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Social Security Disability Attorneys in Dunn Explain Substantial Gainful Activity

Social Security disability attorneys in Dunn can explain some of the complex issues surrounding disability benefits. One of those pertains to substantial gainful activity, which can impact whether you are eligible. 

What is substantial gainful activity? 

There are several requirements that must be met in order to qualify for disability benefits. After a claim has been submitted and it is reviewed, one of the considerations that will be made is your ability to work. 

In order to be eligible to receive disability benefits, you must not engage in substantial gainful activity. Gainful activity is work you are doing for payment or profit. Substantial is the level of work that disqualifies you. 

This is based on the applicant’s monthly income and the number of hours he or she is able to work each month. The maximum amount of monthly income that can be earned changes each year. For the year 2012, it is $1,010. 

This means that if an applicant is earning more than $1,010 per month, he or she is not eligible to receive disability benefits. So even if you are not working full-time because of a medical condition, as long as you are making more than that amount, you are not entitled to benefits. 

If an applicant is blind, the substantial gainful activity limit is higher. For the year 2012 it is $1,690. As long as the applicant is earning less than this amount, he or she could be eligible to receive disability benefits. 

Trial Work Period 

Although you may be considered disabled and entitled to benefits, there may come a point in which you are ready to return to the work force. Claimants are provided an incentive to do this through the trial work period. 

During this time you may receive earnings along with your disability benefits. However, during a 60-month period, if you are able to work for at least nine months (which doesn’t have to be consecutively) you will no longer be considered disabled. 

The amount that is considered a month of work services and applies to the trial work period is $720 (for the year 2012). So if you were to earn more than this amount for more than nine months over the 60-month period, your disability benefits would end. 

Other Work Considerations 

There are other considerations made concerning work when it comes to determining eligibility for disability benefits. One is if your medical condition is severe enough that it interferes with performing basic work-related tasks. 

It will also be determined whether you are able to perform work you have performed in the past. Your ability to perform such work can lead to a claim denial. If you are able to do other types of work, your claim could be denied as well. 

To determine if you could adjust to other types of work, your: 

  • age;
  • past work experience;
  • education; and
  • skills. 

Of course, these are just some considerations made when determining eligibility. There are other requirements beyond your ability to pull in an income. You must have a medically qualifying mental or physical condition. The condition must result in severe limitations and have lasted or is expected to last at least a year. 

Contacting Social Security Disability Attorneys in Dunn 

Need advice on whether you qualify for disability benefits? Has your claim been denied? Social Security disability attorneys in Dunn may be able to assist you. Contact an attorney at Brent Adams & Associates to learn how the claims process works. 

An attorney can assist you with completing your paperwork and assembling the documentation necessary for your claim. Take advantage of the free consultation our law firm offers by calling us today at 800-849-5931 or 910-892-8177.