You do not need to prove that you cannot work at all to receive disability benefits. If you can work part-time but not full-time, you can still get disability benefits. Your eligibility will depend on your work history and the amount of income your part-time work generates.
The disability lawyers at Berger and Green understand how to help clients who work part-time get the benefits they need. We will review your work history with you before you apply. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejected your claim, we can help you appeal your denial. Call us at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation.
What Is Considered Full-Time Work?
The SSA generally puts employment into two categories: Regular, sustained work—meaning it is done during a recurring 40-hour workweek—or any other position.
If your medical condition prevents you from working in a job on a regular and sustained basis, you might qualify for benefits. This is true even if you can do some part-time work. To decide if you qualify for benefits as a part-time worker, the SSA will examine your work history and your current income level.
What Type of Work History Do I Need to Qualify for Benefits?
When you apply for disability, SSA rules require you to provide information on the work that you have done within the past 15 years.
The SSA evaluates your work history to determine what skills you learned, the responsibilities you had, and physical demands of your prior jobs. This evaluation helps the SSA decide whether any of those skills or faculties could transfer to other work.
You Need Work Credits to Qualify for Some Disability Benefits.
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have earned enough work credits based on your age. You can earn work credits by working at a job that pays into Social Security and earning a certain amount of income throughout the year. You can earn up to four credits per year.
If you have a long history of working at a full-time job, you probably have enough work credits to meet the requirements for SSDI. Our attorneys can look at your work history to help you determine if you qualify.
What Are the SSA’s Income Requirements?
Before it will award disability, the SSA will ask for proof that your condition keeps you from earning too much income to qualify for benefits. To do this, the organization will compare your monthly income against its Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. If you earn less than this monthly amount, you could qualify for benefits.
It is important to note that the SSA does not include every type of earning in your monthly income limit. If you earn money through a non-work source, you could still qualify for benefits even if you make more than the SGA limit.
What If I Do Not Meet These Requirements?
If you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, you might qualify for benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSI offers benefits to applicants with low incomes and few personal assets, even if they have not earned enough work credits throughout their employment history. If you do not earn much money and have only worked part-time throughout your career, you might meet the requirements for SSI.
While the SSI program counts several different types of income toward its program limits, it also allows for some exceptions and exemptions. We can look over your financial information to determine if you meet the requirements for this program.
What If I Am Self-Employed?
For those who earn self-employment income, the rules become more complicated. This could apply to anyone who generates income through:
- Contracting; or
- Freelancing; or
- Running internet-based ventures; or
- Any type of income from self-employment.
If you want to apply for disability benefits as a self-employed individual, we recommend you contact us today. We can help you understand how the SSA will determine whether your work history qualifies for benefits, and we can explain how the organization will count your income.
How Can I Work With a Disability Lawyer to Apply for Benefits?
At Berger and Green, we customize a benefits strategy for each client. We can help you apply or challenge the SSA’s decision if it denied your claim.
If your disability was the result of an accident that someone else caused, you could qualify for additional compensation. Our personal injury team might be able to take action against the at-fault party to pursue damages on your behalf.
Call us at 412-661-1400 to get help today.