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A person can work, yet still be entitled to disability benefits. I received a fully favorable decision from the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) where my client’s Social Security Disability application was approved even though he returned to work.
The claimant had to stop working on August 26, 2005 at an auto body repair shop because of neck, back and leg pain. The SSA conceded that the medical evidence demonstrated the claimant was functionally disabled. However, the claimant admitted that he had resumed working on a part time basis in order to pay for medical treatment, and it appeared to the SSA that the work constituted “substantial gainful activity” (“SGA), which would preclude benefits.
I advised the SSA that the claimant never worked more than 12 hours, nor earned more than $175, in any week, which was below SGA. I also cited case law holding that employment is not proof positive of ability to work, since disabled people, if desperate (or employed by an altruist), can often hold a job. The SSA agreed that the claimant should not be punished and denied disability benefits merely because he has continued working to pay for medical treatment.
There are many situations where a claimant may be entitled to receive disability benefits despite working. Do not assume that you cannot get disability benefits simply because you worked after the date you claim you became disabled.Previous Next
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