Working Part-Time With Social Security Disability

When you file an application for Social Security disability benefits, you are alleging you are unable to work due to limitations from mental or physical impairments. Social Security must find that you are unable to engage in any full-time work for a period of 12 months or more, or that your condition will result in death. The phrase “full-time” is used a bit differently by the Social Security Administration (SSA) than other agencies. If you continue to engage in work while your application is pending, the SSA will examine your work activity to determine whether it meets substantial gainful activity, the agency’s equivalent of full-time work. Per the SSA, the monthly SGA amount in 2019 is $1,220 for non-blind and $2,040 for statutorily blind individuals. Therefore, if your income is over this amount, your application for benefits will likely be denied. This amount changes every year, for example, in 2018 the amounts were $1,180 for non-blind applicants and $1,970 for blind applicants.

Once you are approved for benefits, you may continue to work and earn income, however the SSA will be more strict in terms of how much you can earn. Any earnings will flag your account and you will be evaluated for a trial work period. In 2019, if you earn more than $880 per month, you may be in danger of losing your disability benefits. If you exceed the earnings limit for longer than nine months, this can be evidence to show that your disability has ended, and your benefits may stop. This can also cause you to be overpaid, as the SSA can find that you received benefits during months where you were not eligible due to work activity.

Returning to work during the application process could also change the way your benefits may be paid to you. If you have a period of at least 12 months where you were not engaging in work, but your condition improves and you return to work, this is called a closed period of disability. This means you would not be entitled to ongoing benefits, but you may be eligible for a lump sum payment for the period of time you were actually unable to work.

If you intend to work part-time while applying for Social Security disability, it is imperative that you keep track of your earnings in the form of your W-2s, 1099s, or weekly paystubs. You must also inform your attorney representative helping you with the claim so they can keep you abreast of any changes in the rules regarding working part-time while filing.

 

By

Madelyn Adamission


Can My Minor Child Receive Their Deceased Parent’s Disability Benefits?

If a minor child has a deceased parent, they can receive up to half of that parent’s full retirement or disability benefit. If there are multiple children in the family, they can each receive a benefit, as long as the total amount does not exceed the Social Security’s family maximum payment. In some situations, benefits may also be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and adopted children. The parent must have paid Social Security taxes or had been receiving benefits prior to their passing. Grandchildren can receive benefits if they were adopted by the deceased grandparent, living with them, or both of the child’s biological parents are deceased.

Typically, you should not need a lawyer to assist you in the application for child survivor benefits. You should only need proof of the parent’s death, the Social Security numbers of the parent & child, and the child’s birth certificate. The child must be unmarried, either under the age of 18, under the age of 19 and still in high school, or if they are over 18, they must have a disability that began before the age of 22. In order to prove disability, you must be able to provide medical documentation of their physical or mental impairments. In this situation it will benefit you to hire a Social Security disability attorney, as they can guide you through what is required to help prove disability and help defend your case by gathering medical evidence with you for your claim.

The benefits will stop when the child reaches the age of 18, unless they are enrolled full time in high school. In that case, the benefits will stop when the child graduates, or two months before they turn 19 years old. If the child is disabled, the benefits will continue after age 18, and they may be eligible for Social Security benefits as a disabled adult.

If you are the caregiver for the minor child, you may also be eligible for benefits as well. These benefits end earlier, at age 16, unless the child is disabled, and you take care of them exclusively.

In addition to ongoing child benefits, if the deceased parent does not have a surviving spouse, a one-time death benefit can be paid to the child, in the amount of $255.

If you have any questions about your child’s eligibility for survivor benefits or disability benefits, feel free to contact Hoglund Law, your Social Security disability attorneys.

 

By

Madelyn Adamission


I have epilepsy, Am I Eligible for Social Security?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which may also be called a seizure disorder. This means that you experience seizures, which are not caused by another medical condition. There are multiple types of seizures, and the symptoms vary to mild, infrequent episodes, to multiple daily episodes. You may experience behavior or vision changes before a seizure comes on. The seizure itself might be a grand mal episode, which is the type more people are familiar with, where the person experiences full body shaking. Another type of seizure are absence seizures, or staring spells, where the person doesn’t move or twitches only one body part.

Epilepsy is usually diagnosed by neurological examinations, laboratory tests, imaging such as an MRI of the brain, and by EEG tests, which look at the electric waves of the brain to help diagnose epilepsy. In some cases, people experience frequent seizures without epileptic activity of the brain. These types of seizures may be best treated by a combination of neurological and psychological methods. Epileptic seizures are mainly treated by medication with close monitoring.

There are two main ways the Social Security Administration (SSA) can find you disabled because of your seizures. There are rules called the Listings of Impairments, and epilepsy is defined very clearly in Listing 11.02. The SSA recognizes the two main types of seizures, and calls them generalized tonic-clonic and dyscognitive seizures. For generalized tonic-clonic, you must prove you have episodes at least once a month for three consecutive months while compliant with treatment. For dyscognitive seizures, you must prove you have episodes for at least once per week for three months, while compliant with treatment. If you are unable to prove this frequency, they will consider fewer episodes, however you must prove you have severe limitations in your physical functioning, ability to remember and understand information, your ability to interact with others, maintain appropriate concentration and persistence with your functioning, and that you have an inability to take care of yourself because of the seizure episodes.

The best way to provide proof of this is to have consistent treatment with a neurologist or other epileptic specialist. They would ideally be involved in monitoring your medication and encourage you to keep some sort of diary or journal of the frequency of your episodes. It would be important to keep track of all the symptoms related to the seizure, including any warning signs, length of the episode, any post seizure symptoms, and details regarding your compliance with prescribed medications.

Another way that the SSA can find you disabled is if they find that despite your condition, you are so limited by your seizures that you would be unable to perform any work in the national economy. If your condition doesn’t quite meet the Listing, then the SSA will consider whether your seizures make it unlikely that you would be able to sustain working at least eight hours a day, or if your seizures would affect your concentration so much that you would be unable to learn any position, you would be excessively distracted, or you would be a hazard on the job.

Filing for disability can be a lengthy process, but people with epilepsy can certainly qualify as long as you are treating consistently, compliant with medications, and have well-documented episodes.