Can I Get On Social Security Disability While I’m Still Working?

Jul 14, 2011 Comments Off by Charles Hall

I do not take on the disability claims of people who are doing much work. It is either difficult or impossible to win these cases. I frequently get calls from people who want to keep working something like full-time while trying to get on Social Security disability benefits. I understand. They don’t want to give up their job until they’re actually on disability benefits. They tell me that they can’t survive without an income. I understand but it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately, the law is not on the side of someone who wants to work until they get on Social Security disability benefits. The rule is pretty simple, at least in theory. If you’re working very much, you’re not disabled. Period. It does not matter how sick you are or how strong a reason you have for staying on the job. Often when I tell people this, they want to argue with me. I understand the impulse to argue with such a harsh rule but there’s nothing I can do about it. I have to deal with the law as it is, rather than how I or my clients might wish it to be.

To be frank about it, people in this situation need to understand that things may look a little different to others. One very harsh view, which I don’t share, is that anyone who wants to work while trying to get on Social Security disability benefits is just lazy. They only work when they have to and only as long as they have to.  Remember, I told you this isn’t a view that I share. The sad thing is that disabled people are often looked down upon by society which is all too quick to judge them harshly.

People often want to try to work part time while trying to get on Social Security disability benefits. That’s tricky at best. If you’re working only a little, in theory you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits — in theory. In practice, a lot of the time judges wonder why people who work part time can’t work full time. It’s harsh but that’s often the way it is.


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About the author

Charles Hall is the lead attorney for the Charles Hall Law Firm in Raleigh, NC. He has been practicing in the Social Security Disability law field since 1979, is published, and is ready to help new clients win their benefits in North Carolina.