Determining Tulsa Social Security Eligibility

Step 1: SSI and SSDI Attorneys on Employment and Disability

Work activity can majorly affect your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. For example, if you engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not consider you disabled. However, defining what types of work qualify as SGA can quickly become complicated. The SSA uses this term in a broad sense to mean both the level of activity and the payment the work provides an individual with a disability. However, how the administration measures this varies depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • What type of work you are doing
  • Receiving payment for your work
  • The amount of your earnings
  • Whether the job offers physical or mental activities

The husband and wife pair of attorneys who created the firm, as well as their team of experienced lawyers, can represent you at every stage of the Social Security process. This includes determining disability and application reconsideration. If you are determining your Social Security eligibility for benefits, then our experienced Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys can answer your questions. We can discuss your ability to work while receiving disability benefits.

How Does the SSA Define Substantial Gainful Activity?

The administration will typically not find a claimant (the person filing for disability) disabled if he or she is working and this work constitutes as both substantial and gainful. Any type of job may qualify as a substantial gainful activity if it falls under the following:

  • Substantial work involves doing significant physical or mental activities. Even part-time work can be a substantial activity.
  • Gainful work is usually done for pay or profit, whether or not you actually realized a profit (gained money). In some cases, working as a volunteer may prove to the SSA that you have the ability to be employed at a level of work considered SGA.

How Much Can I Make on SSI? SSI Income Limits

Depending on the type of work involved, the definition of SGA and the amount of income that may disqualify you for benefits could apply differently. For example, if you are:

  • An employee. As of 2017, if you are an employee of someone else, and you make more than $1,170 per month, the SSA generally considers this work SGA. Generally, most jobs offering this amount of income may be substantial and gainful. This includes whether you work full time or part time. If you are in a sheltered work environment (also called a workshop or work center) or part of the money paid to you is not for the work you perform, it may not be SGA.
  • Self-employed. Since the profits from self-employment or farming may not relate to efforts that are physical or mental activities, income from this type of work will not determine whether the work was SGA. The Social Security Administration must attempt to determine the value of your work to the business, regardless of the profit you made. As of 2017, if the value of your work is more than $1,170 per month, it is SGA, even if your business or farm operated at a loss.
  • Working in a sheltered environment. Those working in a sheltered environment may receive more payment than the actual value of their work. This overpayment amount is a subsidy. Subsidies are not included when evaluating if the work is SGA. The Social Security Administration will determine the “reasonable worth” of the work performed, instead of the actual amount paid. As of 2017, if the reasonable worth of the work is more than $1,170 per month, it is SGA.
  • Have other income. SGA does not generally include income from other sources, such as investments or rent, unless this income is because of your experience, skills, supervision and responsibilities. However, passive income, the value of your assets and amount of state supplement benefits are all factors that may put you over the earned income limits of SSI.

Call a Tulsa Disability Attorney to Learn More about Disability Payments and Working

If you are working in a position not considered substantial or gainful, you may be eligible for Tulsa SSI benefits. However, the administration takes into account many other factors during an SGA Social Security eligibility determination. A disability attorney can better explain how your work situation could impact your ability to gain SSD benefits.

At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., Social Security disability is all we do. The firm does not practice in any other legal field. This then allows us to put our entire focus and centralized knowledge on gaining the benefits our clients need.

If you have any questions about qualifying for SSI and SSDI or need assistance with your Social Security claim, we can help. Please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation today.