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Should I Work while My Application is...

Social-Security-Disability-Forum » Should I Work while My Application is Being Processed?  

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Ssdi or work disabilityCathy Markivee 4-03-06  9:40 pm
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David Boccabello

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Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 3:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I live in the Raleigh, NC area and filed, appealed, and was turned down. I am now waiting for a date to meet with the judge for a ruling which may take 6 to 9 months. My IRA is almost gone and I haven't worked since 1998. The job I would take would have to be part time like stocking shelves or something similar where I would hope to have some control over my hours worked. I am always tired from my meds and cannot stay focused on mental work for too long. My Atty is of course fearful that this could affect the decision of the judge even though I cannot live off of what I will make, only add it to some of my IRA money, put that with my daughter-in-laws share of the expenses and pay the monthly bills. The IRA money($5,000)will be gone in four more months of bill paying. If I work, I take a chance of losing my SSD claim because I must supplement my IRA money to stretch it out to last until I get to see the judge in 6 - 9 months because they are backlogged. Any suggestions on how I should work part time to buy me some time and still look acceptable to the judge even though I had to work part time to survive. Thank you.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, June 01, 2001 - 6:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The issue of working while you are appealing a disability case is one that is extremely difficult to answer; each choice is fraught with real peril. I would never begin to try to tell you what to do; you must make a decision for yourself after careful consultation with your attorney.

It would be a disservice to you to pretend there is an easy or quick answer to this question.
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WB

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Posted on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 5:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My sis cant quit work , but needs to . she has had bypass surgery and is weak all the time shes only 37 .She cant afford to quit due to bills. what can she do? she is on many meds and feels terrible and is in pain all the time . She lives in NC ...anyone know?

Reply by Paul This is a very difficult question to answer, and I am not going to try. This is because it is so important. Please do get an attorney and sit down with him or her. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. Please be sure to look in to this carefully.
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June Williams

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Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a car accident 3 years ago. My company has let me do something at home in order to keep working some. Can I apply for social security disability and still be receiving a pay checK or do I need to be out of work for a certain time?

Reply by Paul You can apply at any point that you are not working.

You can win only if, at the time you win your case, if you do, which might be a year and a half or more after you file, you are not working.

You can continue to struggle to work after you file. But of course you must tell the administration about it.

This can make your case a complicated mess; it can also be the only way you survive. For that reason, if you try it I suggest you get an attorney.
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R W

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Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2001 - 2:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

well I have been trying to get may social security since 1996 but they have turned me down everytime i appeal they say no. I just got another letter and it said no. Well, ibeen asking and asking they said no. So i had no choice but to go to work, I started working 4 hours a day then In March Sometimes I would work 6 and somtimes 7 hours a day.And by me working 6 or 7 hours a day from march to may they said I'am not disabled I had no choice but to work aare iwould have had nowhere to liv are nothing to eat. What can I do about this? I baged them to help me the wouldn't. Give me some help on this please thank you very much.

Reply by Paul You can continue to pursue a disability claim and try to work at the same time. You must not be working, as a practical matter, in order to file. You must report all work to the Administration. If you work a lot, you will lose. If you work off and on, you might win. This is a complex process, and often very messy, and I would have a lawyer involved if I were you.
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John Brewer

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Posted on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am currently a resident of the Greenville Rescue Mission, where I've resided for the past 7 months. During that time, I've been treated for a couple of conditions which have had a direct impact on my ability to work.

The first is clinical depression. It became so severe that I was administered 300mg daily of the antidepressant Serzone. The depression resulted in loss of income and inability to pay child support (which has resulted in a warrant for my arrest, but that's another matter).

Due to the treatment, I came to a place about four months ago where I was able to get a job. I worked it until two weeks ago when I was laid off.

The second condition is bleeding hemorrhoids. I'd been losing so much blood, that I ended up in the ER a couple of weeks ago and they kept me and did an unscheduled colonoscopy the next day. It proved to be internal hemorrhoids. I'm being treated with suppositories that are barely able to keep the bleeding in check and I may have to have surgery in the future.

So, my question is, do you think I should pursue a disability claim? My work life is definitely suffering due to these and a couple of other minor things, but maybe not at the 100% level.

I'd be grateful for any advice you could provide me. Oh, by the way, I'm a 50 year old white male, divorced, with three minor children.

