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.

I Am On The Heart Transplant Waiting List. Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes, you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits if your status on the heart transplant waiting list is either 1a or 1b.

As you already know, there are more people who need heart transplants than there are healthy hearts available for transplanting. Accordingly, people in need of heart transplants are assigned a certain status when they go on the national waiting list maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing. The status reflects the priority in which they should receive a heart when one becomes available.

Those Who Are Assigned Status 1 Are Eligible for Social Security Disability

Currently, there are four potential statuses that you may be given when you are on the heart transplant waiting list. These statuses include:

  1. Status 1a. Patients classified as 1a are the most critically ill. They require hospitalization and life support measures, and they typically have a very limited life expectancy unless they are able to receive a heart.
  2. Status 1b. Patients classified as 1b are dependent on intravenous medication or a mechanical assist device in order to stay alive until a heart is received. They may be in the hospital or at home awaiting news that a heart has become available.
  3. Status 2. Patients in this classification are medically stable with just oral medications and are able to live at home until a heart becomes available.
  4. Status 7. Patients who receive this classification are on the inactive list due to a change in condition, but may get credit for time that they were already on the waiting list should they need to change to status 1a, 1b, or 2 in the future.

Patients who are assigned status 2 or status 7 are not automatically eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

However, heart transplant waiting list status 1a and status 1b are included on the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances List. That means that not only will you be eligible for benefits, but that your claim may be fast tracked.

Once your heart transplant surgery occurs, you may continue to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits pursuant to Section 4.09. Specifically, you may be eligible for benefits for one year post surgery or longer if you meet the requirements for eligibility pursuant to a different listing or because of your inability to work.

You are doing a lot of waiting right now. As you wait for word that a heart is available for you, please make sure that your right to receive Social Security disability benefits is protected and that your wait for Social Security disability is no longer than it has to be. Please contact a board certified attorney via this website or by phone today to learn more.

Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability If I Have Chronic Leukemia?

Chronic leukemia is often treatable when it is diagnosed early. However, once the cancer has reached the blast phase it is often fatal and it is included in the Social Security Administration’s list of compassionate allowances. Inclusion on the list of compassionate allowances will allow your case to proceed through the eligibility process faster than it otherwise would, but it does not change the criteria for Social Security disability eligibility.

Only Some People With Chronic Leukemia Are Eligible for Social Security Disability

You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you meet the requirements in the Listing of Impairments or if you are unable to work because of your cancer.

According to Section 13.06 of the Listing of Impairments, people who suffer from chronic myelogenous leukemia may qualify for benefits in one of two ways. You may be eligible for benefits if one of the following is true:

  • You are in the accelerated or blast phase. This will be considered a disability for at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse or at least 12 months from the date of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant—whichever is later. After that, you will need to establish eligibility by proving that there is residual impairment to a specific body system.
  • You are in the chronic phase. This will be considered a disability if you have a progressive disease following initial anticancer therapy or for at least 12 months from the date of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant (after that, eligibility may be established if you can prove that there is residual impairment to a specific body system).

Additionally, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that your chronic leukemia is equal in severity to another listing in the Listing of Impairments or if you are unable to work any job because of your medical condition.

Be Prepared to Fight for the Benefits You Deserve

You are already fighting every day to manage your chronic leukemia, to comply with your doctors’ orders, and to live out the rest of your life on your terms. The last thing that you need is another fight for the Social Security disability benefits that you’ve earned.

However, it can be difficult to convince the Social Security Administration that you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers can remove this stress from your shoulders and work hard to get you the fair and just benefits you deserve. We will work with you to file a complete application or to appeal a denial of benefits. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more.

My Spinal Fusion Surgery Didn’t Go As Planned And Now I’m Disabled. Could I Be Eligible For Social Security Disability?

Yes, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you underwent spinal fusion surgery and you remain disabled after the surgery. You likely consented to this type of serious spinal surgery with the hope and the expectation that you would feel better and that your quality of life would improve after surgery.

Unfortunately, spinal fusion surgery has risks and those risks can leave you disabled. Instead of feeling better after spinal fusion surgery, you may experience:

  • Infection
  • Damage to nerves in the spinal column
  • Damage to blood vessels near the fusion site
  • Joint pain on either side of the fusion site

These risks can result in permanent medical conditions that leave you unable to work.

Social Security Disability Eligibility

You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you can prove that your disability is included in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments (known as the Blue Book) or if you can prove that you are totally and permanently disabled and unable to work.

You may qualify if you meet the requirements of Section 1.04 of the Listing of Impairments. This section, which covers disorders of the spine, allows you to recover disability benefits if you have a spinal condition that results in the compromise of a nerve root or of the spinal cord and one of the following is also true:

  • You experience nerve compression that results in pain, muscle weakness, sensory and reflex loss, and that impacts your lower back and legs.
  • You suffer inflammation in the membrane around the spine that results in burning and in you having to change position often (or at least once every two hours).
  • You experience a narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pain, weakness, and difficulty walking.

