Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision? Part 1

Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision?

Social Security

How to win your Social Security Disability without an Attorney” self-help digital eBook for $19.99

Unfortunately, there is a long wait for a Social Security Disability hearing.  Which has a huge financial drain with some people.  With no incoming income or just welfare, many people are unable to pay for groceries, utilities, and rent.

A lot of people ask if they can get a job until they are approved for their Social Security Disability initial claim or appeal case.

Please keep this in mind Social Security’s definition of disability is you must miss 12 consecutive months of work due to your impairment.  However, if you attempt to go back to work while your disability case is pending then it may or may not be a problem.  Unfortunately, if you try going back to work for a few weeks or a few days. Then the judge will perhaps see it as unsuccessful work attempt that is due to your inability to work.  For example, if you stay working on a job for more than 3 months it will look like you have the capacity to substantial activity (work).

If you decide to go back to work a trial period then it will not count against your disability claim.

There are other problems you may need to know about deciding to go back to work.  Social Security Disability will examine your work ability and decides if you can work a full-time job.

Therefore you should have no problem with working a part-time. Correct?

WRONG!

Part-time work can cause a lot of problems on your Social Security Disability

Case:

If you can get and work a part-time job in a light duty type job. For example, a shelf stockier at a grocery store then Social Security may assume you are capable of working a full-time job at a less physical job requirement.  A part-time job work will be considered as a hard work level that may suggest you are able to work a full-time job at a lesser hard work level.

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Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision? Part 2

Social Security Disability

By limiting your working hours could be Social Security Disability Fraud.

Don’t take a job that is going to limit your income

If you earn more than $1,170 per month before taxes and deductions it will be considered Substantial Gainful Activity Amount (SGA) for 2017.  There are Social Security Disability regulations with some exceptions which mean you are not disabled.

If you reduce your working hours in order to earn less than SGA amount, is that okay?

By limiting your working hours could be Social Security Disability Fraud.  Fraud is classified as being able to work and earn Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts. But if you decide to reduce your earnings in order to stay below the SGA levels to remain eligible for Social Security Disability. You can be found guilty and have the risk of being prosecuted.  So be smart and do not do it, please.

Does working disprove your Disability Benefits?

Below is a quick example:

If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you will have a hard time being around people.  While waiting for your Social Security Disability Appeal court hearing, you can get a part-time job as a customer service clerk.

Here are some recognizable problems here below?

  • The customer service clerk job is not substantial gainful activity.
  • And, there will be no issue of being able to work a job with the less physically demanding job.
  • No limiting earnings in order to keep income below $1,130.00 SGA level.

Nevertheless…….Social Security will be presumed to believe you are not able to work because you are unable to interact with co-workers, supervisors, and public when your entire job is interacting with people.

Unfortunately, you will have to explain this to the Social Security Disability which makes it harder to make your case.

These are a couple of possible problems with working while trying to get approved for your Social Security Disability case.

I do not want to discourage anyone from working while waiting for your Social Security Disability Appeal Case scheduled court date hearing.

However, there is no simple answer to the questions whether you should work while applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.  Unfortunately, each Social Security Disability case require a review of your job and individual impairments, so watch out for possible problems.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 5

Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability
Feb 1, 2016 … Roughly one-third of applications for Social Security disability benefits are ultimately approved. How to make sure yours is among them.

Unfortunately, if the Administrative Law Judge believes you are overstating your symptoms, you will lose your credibility and if the Judge does not believe you then you will most likely lose your claim for stance, if the Administrative Law Judge ask you to rate your pain on a scale one to ten on an everyday average, it would not be a good idea to answer your daily pain is at a ten.  State your daily pain is five, six, or even seven is more believable than 10.  Now if your pain escalates at times then should state at times my pain level goes up to a nine or ten, then provide an explanation as to what is your worse symptoms like grocery shopping, sitting too long, cleaning, walking upstairs, etc. When explaining you symptoms avoid phrases like constantly, every day, all the time, unless it is absolutely accurate.

Having multiple impairments, be careful about accuracy in your descriptions for each symptom.  If you inform the Judge that all of your impairments are extremely severe and painful this can compromise your reliability of truly severe impairments diagnoses rely solely or partly on self-reported pain levels.

Having Representation at Your Hearing

Having an experienced disability lawyer or non-attorney representative can help you to answer the questions to help support your disability claim than possibly undermine it.  A Social Security Disability advocate can help with pre-hearing preparation will help you avoid answering the judge’s question in a way that will not hurt your case and any fears you have.  However, a disability representative can answer many of the Administrative Law Judge’s questions that come up at a disability hearing.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 4

Social Security Matters | The Official Blog of Social Security

Social Security has a strict definition of disability based on your inability to work and provide for yourself and your family. Disability benefits are available only to …

 

For instance, if your disability affected you handling your finances, concentration, focus, or memory loss.  This information is vital to the Administrative Law Judge because it would prove to have extreme difficulty in performing many types of jobs.

