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Can I work and qualify for social security disability too?

The first question that the Social Security Administration (SSA) asks in order to determine your eligibility for disability is: Are you engaging in substantial GAINFUL activity (SGA)? By applying for social security disability with SSA, a person claims that he or she cannot work at the substantial gainful activity level for at least 12 consecutive months because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.

SSA uses the term substantial gainful activity to describe the performance of significant physical or mental work duties usually for pay or profit. Each year, SSA determines the monthly amount, BEFORE taxes are taken out, that you can earn and still be eligible for social security disability benefits such as SSI (Title XVI); DIB (SSDI or Title II); DAC; and Disabled Widow’s/Widower’s claims. If your income is above the SGA amount in the guidelines set forth below, then you cannot get social security disability benefits even if you physically or mentally disabled.

SGA Maximum Income Amounts:

Year                        SSA Monthly Income
2011 $1,000
2010                       $1,000
2009                       $980
2008                       $940
2007                       $900
2006                       $860
2005                       $830
2004                       $810
2003                       $800

There are exceptions that an attorney can argue including but not limited to you had an unsuccessful work attempt; you are working in a sheltered workshop; or you are receiving special work accommodations. If you have earnings at the SGA levels in the chart above and think that one of these exceptions apply to you, please contact the Law Office of Kathleen Flynn at 404-479-4431 or visit our website at www.kathleenflynnlaw.com for further clarification to determine if you might still be eligible for social security disability benefits.

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