Thank you.
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Paul McChesney

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Posted on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 7:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is very hard to say whether you will be successful at a Social Security Disability claim, but you should probably file one. It can take as long as a year and a half to get to a hearing, and if you wait until you are positive that you are unable to work, you will have a year and a half of real desperation, and perhaps even jail, until you get help.

On the other hand once you successfully apply, I often suggest that the claimant continue to attempt to work. If you try this either you will succeed or fail. If you succeed, you can drop your claim. If you fail, the pattern of failure often proves disability. However, this being the real world, it also occasionally happens that you work just enough to convince the judge that you can work, but not enough to actually keep a job.

Of course you must tell the Administration of any work you do, and you should not accept an award unless they know about that work.

Erratic work at low wages can tend to prove disability. Steady work at low or high wages tends to prove ability to work.

If you try working while you continue to pursue a disability case, you definitely need a lawyer, and one who understands this concept.

I raise a question but do not answer it: will your difficulty working partially excuse your obligation to pay child support? If you are still under an order to pay child support, please do get to an attorney about this problem. If you do not have any money, you might try legal aid, or your Social Security lawyer might help. You don't want to go back to jail.

Good luck with your very difficult circumstances
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Sandra Cardwell

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Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a 36 y.o. I have been at my current job for 10+ years. I have an anxiety disorder, tic disorder, obsessive disorder. It is very difficult to work. Would it be possible to receive SS Disability? I can't afford to be out of work, can I file for SS Disability while still working? Thanks!
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 9:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The short answer is yes, more or less. Please see the other answers under this topic.
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ida galloway

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Posted on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 7:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My 62 y-o brother is working while disabled with emphysema, hypertension, heart disease post double stent in 2000, limited leg circulation causing cramping and severe leg pain. He is a laundry worker on his feet all his shift except for lunch and breaks. He applied for SS Disability with his doctors support and was told he cannot file because he is making more than 700.00 or so dollars a month. He has only long-term disability at work and this will not kick in until he is off for six months. He just doesn't know what to do. Should he take early retirement and try to live on the 660.00 in social security he will receive, and a pension of 100.00 dollars a month, or go off on medical leave and file for Social Security early retirement and Disability? what have others done in similar cases and how do you think he should proceed. He would of course lose his medical benefits when he quits work. He lives in daily fear of being fired because he is being constantly told he must work faster and do more. He has 14 years with the hospital where he is working and an excellent work record until his health deteriorated and he has become so emotionally labile due to the stress of not being able to keep up. ANy advice would be appreciated.

Ida
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I cannot answer this question perfectly; he should sit down and talk with an attorney. But I will say two things that might be partially helpful;

1. I would suggest that, if he is ever out briefly, that he then file immediately, and continue his case if he returns to work. It is true that he cannot file while he is working, but if he is off briefly he can. This will get the very slow process started.

2. He should remember that, if he goes on retirement benefits, he should still file for disability, too. The retirement will give him quick money, and if he eventually wins the disability claim he will get a larger check.

3. He should try his best to cut expenses and save money in case his income drops.

Take care and good luck.
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Mary Robinson

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Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a 43 year old LPN {Nurse} I have been working 40 to 60 hr weeks for the last 20+ years. Approx 2 years ago I was diagnosd with SLE {Systemic Lupus Erythematous}. I am finding it increasingly difficult to work. I have cut my hours down to 36 a week but even that is geting to be too much. I have days[avg 2-3 a week] that I hurt too much to get out of bed. I currently take a large dose of narcotic medications to function {80 mg of Oxycontin 2x a day}I have 3-4 compression fractures in my back, bursitis in my left hip and osteopenia and osteoporosis in my lower spine and hips. I have had 20+ episodes of blood clots in my legs and at least 3 Pulmonary Embolisms. I am finding it increasingly difficult to continue working. It currently takes me at least 3 days of staying in bed to recover from my 3 12 hr shifts. Do I have a case? Or do I have to wait until I can't walk at all? How do I support my family?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First and foremost, you need to try to get into a job which offers long term and short term disability as part of the compensation package. Nurses can often do this, even if they have health impairments. If you can go out on long term disability, you might not have a long wait to get your first check.

Next, if you are out of work even briefly, you should probably file for disability. If you want to try to go back and work after you file, it can be messy, but will help you support your family. Please see the entries under "working while disabled" for an explanation of this concept.

