When you apply for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration wants to know if you are engaged in what is called “substantial gainful activity” to determine your eligibility. In this video, Tulsa, OK disability lawyer Steve Troutman explains how much monthly income is considered substantial gainful activity and why working part-time can make it difficult for your disability claim to be considered.
For more information on SSDI benefits and whether you qualify, you can call our disability law firm for a free evaluation of your case at (918) 265-1404 or fill out our online case review form.
The official position of the Social Security Administration is that as long as a person is not engaged in substantial gainful activity, they really don’t count work activity. Substantial gainful activity now is a little over $1,000 a month. It goes up each year. But if a person was, in theory, to have a job making $1,000 a month, Social Security should say that work is not substantial gainful activity, and so it really shouldn’t count against the person. As a practical matter, that’s just not the case, and that’s because Social Security realizes that people know those numbers. So, if someone is working at a job and they’re earning $950 a month, I think almost any judge would be skeptical and say well, the reason that the person is only making $950 a month is their choice, not because they can’t make any more. I’ve actually had people come to me and say, “How much can I work and still apply for disability?” Social Security knows that’s the case, and so I honestly believe that any work activity is likely to convince Social Security that the person may not be disabled. I’ve won many cases where the person’s working part-time, but it’s always more difficult to convince Social Security someone’s disabled if they’re working part-time.
To have a free evaluation of your case of your disability claim, call us at (918) 587-0050 or visit us at TroutmanLaw.com.