Can I Get Disability Benefits If I Work?

Work May Mean That You Are Disqualified From SSDI Benefits, But Not Always

In order to obtain Social Security Disability benefits, you must not be engaged in what is called substantial gainful activity. Disability does not mean you cannot work at all, but your work must not meet the standard of substantial gainful activity. In this video, Tulsa disability attorney Steve Troutman explains disability listings, step one of the sequential evaluation for disability benefits and substantial gainful activity.

Video Transcription

There are some people that meet the listings that are not considered disabled. Those are people that are working, because if a person is working, now let me give you an example, if a person is in a wheelchair, let’s suppose an amputee who came back from the war, they’re missing both legs, they’re in a wheelchair – you’ve seen people work like that. And so if they come into an office, there are some people in this building who come to work in wheelchairs, if that person is working, they would be denied benefits by Social Security at what Social Security calls Step One of the sequential evaluation because they’re engaged in substantial gainful activity. So, if someone is engaged in substantial gainful activity, they’re denied benefits by virtue of the fact that they’re working, and you never get to the medical issues. So if you take that person who meets a listing but is working, they’re not disabled, the day they stop working, either by choice, they could get laid off, they could quit, whatever reason, they apply for benefits, they’ll be granted benefits because they meet a listing. For more information or to speak with a disability attorney, go to