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I'm Working, Can I Apply for SSDI?

When you think about it, a significant number of people have a medical condition of some sort. From asthma, to PTSD, to diabetes and everything in between. Sometimes these conditions make it very difficult to get through the day, but we work anyway because we can’t afford not to.

If you are working full time and you have a chronic medical condition, you may be wondering if you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. After all, you do have medical problems.

According to the Social Security Administration’s guidelines, just because someone has a disability, it doesn’t mean that he or she is considered “disabled” under the SSA’s definition.

Generally, the SSA considers someone disabled if their medical condition is severe enough that it will last at least one year or result in death, and they are unable to engage in “substantial” gainful activity (SGA).

Even if you have serious health problems, if you are working full time and you file an application for SSDI benefits, the chances of being approved are slim.

If someone is working full time, or even part-time and their earnings exceed a specified level, they would be denied based on the fact that they are continuing to work.

Such an applicant’s case wouldn’t even reach the medical review because of their work activity, not because of their health. Their work activity would be the basis of their denial.

If an applicant is working full or part-time, the SSA would consider their work to be “substantial” if it required them to do any significant mental or physical activities or a combination of the two. For example, working as a cashier or a receptionist can qualify as “substantial” work.

How much are you earning?

Another issue is your gross earnings. Per the 2016 figure used to determine substantial gainful activity, if a person earns more than $1,130 a month, they are not considered disabled. However, that number is $1,820 for blind individuals.

The above information applies only to people who are working and apply for Social Security Disability; this does not apply to someone who is already receiving benefits and wants to return to work.

The SSA offers work incentives to help people who are on disability so they can return to work.

Do you have further questions about applying for disability benefits? Contact our Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer for the guidance you need!