Finally, you may qualify if you can prove that you meet another section of the Blue Book or if you can prove that your residual functional capacity is so diminished by your condition that you cannot work. For example, if your spinal fusion surgery left you unable to walk, your condition may be equal in severity to Section 1.03 of the Blue Book which applies to the surgery or fusion of weight-bearing joints. While the spine is not a weight-bearing joint, the effect of your spinal fusion surgery may be the same as a fusion surgery on a hip, knee, or other weight-bearing joint.

Be Prepared Before You File a Social Security Disability Application

You will need medical evidence and a complete and compelling Social Security disability application in order to get the benefits you deserve. For help submitting a strong application or for a fair review of your claim, please contact a board certified Social Security disability lawyer today via this website or by phone.

I Have A Prosthetic Limb. Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

It depends. Some people with prosthetic limbs are eligible for Social Security disability benefits and others are not eligible for benefits. At first glance, this may seem arbitrary or unfair. However, the Social Security Administration considers specific factors to determine whether a person with a prosthetic limb is eligible for disability benefits.

How the Social Security Administration Decides

If you have a prosthetic limb that allows you to walk effectively, your application for Social Security disability benefits may be denied. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that even with a prosthetic limb:

  • You are limited in the amount of time that you can stand or walk.
  • You have difficulty walking without assistance.
  • You need crutches, a cane, a wheelchair, or another assistive device to walk.
  • You have difficulty managing public transportation on your own or driving.
  • You face other limitations because of your amputation, despite your use of a prosthetic limb.

Your prosthesis may dramatically improve your quality of life, but you may still be unable to do the work you did prior to your amputation or to perform another job.

How to Make a Case to the Social Security Administration

When you submit your Social Security disability application, it is important that you have accurate and complete information to prove that you are unable to work. This includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Medical records. The Social Security Administration will want to know that you are complying with your doctor’s recommendations regarding the prosthesis.
  • Employment history. The Social Security Administration will assess what jobs you may realistically perform and this will depend, in part, on your previous work experience.

Social Security disability applications can be complicated, but it is important to fill them out fully and correctly so that you can start getting the benefits you deserve as soon as possible. To learn more, please read our free Social Security Disability Fact Sheet and contact us directly for a free consultation.

Can I Pick My Payment Date For Social Security Disability Benefits?

No. You can’t choose which day of the month you will receive your Social Security disability benefits. Instead, that is a decision that will be made for you by the Social Security Administration (SSA) according to established rules.

When You Will Be Paid

Once it is determined that you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, the day on which you will be paid will be determined by your birth date. More specifically, you will be paid on:

  • The second Wednesday of the month if your birth date is between the first and tenth of the month. For example, if your birthday is December 4, 1974, you would be paid on the second Wednesday of each month.
  • The third Wednesday of the month if your birth date is between the eleventh and twentieth of the month. For example, if your birthday is February 14, 1968, you would be paid on the third Wednesday of each month.
  • The fourth Wednesday of the month if your birth date is between the twenty-first and thirty-first of the month. For example, if your birthday is July 29, 1981, you would be paid on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Each year the SSA publishes a calendar of payment dates so that you can know exactly when to expect your benefits. If the Wednesday on which you should receive payments is a holiday (such as July 4th, Christmas, or New Year’s Day), you should receive your payment on Tuesday of the same week on which you are normally paid.

What If You Don’t Receive Your Payment When You Should?

If you receive your Social Security disability benefits through direct deposit and you do not receive your benefits on the expected day, you should contact the Social Security Administration immediately. You can reach out to your local office or you can call 1-800-772-1213.

The SSA recommends waiting three mailing days beyond your payment date before contacting the SSA about a missed payment if you receive your payment by mail. However, after the three days has passed it is important to follow up with the SSA promptly so that you can get the monthly Social Security disability benefits you qualify for quickly.

If you have trouble getting the benefits you deserve, please reach out to our experienced Social Security disability lawyers directly via this website or by phone at any time.

I Just Learned That A Friend Receives A Larger Social Security Disability Benefit Check Than I Do. Why Is My Check Smaller?

It is difficult to answer your question without knowing all of the facts surrounding both your application for Social Security disability benefits and your friend’s application. However, everybody’s determination of benefits is individualized, and it is unlikely that you would get exactly the same benefits as someone else.

Here’s Why

Those who qualify for Social Security disability benefits must be totally disabled, but they will not necessarily receive the same benefits. You and your friend could receive different benefits—even if you both live in the same town and you both suffer from the same disabling condition.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the value of Social Security disability benefits based on:

  • Your age
  • How much you worked in recent years. The requirements for this depend on your age.
  • How much you’ve worked and contributed to Social Security over your lifetime

Your age and work history determine how many work credits you have accumulated. If you have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability, the amount of your check will be based on the amount that you have contributed to the Social Security system up to a maximum amount set by law. In 2017, the maximum Social Security disability payment was $2,687 per month and the average payment was $1,171 per month.

These rules apply equally to everyone, but the amount that each person recovers is individualized as described above.

