Working and Social Security Disability

SSD_Denial1I am going to start a small mini-series of blog posts on Social Security Disability.  Here is the first installment, centered around the new Substantial Gainful Activity earnings amount.

I often get asked whether a person has has applied for or been approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can work within their restrictions or abilities.  The quick answer is, Yes.  Let me explain.

First, the important term within SSD and employment is Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Social Security describes SGA as the level level of work activity and earnings.  Work is deemed to be “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both.   In addition to ‘work’ as a factor of SGA, SSA also looks at gross amount of earnings.  The SGA ‘amount’ is increased annually.  For 2016, the dollar was raised to $1,130 per month.   What does that mean?  If a person is working and earning more than $1,030 per month, then SSA will NOT determine the individual to be disabled.  Any earnings over $1,030 is deemed to be SGA, which bars benefits.  The amount is higher for an individual disabled due to blindness, with that amount set at $1,820 per month.

The emphasis here is on an individual who has filed an SSD application or has been denied and appealing the denial.  There are different return to work incentives for those already receiving SSD benefits.

Obtaining SSD benefits, contrary to public opinion, is not easy.  The legal analysis and legal arguments regarding your alleged disability conditions, past employment, residual function capacity, and earnings is quite complex.  If you have been denied Social Security Disability, it is IMPERATIVE you contact Mooney & Associates right away.  Why?  When you receive a denial letter from SSA, you have only 60 days to appeal that decision.  If you miss that 60 day window, then you will have to start the entire application process all over again.  There are few exception for ‘good cause’ for missing the 60 day appeal period, but they are rarely granted.  It’s quite simple.  You get a denial latter, call Mooney & Associates right away.  We will set up a FREE intake with you, discuss the merits of your claim, and if we decide to take your case, we will file the appeal for you.  It’s that simple.

We have offices throughout Central Pennsylvania including Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Duncannon, Halifax, York, Gettysburg, and Havover.  Call for your FREE consultation at 717-200-HURT!


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.