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Earning an Income and Receiving Disability Benefits

February 28, 2019 Blog

Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you’ve been disabled due to an injury, illness, or other condition, then you may be entitled to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  When pursuing such benefits, however, you may have a number of lingering questions regarding your ability to secure a supplemental income.  This is perfectly normal, of course — in many cases involving a disability, the claimant may be prevented from returning to their job full-time, but may be capable of performing “some” form of work as a means of obtaining at least a minimal amount of income.

It’s important to understand that while you are not necessarily prevented from working altogether (if you are seeking disability benefits), there could be a real barrier to recovery depending on the degree and amount of work that you perform.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Substantial Gainful Activity Barrier

In Florida, and elsewhere, the SSA will not award disability benefits to claimants who are engaged in “substantial gainful activity.”  Whether you are engaged in substantial gainful activity is not based on a holistic assessment of your ability to perform various job responsibilities.  In fact, it is entirely based on your income.

Every year, the SSA establishes a new statutory minimum income that will qualify as “substantial gainful activity.”  In 2019, if you are earning at least $1,220 on a monthly basis (though this value is higher for certain conditions, such as blindness), then you may be prohibited from receive social security disability benefits.

If you are working, then you cannot manipulate the situation to avoid categorization that will prevent the receipt of benefits.  For example, suppose that you are capable of working in a reduced, part-time role after being disabled.  Market rate (and the job itself) pays $1,500 per month.  You cannot negotiate the role down to $1,200 per month so that you qualify for social security benefits, as the SSA will argue that your work is actually worth $1,500 per month and therefore may be defined as “substantial gainful activity.”

Contact an Experienced Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Attorney Mike Murburg has spent decades exclusively representing claimants who are attempting to secure Social Security disability benefits.  Since 1986, he as helped numerous claimants through every stage of the benefits process: preparation, submission, appeal, and litigation.

In the Social Security disability context, many firms handle clients at a high-volume, and may not truly be committed to each and every client.  We believe that this is a fundamental error that can lead to negative results — here at the Office of Mike Murburg, P.A., we are committed to investing the time, attention, and resources necessary to understand the client and their condition, and to represent their interests in a manner that is tailored to the particular circumstances surrounding their claim.  This personalized, thorough approach to representation maximizes the likelihood that our client will receive the benefits that they are seeking from the SSA.

Call 813-264-5363 or send us a message online to schedule a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with an experienced Tampa social security disability lawyer at our firm for guidance.