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When applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits, the State agency usually investigates income that a claimant received after the alleged onset date (“AOD”) to determine if there was an unsuccessful work attempt, if the AOD needs to be amended to a later date, or if it was passive income.
Passive income includes money that you receive from accrued sick and personal days and other types of disability benefits, such as workers compensation and long term disability benefits. Passive income frequently delays having SSD benefits approved, even when the State agency explicitly concludes that earnings after the AOD are not an issue.
I had two ALJs approve SSD claims this week, where the sole issue was post-AOD earnings. In the first case, the earnings were other disability benefits, and today the earnings were from accrued leave. While it is understandable that an ALJ wants the claimant’s testimony regarding post-AOD earnings to be sworn under oath, why can’t the issue be resolved via sworn affidavit? That would save the ALJ from having to schedule and hold a hearing, and would result in the claimant receiving SSD benefits much sooner.
On a related note, I have had many cases where a claimant seeking SSD benefits was receiving a salary, usually by a relative, to enable the claimant to maintain health insurance, even though the claimant did not actually work. The ALJs have accepted the claimants’ testimony at hearings that the claimants were disabled during that time. Last week, an ALJ agreed that one of my clients was disabled during the time his wife’s company paid him, based on averring in a Work Activity Report that he did not work, but was on payroll solely to be covered by the company’s medical insurance.Previous Next
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