It will be helpful to ask a family member or friend who assists you to be a witness at your Social Security Disability court hearing or write a letter on your behalf and get it notarize.

Don’t Be Embarrassed to Discuss your Impairment

Whatever your impairment is, the Administrative Law Judge and the vocational expert will discuss any information that is highly personal at the disability hearing.  Often disability claimants feel understandably embarrassed by symptoms of their treatments they have experienced, procedures, test, and their disease.  It is common to be embarrassment especially with people who suffer from HIV or certain types of hepatitis, mental illness, or impairments that change lifestyle choices.

It is very important to remember that the Administrative Law Judges hear hundreds of testimonies a year from disability claimants with every believable disability, and it is the Judge’s job to decide whether you meet all the requirements for Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.  So set aside any embarrassment so you are able to provide the Judge with clear and accurate answers so your claim can be determined fairly. 

Be Honest and Don’t Overstate your Answers

This is very important, answer an Administrative Law Judge’s questions with honesty.  Do not make your symptoms sound worse than they really are because of having a better chance at winning your Social Security Disability claim.  However, overstating your disability can have an opposite effect.  Always remember the Judge’s hear hundreds of cases a year.  The Administrative Law Judge are trained well in recognizing when a claimant is magnifying the truth.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 3

Just purchase our Step by Step Guide eBook “How to win your Social Security Disability or SSI Case without an Attorney” today!

Be Prepared to Explain Bad Facts about Your Medical Records

Sometimes medical records can contain bad facts.  Unfortunately, bad facts can certainly hurt your case if not handled properly.  One common problem is when people suffer from chronic pain is excessive on pain medication.

In some cases, medical records may indicate the claimant suffer from narcotic dependency or suspicion of abusing pain medication.  The worst thing a claimant can do is deny the problem and blame it on the medical provider.  The best answer you can give is to be truthful about the problem with pain medication and you are getting treatment for the dependency that will switch or reduced medication to minimize the possibility of medication drug addiction.

Paint a Clear Picture of Your Everyday Living

Administrative Law Judges frequently ask disability claimants “how their lives change the onset date of your impairment.”  Give a detailed and descriptive answer to this questions because it can be quite helpful in winning your Social Security Disability claim, especially when a Judge is undecided about how to decide your case.  For instance, if you used to work in the garden, play cards with friends, no longer enjoy activities, go to church every weekend, you need to tell this to the Administrative Law Judge.  Also, explain how your disability has affected activities like watching television reading books or newspapers.  Describe how your chronic pain occurs with concentration to interact with people who are no longer can due to inactive activates.  These things are very important information for an Administrative Law Judge to know in order to give him or her an insight on how you may function in a job setting.

Let the Administrative Law Judge know you need help in your day-to-day life this is very important for the Judge.  For example, if you need assistance from friends or family members with any other activity of daily living, grocery shopping, bill paying, cleaning, laundry, describe what help you receive and how often do you receive help and why you need the assistance.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 2

Most disability appeal court hearing normally last under an hour and some can be very short as 15 minutes, so you can count on having no questions to answer for an extended time period.

It may be helpful to practice answering questions with your family member, friend, or attorney.  If you find yourself drifting from the topic of the questions, pause and take a deep breath until you able to refocus on your answer.  Just make sure you practice the questions with your attorney or get a copy of practice questions you are likely to encounter before the hearing date that way you can familiarize yourself with and practice them.

Be Specific and Clear About your Symptoms and Limitations

By giving specific answers to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will have a clear picture of your impairment?  For instance, if you suffer from back problems then the Judge will ask you to describe the pain, use descriptive words such as “tingling,” “shooting,” “aching,” “dull,” or “burning.”  Make sure you clearly describe the location of any pain that affect you from working.  That way it will help the Administrative Law Judge to know your symptoms are persistent will recognize symptoms of your medical condition, which can help your credibility.

Always be specific when describing your limitations and condition.  For instance, if the Administrative Law Judge asks you how long can you sit, don’t indicate “for just a little while,” just say for an hour or 30 minutes it depends on without pain I am unable to sit.  If the Judge asks are you able to drive short distances?  Answer the Judge question by saying “I can drive to my doctor’s office, which is about 4 miles away.”

Be Prepared to Explain Any Gaps in Your Medical History

Frequently a disability claimant will have periods of time when he or she received little or no medical treatment.  The Administrative Law Judge will ask the claimant about the gaps in care.  Always answer the question with honesty the reason why you did not seek treatment is due to not having medical insurance.  If your health condition improved during that time, it is better to state and explain this than give an untruthful answer because losing your credibility with the Judge can risk losing your disability claim.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing

Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability

Feb 1, 2016 Roughly one-third of applications for Social Security disability benefits are ultimately approved. How to make sure yours is among them.

