Tom Petty sang that “the waiting is the hardest part,” and boy was he right. When you are trying to figure out how to move forward with your life after becoming disabled, waiting on the Social Security Administration to decide if your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be approved is near torture.
Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place
You are too injured or ill to keep working at your current job, and you don’t want to risk not being approved for benefits by working a different job, but you can’t afford to not do any sort of work while you wait to hear back about your application for benefits. We have advised all too many clients in this damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario.
At the Seelig Law Group, we help our clients determine what sort of work they can do, if any, to help make ends meet while waiting to see if their application for SSDI or SSI is approved.
Generally, it is better not to work at all because that can trigger a determination that you do not meet the definition of a “disabled” no matter how serious your medical condition. However, we understand that not bringing in any money while an application is pending is a real hardship. There is a little bit of wiggle room in the law, which our firm can help you maneuver around.
What is Substantial Gainful Activity?
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you cannot earn more than what is considered “substantial gainful activity” or SGA. For 2020, SGA is set at $1,260 per month. For blind SSDI applicants, the limit is $2,110. The fewer number of hours you can work to make this amount the better, because a judge may see you working a lot of hours and decide you aren’t truly disabled.
SSI Is Need-Based
With Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you cannot have significant income or own other assets since it is a need-based program. However, only certain income and assets count toward eligibility, and the lawyers on our team are skilled at helping applicants figure out if applying is worthwhile, and what changes you can make in order to improve your chance of being granted benefits.
When Winning Matters Most
If you are injured or ill, and are not able to continue working your current job, you should consider applying for disability benefits. Working with an experienced attorney from the Seelig Law Group can help you determine which benefits to apply for, and how to strengthen your application.
If you need to work to help support yourself or your family while you wait for the Social Security Administration to process your application for disability benefits, an attorney at our firm can help you figure out how much money you can bring in, and how much work you can do without seriously harming your application. We will do our best to find a way to keep you from going from disabled to destitute.