Often, those who are diagnosed with a serious health condition want to continue working as long as possible. For example, someone suffering from kidney disease and beginning dialysis might want to continue working to provide a sense of normalcy amidst the changes in their daily routine. However, if they later suffered a setback that made it impossible to continue with employment, their previous work attempts wouldn’t disqualify them from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Understanding Social Security’s Definition of Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a different definition of disability than the general public. To qualify for benefits, you must have a condition that is expected to last at least 12 months (or result in death) and keeps you from continuing in the work you did before your diagnosis or finding other types of employment suited to your skills and education.
Conditions that qualify for benefits are listed in the Social Security Blue Book, also known as the Listing of Impairments. If your condition isn’t listed in the Blue Book, you need to have evidence to prove that you are no longer able to work due to the progression of your illness or injury. Without evidence, the SSA will assume you voluntarily decided to quit working.
Working While Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
Although you can apply for SSDI with a preexisting condition, it’s generally not recommended to continue working while you wait for your benefits to be approved. If you’re working full-time, the SSA will assume that you can continue to do so—even if you’re in pain and struggling to meet your employer’s expectations.
If you are working part-time hours with earnings that are below the threshold of substantial gainful employment ($1,260 per month in 2020), you may still qualify for benefits. However, this is an issue that should be discussed with your attorney.
Have You Or A Loved One Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you or a loved on has been denied Social Security Disability Benefits you need to speak with an experienced SSD attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk.