I am still working but I think I need to apply for disability benefits. Can I do that?

YOU MAY BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS EVEN IF YOU ARE STILL WORKING.

There are times when you may be able to apply for disability benefits despite still working.  These are very specific and rare instances, but it is important to know if you can apply sooner than you may have realized.  Some possible scenarios where this may apply:

1.  If you were working full time and have had an illness or injury that kept you off work for a period of time and when you returned to work you were unable to work more than a few hours a week.

2. Or if you have been able to maintain employment while dealing with injury or illness but have had to reduce your hours and/or your employer is making special accommodations for you in order to stay at the job.

In these situations, it is very important to keep your paycheck stubs to show the reduction in hours and the associated reduction in pay.  If your paycheck stubs do not show time missed due to doctor’s visits or hospitalizations, you may want to contact the person in charge of payroll and get documentation as to time missed from work to show how that also reduced your hours.

It would be helpful if your coworkers, supervisors, or boss could write a statement about the difference in your performance or what accommodations are being made in order for you to be able to continue working.

Please do keep in mind that if you work in a particularly lucrative career, the reduced hours may still result in a salary or wages that exceed the limit allowed by Social Security.  For example, if you sell real estate and are only able to sell one house per month and only worked 10 hours during the whole month to do so, but your commissions average out to $5000 per month throughout a year, then you will not be eligible because you have monetarily exceeded the Social Security Administration’s financial limit for substantial gainful activity.   If your earnings are over $1090 per month, then you are performing substantial gainful activity and will not qualify.

If you believe you are disabled and want to file for disability but are still working in some capacity and do not know if you can apply, please call the board certified attorneys at Morgan & Weisbrod.  We will be happy to discuss your case with you to clarify whether or not you are eligible to apply.

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