April 24, 2019

Work Attempts Before and After a Finding of Disability

Social Security has a stated goal of encouraging disabled claimants to return to work. However, as a practical matter, work attempts are treated very differently depending on where you are in the process. While you are waiting for your decision, work attempts can help your case (if these attempts are short and unsuccessful) or they can cause a judge to conclude that you are not disabled and do have the capacity for work.

After you are found disabled, my experience has been that Social Security is much more forgiving in terms of both the length of your work attempts and the type of work you may try.

Episode 27 – Why Does Social Security Have a Problem with Part Time Work?

[mc src=”http://www.ssdradio.com/media/2008/10/15/episode-27-why-does-social-security-have-a-problem-with-part-time-work/ssdRadio-Part%20Time%20Work.flv” width=”320″ type=”video”/]

I have previously related my opinion that part time work can hurt your chances at getting approved for disability benefits.  A couple of recent cases confirms my reservations.  In one case, I represented a woman with a long standing diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Her medical record was extremely comprehensive, and included reports from numerous doctors attesting to the myofascial pain and debilitating fatigue that is typical of this chronic pain condition.  I had functional capacity forms from 2 of her treating doctors that strongly supported my contention that she did not have the capacity for competitive work at any level.  In my opinion, this claimant was as deserving as any fibromyalgia patient that I have ever represented, yet the judge denied the claim because my client had published a web site about her ordeal, and used the web site to as a forum to support her fellow fibromyalgia patients.

I have seen several instances where web sites like the one I have described created problems for claimants.  I have also seen situations where a claimant was denied for “riding along” with his son in a landscaping business, and for accompanying her son to his job at a video store.

Although I think that in most of these cases, the claimants were simply bored and wanted to get out of the house, judges get very uncomfortable with activities that look like work.

In this video, I talk about part time work and my thoughts about why and how it can negatively affect your case.

Episode 15 – Speeding Up the Process, and Part Time Work

Show Notes:

1)  MY HUSBAND HAS SIGNED UP FOR SSI DISABILITY 7 MONTHS AGO. AND HAS NO HEARD FROM THEM HE DID CALL AND ASKED ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND WAS TOLD THEY ARE STILL INVESTIAGTING CLAIM.WE ARE ABOUT TO BE KICKED TO THE STREET FOR NOT HAVING MONEY TO PAY RENT…… HOW CAN WE GET THIS MOVING FASTER?
–Maryann

Contact information for United States Senators
Contact information for United States Representatives

2)  f on SS Disability, can I have outside income without losing benefits?  I raise race horses and would like to run one of the babies. If this horse makes money do I loose benefits? Or if I sell one of the horses will that affect benefits.
–Darrell

3)   on 2/21 07 i had a hearing before a judge,m i have chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression…the judge said to me in the beginning of the hearing that i dont appear honest, and im not convincing, how will that affect my changes.
–Gee

[tags] Social Security delays, earning money while on SSDI, Social Security judge, hearing testimony [/tags]

Episode 13 – Onset dates, part time work and SSI Offsets

Show Notes:

1) I have a lawyer and I’m waiting for my ALJ hearing ( 1 1/2 to 2 years, I was told at the SS office) Due to financial issues, I was unable to continue treatment with the doctor that first diagnosed me with lupus, firbomyalgia and MCTD, and I now go to a charity clinic. My lawyer says that the date of onset of my disease, which my original doctor diagnosed, does not matter, but the illness coupled with the date I stopped working does. I am working now, going from part time to half time within 6 months, because of the pain my condition causes, even though it is a sedentary job. Is my lawyer correct, that it doesn’t matter when I was diagnosed?

Also, he says that working part time will not affect my disability case unless I make more than 800 dollars a month. I live in Indiana.

2) I have been denied disability because my wife has a retirement fund from her state retirement. Does her money count when I am disabled and unable to work?

[tags] part time work and Social Security Disability, onset date, alleged onset date, ssi offset [/tags]