Can I Mow My Yard If I Am On Social Security Disability?

Jul 18, 2011 Comments Off on Can I Mow My Yard If I Am On Social Security Disability? by

Question: Can I mow my yard if I am on Social Security disability?

Answer: Yes, you can mow your yard if you are on Social Security disability but to be completely frank, I cannot absolutely guarantee that no problem will arise from mowing your yard.

I have had clients who were outraged by seeing their neighbor mow his or her lawn while on Social Security disability. I have never understood why. Perhaps, they think that disabled people are supposed to hide in their houses and never try to do anything. These clients who are outraged at their neighbor mowing their lawn while on Social Security disability would be outraged at being restricted in this way themselves.

Sometimes, people make reports to Social Security about people who are on disability benefits who do things like mow their yards. Generally, Social Security ignores this sort of thing unless the report is unusually strong — let’s say a person who is supposed to be a paraplegic is mowing his lawn. That might raise some eyebrows.  Social Security can and does investigate this sort of thing but it normally takes something more than just mowing your yard.

Mowing your yard is hardly inconsistent with being on disability benefits for most people. Why would it matter if a person mowed his yard if he or she is severely mentally ill? Many disabled people are encouraged to exercise. Mowing a yard is exercise. Mowing a yard on a riding lawnmower is not that demanding. Many lawns are small. Some people mow a little bit at a time. There are many things that can explain why a disabled person would be mowing his or her lawn.

In the end, the concerns about disabled people doing things like mowing their yard are an expression of the fact that being disabled is really looked down on by many people. I wish it were not so, but 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.