Social Security Disability

How many questions can you expect to ask, and how should you answer the Judge’s questions at a disability hearing.  Sometimes the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may not ask a claimant any questions, however, other times a Judge may ask you several questions.  Most disability appeal court hearings normally last under an hour and some can be very short as 15 minutes, so you can count on having no questions to answer for an extended time period.

The outlook of answering an Administrative Law Judge’s questions at a disability appeal hearing can be difficult even though you prepared well for it, get ready for the unexpected. There are important guidelines you can follow that will make the process smoother and increase you chance of getting approved for your Social Security Disability Claim.

Social Security Disability Questions and Answers

This is hard to believe but one of the most common mistakes a disability claimant makes during the hearing, especially when failing to answer the question asked by the Administrative Law Judge.  Try to avoid this by paying attention to what the Judge is asking you a specifically question then answers them in a sentence of two.  During the SSD appeal court hearing, it will be very helpful to take notes just in case you have to ask the Judge to restate or explain the question for you.

Don’t Ramble or Go Off the Subject when Answering a Question

The hearing process is a nerve-wracking experience for most claimants.  Many of us are under pressure and too prone to ramble on, it is important to prepare to provide a brief answer to the Administrative Law Judge’s questions.  This usually happens when Claimant answers questions with long-winded explanations that do not answer questions from Administrative Law Judge’s question, it may cause the Judge to stop listening and probably miss important information statements you made which will make him or her may become interrupted and irritated with you.

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Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income Appeal Average Wait Time Until Hearing Held Report (For The Month of June 2016)

Average Wait Time Until Hearing Held Report (For the Month of June 2016) A presentation of the average time (in months) from the hearing request date until a hearing was held for cases closed in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review's hearing offices or national hearing centers. This allows users to estimate the amount of time they may have to wait for a hearing to be held.

Average Appeal Case Wait Time Until Hearing Held Report (For the Month of June 2016)
A presentation of the average time (in months) from the hearing request date until a hearing was held for cases closed in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review’s hearing offices or national hearing centers. This allows users to estimate the amount of time they may have to wait for a hearing to be held.

NOTE:  The average times shown are true only for cases closed in the month each report covers where hearings were held. These times are not cumulative for the stated fiscal year.

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Social Security Disability Work Credits Requirements

Social Security Disability, SSI & SSDI Application Process
The first step in the Social Security application process is determining whether you are eligible to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits based on the qualification criteria …

Social Security Disability Work Credits Requirements

Which one should I file for Social Security Disability or SSI? You must have enough working credits for SSDI. You may be eligible for Concurrent SSDI and SSI Benefits. Not enough work credits the file SSI Claim

 

Age Disabled Credits Needed Years of Work
Under 24 6 1.5
24-30 8-18 2-4.5
31-42 20 5
44 22 5.5
46 24 6
48 26 6.6
50 28 7
52 30 7.5
54 32 8
56 34 8.5
58 36 9
60 38 9.5
62+ 40 10

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Social Security Disability Advocate Part 2

However, your Social Security Disability Advocate can help you file a Request for Reconsideration. He or she can represent you at your appeal hearing before an Administration Law Judge if they have the experience to do so.

However, your Social Security Disability Advocate can help you file a Request for Reconsideration.  He or she can represent you at your appeal hearing before an Administration Law Judge if they have the experience to do so.  Be sure to ask the Social Security Disability Advocate will they represent you in court first.  If your Social Security Disability Income appeal case is denied then your Disability Advocate can represent you before the Appeal Council Review if necessary or help with your case before a Federal Court hearing.

When you request the Appeal Council to review the Administrative Law Judge decision, they will decide if it is necessary to review your case or not to review your case.  It is good to get new relevant medical documents to submit to the Appeal Council Review.

A Disability Advocate may be a Social Security Disability lawyer or simply a professional who helps people with their disability initial claims and appeal case.  However, if your Disability Advocate is an attorney, then he or she may represent you in your Federal Court proceedings.

There are no laws requiring you to utilize a Disability Advocate during the appeal process, but you will find it to your advantage.  By having a Disability Advocate will increase your chances of having your claim accepted on time when you have a competent representation.

Please keep this in mind a Disability Advocate will not charge any out of pocket money.  The Disability Advocate is paid 25% or $6,000 maximum of any Social Security Disability back pay which is issued before you get your back pay money.  So do the math a self-help digital eBook will cost $19.99 and up which is probably better because you can fight your own Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income initial claim or appeal case.  Also, purchasing a Social Security Disability self-help eBook will save you money in the long run too.

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