It can take 6 months or more to an initial decision, and as much as a year and a half to a hearing. The above to tricks can shorten the wait time.

Finally, now, and not later, I would sit down and talk to an attorney who primarily handles disability claims, to make sure you are doing everything exactly right.

Take care and good luck.
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mary mullins

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Posted on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

my husband was denied his disability claim he appealed it and was still denied, even though he is still unable to work. his claim hasn't been closed but we need more evidence, since then he has had more surgery and still is in theorpy could he put his claim on hold or something until we see if this has made him better or worse or will he have to refile?

Reply by PaulIt is often wisest to keep appealing your case while you sort out the question of whether you can work. At the first two levels, many people are denied who would be sucessful if they kept appealing.
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Terry Cook

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Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2003 - 5:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My wife, upon Dr's orders, was off work starting in Aug, 2002. In Dec 2002 she applied for Disability. Also in Dec her employer cut off her salary continuance early right before she was to have gone on long term disability. With some difficulty she returned to work on Jan 2 but under considerable duress. Later, she was told that she was suspended pending termination for excessive absenteeism even though her Dr had never released her. She was allowed to work pending settlement of the arbitration. On March 25 she was notified by Social Security that her claim was approved but when she said she was at work the representative said that she would have to fill out a new form and something about "working in a 3 month time period". Will she be denied disability even though her case was initially approved?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My guess will be that they will probably excuse the work attempt, though she does have to worry. The rule is that, once you are out of work for at least 30 days, any return might be considered an "unsuccessful work attempt" if it lasts for less than 3 months, or, if your employer makes special accommodations, less than 6 months. It is often pretty easy to sell them the 3 month idea; the 6 is much harder.

If they deny her, be sure to appeal!
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LaJuana Albright

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Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 1:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have Barretts Disease.I was diagnosed after a endoscopy.I have not been able to do very much work in my own home daycare.I have had to hire extra help and my husband has helped alot,including taking off work to help me.
I applied for S.S.Disability and was turned down flat.They did not even review my medical.They said that because I had been able to contribute to my business by making decisions (even though I can't physically help), they would not consider my claim.I have filed for a case review and asked them to at least look at the medical. I also asked them to consider that the only reason my small business has stayed open to to pay medical bills.....Do they want people to leave medical bills unpaid and get into more legal trouble ?
Is there any chance my claim will even br reviewed?
Thanks for any help possible.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 5:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lajuana: Work activity can disqualify you in one of two ways. First, if you are steadily, actually earning more than the "Substantial gainful activity" amount, you cannot get disability. That amount for 2004 is $810. If the earnings pattern is erratic, you can start to make arguments that you cannot really sustain work. If you can show you are getting a subsidy, which your story suggests, you might be able to get the amount they count reduced. For example, you might be able to prove that your husband is actually earning half, or a quarter, or 2/3ds of the amount the business brings in. The earnings rules apply no matter how sick you are.

The second way that work activity can disqualify you is by proving that you could work. For example, if you show up at a charity and work hard 40 hours a week and don't get paid, you can't claim you are disabled.

The problems come in because there are really all shades of work activity, from a steady 40 hour week to nothing at all, and there is a broad gray area.

You need to sit down with an attorney and make a plan. Take care and good luck.
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Cheryl911 (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 1:27 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?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!
(Decided to use a name, too many anonymous users...)
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 1:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheryl, I don't think that showing up for two weeks at work proves that you can work. It is some evidence, but not much, by itself.

The trial work period rules only apply after you win, but there is another doctrine, the unsuccessful work attempt doctrine, which should protect you if you only worked two weeks. Unstroke.

(Message edited by admin on March 12, 2006)
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Cheryl911 (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the quick reply! I feel better, I think.
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

how do people live while waiting on hearings i got medicaid due to my disability but am waiting on the hearing for ssi i am alone and have nothing thank you for your help
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Anonymous222 (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 6:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am confused why social security defines disability as
the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."
However, if and when you are ever approved, you are able to work through their ticket to work program. Now, They (social security) when evaluating you for disability, would not allow benefits for someone who is working ‘cause that would show the person is not disabled “enough” to be eligible for benefits, so why would they allow you to work if you are receiving benefits?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 2:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What you say is correct, whether it makes sense or not.

The idea is that they want to make sure that someone is not scared to put his toe in the water and try to work, for fear of suddenly losing his check.

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