The situation to apply for disability benefits usually comes up when an employee, who has been injured while at work, is no longer able to perform his specific job; however, he is able to perform some sort of work or employment. The injury could be either temporary such as sprains, minor fractures, contusions, and lacerations, or it could be something more permanent such as loss of limbs or permanent mobility loss. Disability benefits are usually granted for these situations where the employee is attempting to return to the workforce either in their previous capacity of work or in any type of work they are able after the on-the-job injury. Returning to your work capacity can be either at your current place of employment at the time of injury or at another place of employment.

The Social Security Administration uses the term “substantial gainful activity” to describe the level of work activity and earnings to determine if you are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits while at work. Substantial gainful activity is any work performed for pay or profit, of a nature generally performed for pay or profit, or intended for profit. This work must be done during what the Social Security Administration called the “trial work period”. This trial period will last for 9 months. During this time you will be able to receive full Social Security Disability benefits as long as you report your work activity and you have a disabling impairment. This trial time does not have to start right away after your injury. There is a 60 month time period in which you may start this work. The time will be automatically be considered for substantial gainful activity if your gross earnings are more than $750 a month or if you work more than 80 hours in self-employment a month. After the trial period you will be able to apply for an extended period of eligibility in which the Social Security Administration will evaluate if your work is a substantial gainful activity. Thus, as long as you are working a substantial gainful activity, you report this work activity, and you continue to have a disabling impairment then you are eligible for disability benefits while you are working on the job.

Yes, you may apply for Social Security disability benefits while still working. There are some qualifications and time constraints. However, if you have a disability and are working in a substantial gainful activity, you will be able to apply for benefits during this work. Timing plays a factor, but should not be an issue if the claim is handled correctly.

If you have any questions applying for Social Security disability benefits or workers’ compensation claims, please call the attorneys at the Nomberg Law Firm (205) 930-6900 or contact us here.

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Steve Altmann has been assisting consumers and business owners with bankruptcy matters for more than 27 years. 

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