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Getting disability and working part time

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Tammy, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    New Mexico
    I was wondering how many of you are receiving Disability and working part-time? I know that a person on Disability is allowed to earn so much a month....but are any of you in this situation afraid that working part-time while on Disability will somehow backfire on you? Has it ever worked against you? For instance has social security disability ever threatened to discontinue your disability after you have worked part time for a length of time? Tammy
  2. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Upstate SC, USA
    My brother has been on disability for about 8 years. He has been working part time fo about 6 years. I'm in the process off trying to get Disability and the thing that I have heard from my lawyer, my bothers lawyer and I believe it was from a webinar that CFIDS did last year. All 3 recommend that you not to be employed, in any way, while going through the process of getting approved for disability. After getting approved they still recommended waiting a little while.

    Even if it is part time work it should be very light work (no loading trucks with 50# bags of fertilizer) and don't max out your allowable income per month, which is somewhere between $940 a month to $1080 per month, from the very beginning. I have heard both figures and still do not know which one is correct.

    Have you already started the process of applying for disability?
  3. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Your message is a little confusing as to whether you're applying or are thinking ahead to the future after getting on disability. But anyway, I agree, while applying, the consensus is to not work at all. The reason is that then you will have to prove if you can work a little, why can't you work full time. This makes it much harder to prove than, "hey, I can't work at all, so give me disability already".

    Once you're on, there are two income limits to keep in mind. One is called the Ticket to Work Program limit (TWP) which is lower than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit (SGA). Let's say that the TWP limit is $500 and the SGA limit is $1000 per month. If you make over $500 you will use up your TWP benefits, which is something like 9 months out of every 5 years where you can be making a full time work attempt while still getting SSDI payments and Medicare.

    If you go over the $1000 a month (SGA), this will signal that you're well enough to work full time and you'll get booted off SSDI.

    As long as you stay under those limits, SSDI actually encourages you to work. In fact, I got a automated phone call the other day about a work from home opportunity, apparently sanctioned by SSDI (call center type work for $9 an hour).
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    Clarification...............I was asking about the people who are both already receiving Disability and working part-time.
    At some time did SSD come back and say....since you have been working part-time for so many years.....we have determined you can work full time now...........that is what I meant by aking the question ....." has the system ever back fired on you" for even working part time while on Disability? thanks for the replies.
  5. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Los Angeles, CA
    They do it by the numbers, not how long you've been doing it. But you have to follow their guidelines very carefully. There is a Social Security publication called "The Red Book" that you can download which explains the various options for working while collecting SSDI or SSI benefits. It is true that they actively want you to work a little - if you can - just not TOO much. There are also provisions for a trial period of going back to fulltime work and then being able to resume benefits if it turns out you just can't hack it. That Red Book, I promise you, would make the healthiest brain hurt to read it - but I found that all the other info available on the Web is just vague generalities, and you have to go right to the source.

    Since I'm still in limbo awaiting a decision on my latest appeal, I have been rigorous about not working - not too hard, since I really don't have capacity to do anything substantial. It's a big stretch sometimes to tend to my basic survival needs. Several times people from my former professional life have contacted me with freelance jobs (either not knowing that I'm sick, or how bad it is, or assuming I "must be better by now") and I've had to turn them all down. Even if I'm capable of doing *some* of what they ask, I know I can't commit to actually delivering work on a schedule or promise that I'll even be able to complete the work. It kind of knocks down the whole concept of "working".
  6. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    Once you are approved for disability, there is a limit on how much you can earn per month without losing your SSDI. Last year it was $980.00/month. It is probably a little higher now as it goes up each year. There is a booklet that you can get at a SS office that is called Working While Disabled-How We Can Help. It is very helpful.

    You can and probably will be asked to explain your work if it is turned under your SS# as taxable income. You will have to explain why you can do the work you are doing and what special conditions you receive to help you be able to work, such as extra breaks, adaptive equipment, modified/flexible schedule, etc. For instance, doing computer work as you are able at home gives you the flexibility to work only when you feel like it as opposed to having to keep a set schedule.

    Best wishes.
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    I had a horrific time getting onto disability as I was working part time... thing is I was ONLY working 6hrs per week at first and then crashed further so only doing 1-2 hrs per week.. these were the very maximums I could do (with a ton of ME payback for doing so). After 3 appeals (as I kept being knocked back for disability even thou I had 3 different specialists backing my case saying I couldnt work), I finally got Disability but by that time I wasnt working at all.

    The centrelink (the aussie welfare gov payment people) assessment people thought that if I could work for just that little... that proved that I could work to them, assessements, with no consideration of how little work I was doing and able to do.

    I wouldnt get part time work now even if I was capable of it as there is always the risk of reassessment happening at some point and I know I could strike assessors again who have not a clue about the up and down capabilities of ones who have ME and I'd hate for them to decide again over a little part time work.. that I could actually work again. People do not understand that we just cant do the same things all the time... if you only spent one hour per week stocking supermarket shelves.. many out there would think you are strong enough to be doing that all the time. The she's done it so can do it again attitude...

    Anyway my advice is consider that even if you are on a disability there may a review at some point.. and you could strike someone of the mind set of the previous disability assessors Ive had. Showing that we at times are capable of something, could get held against us just cause the illness we have and the lack of understanding over it out there.

    I actually over the lack of understanding out there about ME/CFS (you know, we are all fakers and just lazy!!! etc), I had someone in the centrelink dept tell others in other gov depts and there that I'd never get disability..then I believe he purposely went out of his way to try to stop that from happening.. (from my paperwork going suddenly missing out of my file for the appeals etc hence why my case went throu 3 appeals and ended up being heard in the end interstate before it was approved).
  8. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    Thank you Taniaast for that reply, I have always been concerned about this......and you are absolutely right...our symptoms are so variable....what we are capable of doing one day.......we might not be capable of doing the next. A caseworker doing a review is never going to get this......all they will see is we've been able to hold down a part-time job for a number of years and base part of their opinion on that alone. I guess I've been in survival mode for so long and it took me 3 long years to get disability.......I'm afraid that it has made me kind of paranoid about it being taken away.

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