Can I attend college and get social security disability benefits?

Hello, this is Springfield, Missouri disability attorney Jason Krebs. In today’s video, I thought we’d answer that we got from a perspective client here recently. It’s something that we get fairly frequently, and that is, “Can I attend college and get social security disability benefits?”

Now, the typical answer is, if you’re trying to get social security disability benefits and you’re going to college, you’re a student, you’re taking classes, especially if you’re taking full-time classes, social security is going to look at that as no different than going to work. Now, if you start taking part-time classes or you’re a part-time student or maybe taking some online classes or something that we see more frequently, the answer is, possibly. Very possibly, it’s going to have a negative effect on your disability claim.

The reason is again, if you’re able to do the work, even though you’re not getting paid, and that’s the argument that we hear from some perspective clients is, “Well I’m not making any money.” Well, that’s understandable, I understand the frustration, but the reality is if you’re able to do the work, they’re going to say, “Well you could go be doing the work in a workplace setting for pay, as opposed to just working and doing your schoolwork.”

Now, that’s not to say that if you have problems in school and you flunk out, that may be good evidence, okay? Or that you had to withdraw because your illness was so bad you couldn’t do the attendance requirements. If you’re able to complete a college degree or if you’re able to work through your classwork and do the work without a lot of accommodations, and that accommodation is going to have to be documented, you’re probably going to have a tough time getting your benefits.

We do offer a book you can get from our office at 417-883-5886 or 1800-345-0535 or We’d be happy to send that out to you if you’re in Missouri or Arkansas. Thanks for watching