Working “Under the Table”

Working “Under the Table” and its Effect on Social Security Disability Applications



While applying for or receiving Social Security disability benefits, whether or not an applicant is working is crucial to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) analysis of the case. If an applicant is working above substantial gainful activity (SGA), a paid dollar amount per month that rises with inflation, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to successfully argue that an applicant is disabled, no matter what that conditions and struggles an applicant has. Often, the SSA gets information about the applicant’s work activity from employers who report wages and withhold taxes from standard paychecks. In that situation, it will become obvious fairly quickly if an applicant is working, as well as working above SGA.

Things become more difficult, however, if an applicant is doing “under the table” work, or work that is not reported to the SSA. This is more frequent in cash-based employment, or in more informal employment arrangements. SGA rules still apply in these situations, and it is imperative that an applicant is honest about any work, under the table or not, that he or she is performing while applying for disability. Through frank discussion with the applicant’s Social Security Disability attorney, they can discuss the ramifications of work on any given case. It is all the more important to be honest about under the table work, as it will reflect poorly on an applicant’s credibility in situations where evidence of unreported work is discovered in records or from third parties.

If an applicant is found to have been working above SGA after already being approved for benefits, for example, it could result in investigations by the SSA, along with forfeiture of the benefits already disbursed by the same. In these situations, honesty is absolutely the best policy.

Please contact one of our attorneys at Hoglund, Chwialkowski, Mrozik, PLLC. at 855.513.4357 to find out more.

By Adam Kachelski

Written by Jennifer Mrozik

Jennifer is a partner in the firm and practices exclusively in the area of Social Security disability law. She continues to lead efforts to find solutions for clients in the sometimes difficult Social Security claims process.

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