Can I Work While I Am Applying For Social Security Disability?
The short answer to that question is yes. But it is important to hear and understand the long answer. With the increasing amounts of social security disability applications and the shortage of funds, social security applicants are experiencing a lot of delays and hurdles to overcome. The average social security disability applicant has to wait approximately 2 years before receiving an approval for disability benefits. That is a long time with no income. For many of you applying for disability, finances are a serious concern and source of major stress. To ease the financial burden, some of you may feel you might be able to manage a part time job but fear it will defeat your claim for Social Security disability benefits.
Here are a few tips to assist you in your decision whether or not to work part time while applying for Social Security disability:
1. Consult an attorney: Whether or not a part time job will negatively impact your claim and how much money you can make before it ruins your claim depends on several different factors. It is wise to consult someone that knows Social Security rules and regulations to help you make an informed decision.
2. Do Not Earn More than the Social Security Administration Allows: The type of Social Security application you submitted will determine this amount. For SSDI applicants that amount is $1090 per month. Again, it is important that you speak with someone with an understanding of Social Security rules and regulations to help you determine if this applies to you.
3. Keep Track of Monthly Expenses Directly Related to Your Disabling Conditions: It is possible to deduct monthly out-of-pocket expenses related to your disabling conditions, such as prescriptions, doctor visits, medical equipment (bandages, crutches, wheelchair rental), etc. Keep your receipts, bills, and invoices.
4. Make Sure You Have a Treating Doctor that will Confirm Your Disability: When a disability applicant is holding a part time job, it does raise some suspicion that they are either purposefully limiting their hours to qualify for disability or merely unable to land a full time job. Having a doctor that has treated consistently and explicitly (in writing) limits you to part time work, goes a long way.
5. Get or Save Documentation from Employer: It is important for the Social Security Administration to know that the reason you are working only part time is not merely because your employer has not yet offered you full time work or has no full time positions available. Social Security must know that your employer is not offering you full time work because you are not capable of performing full time work. Sometimes employers acknowledge those restrictions in a letter or other documentation.