December 6, 2019

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

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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.