial work period is up. Why? Because a) if the Administration shows that you COULD HAVE made more, you could well get an order from a judge saying you owe them $40,000 or whatever; and b) I think it is almost always true that someone who can make $750 steadily can make $820 steadily.

Confused? Scared? Good. You were listening. Make a plan, run it by an attorney, and don't get cute!

The Administration's explanations are on Trial Work Rules and SS Redbook on Return to Work. Read that but be aware that they make it sound like the system works better than it actually does.

This note dealt only with trial work periods. There are a lot of other programs, such as the Extended Period of Eligibility and extended Medicare and Medicaid that are available to folks thinking about going back to work. SSI also has a separate program for returning to work. The Red Book, above, discusses them.
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Kathleen Luana Bess (Mamawx12)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 6:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My husband has been on SS disabilty since 1994.He is only 56,but has COPD and a very bad heart and has had heart surgery twice in the past 15 years,amoung other health problems.What I would like to know is if he is allowed to keep up our own property,like painting the house when needed,working on a fence,etc?The doctor has avised him to do whatever work he wants around the house as he can tolarate it,but to rest often.We have a very mean neighbor who has been taking pictures whenever he is outside doing something,and the neighbor is constantly threatening to contact SS and get his disability stopped.Could you please help in this matter.Thanks so much.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 6:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mama:

Q. Does your husband have to worry about being reported for work-like activity around the house?

A. Yes. A inaccurate report can cause an investigation and a termination, even if it is not in the long term justified.

Q. If my husband takes on what amounts to a full time job, working around the house, can that be the basis for termination of a Social Security claim?

A. Put that way, the answer is obvious. If he is able to work full time for himself, he can work full time for others, and so would be subject to being cut off.
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Wesley Siler
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Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 7:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi this is from North Carolina. I, live with my wife, and sister in law. All 3 of us have CP, and live in our own home. The problem was my wife and I recceived Money for wedding gifts (yay) and put it into an IRA so when we were 65ish and wanted to retire we could. Wife and SIL have jobs

Now we discovered that if its more than $3000 (we've got 315 over) they can cut our benifits. We're going through a review on Saturday (aaaagh) can they take away our SSI if hubby is out of a job (looking, but out) if we have the IRA's? We weren't aware that we couldn't save for retirement, and we aren't that much over the limit. Help.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2004 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am pretty sure, but not positive: If you are trying to draw SSI, your IRA's are counted but those of your healthy spouse is not.

If you are both disabled, both of your IRA's are counted.

If your minor child is disabled, and you are not, his IRA is counted, but yours is not.

Why? Don't ask me; I just report the bad news. Sorry.

Here is a good link for trying to figure out how income and resources affect an SSI check: SSI Handbook. If that link goes bad, search for SSI Handbook on Google. It is the oficial SSI handbook.

In general, a resources problem is one that can be solved; income problems are more difficult. But one dollar too much of resources can disqualify you until the problem is fixed, and if you leave anything out, you can owe them tons of money for years.
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flirtypurse
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Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 8:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In the Redbook Work Incentives manual it says the following:
“Most individuals with disabilities who work will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of hospital and supplementary medical insurance under Medicare. Although cash benefits may cease due to work, you have the assurance of continued health insurance. You qualify by working and perform SGA, but not be medically improved.”
I have two questions:
1) What do they mean by “most” individuals... Why not ALL individuals? Who are they excluding and why?
2) If you are not medically improved and your doctors’ records support that, is that enough to satisfy SS? Or does SS use some other criteria to evaluate this? For example - do they consider how many hours over SGA you are working or what type of work you are doing in order to make their decision? It’s ironic and confusing that they allow this benefit of continuing Medicare coverage, since SS uses working as a criteria for NOT allowing people to get disability benefits in the first place.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 7:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1. This does not include people who are medically improved, whatever that means.

2. Let me divide your question into 3 questions:

Q 1. What the heck is the legal definintion of "medically improved"?

A 1. If you go back to work, but you are still as sick as you ever were, you are not medically improved. If you are perfectly healthy, you are medically improved. If you are somewhere in between, who knows?

Q 2. As a practical matter, what will the Administration do about continuing Medicare if you try to work?

A 2. This question is a lot harder to answer, but my feel for it is that if you go back to work yourself, and sill are fairly sick, and you start sending your checks back at 9 months like a wise person should, you will very likely but not certainly be allowed to keep Medicare. Scared? That means you understand. It is not neat, and it is dangerous for you to think it is.

Q 3. This seems irrational to me. How could you work if you are not medically improved?