Did this article help you understand why benefit payments are different for different people? If so, please share it with your Facebook friends. And if you are totally disabled and ready to apply for Social Security disability benefits, be sure to watch some of our informative, free videos to learn more about the application process. Then, when you are ready to get started, contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our compassionate and experienced attorneys.

I’m Filing A Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) Letter To Start The Appeal Process On An Unfavorable Veterans’ Disability Claim Determination. My Understanding Is That Once The VA Receives My NOD, I’ll Probably Be Sent A Statement Of The Case (SOC) In Return. What Is A SOC And How Long Will It Take To Get One?

It’s true that many veterans will receive a Statement of the Case (SOC) at least once in the claims process, but it isn’t inevitable and it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get the veterans’ disability benefits that you deserve.

Typically, when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) receives a valid Notice of Disagreement (NOD) from a veteran, the prior determination is reviewed for any obvious legal or factual errors. If errors are found, they are investigated so that a new determination can be made.

If no errors are found or the claim is still denied, the VA will complete a Statement of the Case (SOC) and send it to you and your legal representative. This can take several months.

What’s Included in the Statement of the Case

Essentially, the SOC is a detailed summary of the activity on your claim to that point. It will include:

  • A comprehensive list of all evidence—such as service records, medical records, testimony, and employment history—taken under consideration while determining your claim
  • An explanation of the laws and regulations used in making the determination
  • The VA’s determination
  • An explanation of the VA’s determination process

What to Do After Receiving a Statement of the Case

After receiving an SOC, you’ll have either 60 days or the remainder of the one-year period you are given to file an NOD—whichever provides more time—to file a substantive appeal. If you miss this deadline, you’ll need to reopen the claim.

Thus, if you receive an SOC, you need to take action. We may be able to help you. Please contact our experienced veterans’ disability attorneys today via this website or by phone to learn more.

I’ve Been Told That At An Expert Might Testify At My Social Security Disability Appeal Hearing And Recommend Other Jobs I Could Do Even With My Medical Condition. What Kind Of Information Must Be Included With The Recommendation?

You’re talking about a vocational expert. This person is a specially contracted expert witness who possesses a great deal of knowledge about the current job market. The goal of the vocational expert attending your Social Security disability benefits appeal hearing is to determine if you are capable of doing any of the following:

  • Work you’ve done in the past in the same way you’ve done it in the past
  • Work you’ve done in the past in a different way
  • Other work

If the vocational expert agrees that you can no longer perform past work but is of the opinion that you could do a different type of work, then it is the vocational expert’s duty to back up that suggestion with evidence.

What the Vocational Expert Should Provide

The vocational expert will typically use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to supply the job titles of any work that the vocational expert believes you can do, the reference number associated with those job titles in DOT, and the number of positions available nearby. The vocational expert just needs to prove that you can do other work and that such work is available. It is not the vocational expert’s responsibility to prove that you can be hired.

Cross-Examination Is Important

An experienced Social Security disability lawyer may be able to cross-examine the vocational expert and establish why the vocational expert’s thinking about your ability to perform other types of job is flawed. This could significantly help your odds of getting your claim approved at this level of appeal.

You should consult with a Social Security disability lawyer before your hearing. You deserve to go into your hearing prepared and knowing what to expect both from the vocational expert and the administrative law judge. To learn more, please contact us by phone or via this website to schedule an initial consultation. We also invite you to download a FREE copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know for more information about the Social Security disability process.

I Was On Active Duty During The Gulf War. Over The Last Few Years My Doctors Have Been Trying To Diagnose And Treat My Severe And Ongoing Symptoms That Don’t Have A Known Cause. Can I Get Veterans’ Disability Benefits For Gulf War Syndrome Or For Something Else?

Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stopped using the name Gulf War Syndrometo refer to these clusters of chronic symptoms with no known causes because the signs of this class of illness can vary significantly from person to person. The condition is now referred to as a chronic multi-symptom illness or an undiagnosed illness.

Do You Have One of These Conditions?

You may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits if you have:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome. Significant and persistent tiredness that is not explained by other causes or relieved by rest can impact your ability to work and to go about your daily activities.
  • Fibromyalgia. Muscle pain and other symptoms can interfere with your life and result in a disability.
  • A functional gastrointestinal disorder. Abnormal functioning of a gastrointestinal organ can be painful and result in a disability. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an example of this type of disorder.
  • An undiagnosed illness. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, it is possible to have an undiagnosed illness that seriously impacts your life.

Symptoms of these illnesses can include:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive issues
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Skin conditions
  • Neurological and physiological problems
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia

You do no need to demonstrate a connection between your service and your illness if:

  • You served the Southwest Asia theater of military operations
  • Your condition began during active duty or before the end of 2021
  • You are at least 10% disabled
  • Your condition cannot be explained by another cause

Having an unexplained illness can be scary. Continuing with your medical care is important, and learning how to be compensated for your service-connected illness is important, too. To find out more about your options, talk to one of the knowledgeable Texas veterans’ disability lawyers at Morgan & Weisbrod today. Contact us toll-free or through this website for more information.

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