Some people have asked us if they can work while they are waiting for their disability hearing. According to the law, you can earn $1,170 a month and still qualify. So in theory you could earn that amount and still be successful in your case.
The Social Security Administration regulations do allow you to work a limited amount and still be eligible for disability benefits. Currently for 2017 it is $1,170 a month. This goes up to $1,180 in 2018. The law allows people already on SSD or waiting for the hearing to work and earn this amount.
The problem is, this situation doesn’t account for how working while waiting affects your claim with the judge.
At your hearing one of the mail things the judge is looking for is your credibility.
The more important question you should be asking is should you work while waiting for your hearing? As an experienced SSI Disability Attorney in Springfield Missouri, our general answer is that working while waiting for a hearing could be devastating to your claim. This is not to say that if you can work full time, you shouldn’t. If you are under the age of 50 and can work any job full time, you shouldn’t be trying to get disability Over 50? It is very complicated and you should call us before you do anything.
The reason is working while waiting often shines a light on inconsistencies in your claim. For instance if you are claiming anxiety and that you don’t like to be around people, but are going to work part time, this gives the Administrative Law Judge a lot of concern. Her concern may be “if the claimant did a little bit different or easy job…then maybe this person could work 40 hours a week”.
Alternatively, if you are working part time doing heavy work and are claiming some physical limitation, you give the ALJ a ready-made denial. That is “this person could easily do 40 hours of sit down work if they are doing 20-25 hours of this manual labor”.
Secondly, how bad could your claim really be if you are able to keep a regular schedule. Working while waiting for your hearing is so detrimental to your case that we rarely take cases of those under 50 years of age in which the claimant is working part time.
We don’t have an alternative solution for how to survive financially while waiting for your disability hearing. We’re only discussing the potential ramifications to your Social Security Disability claim by working while waiting.