A 3. Beats me. There is nothing to keep Congress from writing up a law that makes little sense, and leaving it up to the Courts to guess what the heck they were talking about. This is a perfect example of such a law.
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Trudi Clifton-Vizvary (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Trudi here. I have been on ssd since 1994 for bipolar disorder. This past year I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have recovered somewhat but am still very fragile and cannot tolerate trauma or stress. I am a photographer and would like to sell some of my photographs to earn extra income but do not want to jeopardize my benefits. Is there a limit on how much I can earn in this stress-free manner?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 8:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes. In 2005, if you made more than $810 a month, it is presumed that you are engaging in "substantial gainful activity." Does that mean they will cut off your check? If you have a trial work period available, you can draw your check and work at any earnings so long as you continue to have a serious impairment - for 9 months.

If you make $800, or $700 or $300 a month does that mean you don't have anything to worry about? No. Particularly after the 9 months is up, while they can't cut you off for the money, but they can if you are able to perform any activity like clockwork, no matter how poorly paid. If you can show up somewhere on a regular basis long term it is difficult to convince a judge that you are an uncontrolled bipolar.

It is often wiser for someone in your situation to go to school than to work; that point is developed elsewhere on this forum. Or to throw yourself into full time work, trying to figure out whether you can handle it. I understand that many people can do neither.
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been recieving Social Security Disability payments for close to thirity years now. I decided to return to college and start a new career. After 30 years I am now once again working full time making a good salary. Several times I have heard rumors that if you recieve SS disablity payments for over 20 years, the rating/payments become permanent regardless of whether you work. Some time ago I reported my return to work to the SS Admin. (which they acknowledged)but my payments have continued long after my "trial work period" ended. I contacted them again but have heard nothing.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 5:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

DO NOT SPEND THAT MONEY! Take it down to the Administration and turn it in, and get a receipt. The rumor is not true, and the Administration will sooner or later send you a stamped, self return envelope along with a request to send them back $50,000 or whatever. That will be the beginning of a really awful time for you.
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

so if a person can work while drawing disability.. what if they work for someone that is NOT taxing them.. just paying them cash? i work at a place where someone is drawing disability and receiving ck with no taxes taken out. i dont see where this is very fair
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Henry G. (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 7:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anonymous----scroll up and find Paul McChesney's answer to this scenario. This is not fair, and this situation is highly illegal. The person is "working under the table" without reporting the income to the SSA and could be fined and prosecuted for fraud. Additionally, if that person enough and does not file taxes with the IRS, they could be committing tax evasion, too.
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Henry G. (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 7:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding the post about keeping your Medicare for up to 93 months if you return to work if you have not "medically improved." Maybe if you have amputated limbs or blindness and limited education, but you got prostheses and/or rehabilitation/education or vocational skilled and got employed, say with accommodations, you still have the blindness or missing limbs, so you have not "medically improved."
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Patsy York Collins (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Friday, May 19, 2006 - 5:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If I am drawing long term disability of $1,700. a month should I apply for SSD while I am still drawing it? Will I be eligible for SSD and my long term disability I had through work? I have been out of work almost a year, but my long term has only been in effect 3 months and I think it goes for up to 2 years. If I filed and got SSD, which of course would be less money than my long term disability, would I have to take it and give up my long term benefits, or will I not be eligible for SSD as long as the long term disability lasts.
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2006 - 8:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm in the same boat as Bill Root who emailed you on Nov. 14, 2001 but I'm 56 years old. I have been on SSD for four years, I am working part time to supplement my income, making about $600 a month. I get reviewed every 3 years. I got reviewed in 2005. They found my disability continues. Then they reviewed me after my 9 month trial work period. Again, they found I was not doing substanial work and my disability continues. I've heard as one gets older, the likelihood of loosing SSD decreases if one's disability continues. Is 56-57 a considerably "safe" range, in your opinion?
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 1:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Mr. McChesney...I already won and received a check this past weekend. My question is about when that Trial work period starts. I'm ready to have a stroke worrying about if working two weeks can make them reverse the decision...
Thanks!
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 8:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anonymous, recent decisions establish that you are not protected by the trial work period rules for work you did before you got the letter saying you won.

But most all attempts that last less than 3 months are counted as "unsuccessful work attempts" and ignored. Don't worry about 2 weeks.
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I filed for SSDI in Feb 03, and finally was approved Feb 06, for the whole past 3 years minus that 5 month waiting period...before I knew I won my case, I tried to work and did work for two weeks. After that, I found out I won...did I screw it all up by trying to work? Does my trial work period start in Feb 03 when I was disabled or does it start Feb 2006 when I won?

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This site is maintained by Paul McChesney, an attorney who has been practicing disability law for around 25 years in North and South Carolina.

If the subject of disability is important to you, or if you want to find out more about us, you should explore the rest of this site. To do so, go to our homepage, Carolina-disability.com.

Please don't take anything on this site as legal advice! Nor should you take any action, or fail to take any action, based on any communication provided through this site. Before doing that, it would be wise to sit down and talk to an attorney in his or her office. Please also see our disclaimer at this link: Disclaimer. We want to be as helpful as we can be on a website; please thank us by doing this.