Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Your ability to get Social Security Disability (SSD) payments in Arkansas or anywhere in the US is based on your ability to work. If you are truly “disabled,” under the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition, then you are unable to go to work. The SSA judges your inability to work, in part, based on how much money you are making. If you can still provide yourself with a living wage, then the SSA may not consider you “disabled.” Each year, the SSA may change the income limits for disability. Fayetteville Social Security Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak will explain the different income limits that control who is eligible for disability payments.
Social Security Disability Income Limits
The SSA does not make disability payments to everyone who applies. First, you must go through different rounds of qualifications to show the SSA you meet their definition of “disabled.” While having a condition that is on the Social Security Disability list of conditions is important, the more important factor is that the disability is “severe.” For the SSA to accept your condition as “disabling,” it must be severe enough that you cannot work. The SSA may allow exceptions for applicants who have disorders not found on their list, as long as the condition is equally as severe as one of the accepted conditions.
In determining whether a condition is “severe,” the SSA looks at whether you can work. Clearly, if you cannot get out of bed or transport yourself, you likely cannot work. Similarly, if you cannot physically perform a task like completing the application without help, you will likely qualify for SSD. The SSA will look at what job tasks you are able to perform, and whether you can possibly perform another job you have prior experience in. For instance, if you worked for a few years at a desk job, then became a construction worker, you may be too disabled to perform construction, but may be able to return to desk work. If you are completely unable to work because of a condition, you will likely qualify for SSD.
If you are able to perform some work-related tasks, you may still be able to apply for SSD. The SSA does not see things as black and white, disabled or abled, unable to work or able to work. They recognize that some jobs and some disabilities might be more compatible than others. Because of this, you are not automatically rejected for disability benefits if you can work to some extent. Instead, the SSA looks at how much money you can make, then determines eligibility.
Receiving Disability While Working
Because some jobs require very little physical or mental activity, there are some jobs that you might still be able to work, even with a severe disability. The SSA’s limit as to what is “disabled” ultimately deals with how much money you can make in a month. If you are able to work a little, but cannot achieve a living wage, you may still be able to claim disability payments. Alternatively, if your injury is severe, but does not prevent you from working for a living wage, you are not “disabled”
In determining whether you can work or not, the Social Security Administration looks at your ability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you cannot work for a living wage, you cannot perform SGA and may qualify as “disabled.” If you can perform SGA, you are not “disabled” enough to receive benefits. To check if you can perform SGA, the SSA looks at how much money you make in a month. If you make over a certain threshold, then you are still “able” enough to work and will be denied SSD.
The SSA changes this income threshold periodically. While they may keep the income amount the same for a few years, the limit does generally go up over time. In 2016, the income limit was $1,130 per month. In 2017, the limit increased to $1,170 per month. This means that if you make at least $1,170 per month (approximately $14,040 per year), you likely will not qualify for Social Security Disability.
This Social Security income limit is $1,170 only for non-blind individuals. Since blind individuals already have difficulties with their sight, alongside other potential disabilities, their SGA limit is higher. This means they can make more money each month and still qualify for disability. For 2015 and 2016, SSD was unavailable to blind people who made more than $1,820 per month, and this increased to a limit of $1,950 per month for 2017.
Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you are wondering whether you qualify for Social Security Disability, looking at these income limits may help. If you need help with your application, or you have been denied disability payments, talk to Arkansas social security lawyer Ken Kieklak today. For a free consultation on your disability application, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767 today.
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