Will my previous part time work impact my Social Security disability eligibility?

It is your responsibility to complete your work history report honestly, accurately, and completely. However, you do not want to include irrelevant information that could end up giving the Social Security Administration an inaccurate understanding of your work history and unfairly impacting your Social Security disability eligibility.

How the Social Security Administration Considers Part Time Work

The Social Security Administration’s own policy statement about the relevance of past work indicates what the agency means by work experience. Specifically, the Social Security Administration states "We consider that your work experience applies [i.e., is relevant] when it was done within the last 15 years, lasted long enough for you to learn to do it, and was substantial gainful activity [SGA]."

Thus, some part time employment should be included on your work history report. If, for example, you earned enough for the job to be considered substantial gainful activity, it should be included on your report. The specific amount of money that is considered substantial gainful activity changes annually. In 2017, $1,950/month for people who are blind and $1,170 for other people with disabilities was considered substantial gainful employment. In 2018, substantial gainful activity is $1,970/month for people who are blind and $1,180 for people with other disabilities.

However, if you did not work enough at the job for it to be considered substantial gainful activity, then it is possible that the Social Security Administration will exclude that part time work from consideration when determining what work you can still do and whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

You Don’t Want to Make a Mistake

The majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied. One common reason for these denials is because of inaccurate or incomplete applications. You don’t want this to happen to you. Instead, you want to make sure you get the benefits you deserve by contacting a board certified Social Security disability lawyer before you apply. An attorney can make sure your application is both accurate and complete. Please start a live chat with us or call us directly to learn more.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law