SSD Benefits After Returning to Work
For many individuals, a disability caused by a workplace injury is only temporary. For others, a permanent disability is not severe enough to prevent the victim from working again, but does hinder his ability to perform certain job tasks. Once the individual has recovered from his or her injury, he or she can return to work. But returning to work often means an end to the social security disability (SSD) benefits that he or she receives to cover his or her lost wages, putting the individual in a financially difficult position if he or she cannot resume his or her previous type of work or position within a company.
Are you Doing Substantial Gainful Activity?
This is the key issue that determines whether you can continue to receive SSD benefits after returning to work. Substantial gainful activity refers to any work that you perform that nets you at least $1,130 per month or $1,820 if you are blind.
This dollar amount is not the only factor that determines whether an individual’s work is a substantial gainful activity. In some cases, an individual who earns less than this dollar amount may be deemed to be performing substantial gainful activity because he or she could potentially earn more than the stated dollar amount, but does not due to his or her scheduling or personal preference. Similarly, it is possible that an individual earning above this amount may still qualify for SSD benefits because of special conditions at the job that are made to accommodate his or her disability. Examples of these conditions include:
- Permission to work at a lower efficiency or standard of productivity than other employees;
- Receiving help from colleagues to perform job-related tasks;
- Permission to work irregular hours or take frequent breaks that employees normally would not be permitted to take;
- Using special equipment at the job to perform tasks that normally would not require such equipment;
- The individual is only working because of some sense of responsibility or compassion from the employer, potentially due to a personal or familial relationship; and
- Specific care is taken to make it possible for the individual to work at the company, such as arranged transportation to work or a position tailored to his or her abilities.
If an individual meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability and qualifies for SSD benefits, he or she may continue to receive them as long as he or she meets the requirements listed above.
In some cases, volunteer work may even be considered to be substantial gainful activity, if that same type of work could potentially be performed by a paid employee.
Work with a New York Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer
Speak with an experienced social security attorney to determine what your options are for continuing to receive SSD benefits after returning to work. To schedule your free legal consultation with our firm, contact The Law Office of Robert A. Koenigsberg today.