Sunday, October 30, 2011

Can Someone Working Apply for Disability (Multiple Myeloma)?

"I am 43 years old and was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago (Multiple Myeloma). I missed several months of work during the last 3 years but have been working regular hours for the last year. My doctors have told me I need to file for disability for a long time but I have kept pushing myself every day working. I cannot afford to stop work and wait on disability. My question is, can someone working apply for disability and what is the normal process. ? Thank you."

Your situation is not dissimilar to that faced by millions of Americans who are working with severe medical conditions, because they are unable to financially afford to stop work. Unfortunately, Social Security disability programs are based upon residual functional capacity (what an individual is able to do in spite of the limitations imposed upon them by their medical condition), rather than specific medical conditions.

However, a person may be able to be working some amount and yet still file for and win disability benefits. This is because Social Security does allow an individual to have some work activity and still apply for disability.

According to the new 2012 SGA (substantial gainful activity) monthly earnings amount, an individual can earn 1010.00 gross per month and still be eligible to file for disability benefits (keep in mind anyone can apply but any person who is earning over the monthly SGA amount is denied without a medical determination). If an individual has had to reduce their earnings to this level or below due to their medical condition, they should contact Social Security to apply for disability.

Additionally, if an individual is working over the SGA limit but their employer is subsidizing their work (paying their normal wage when their work is not worth that wage) they may still be able to apply for disability. This situation involves Social Security contacting the employer to verify the worth of a disability applicant’s work.

In your particular situation, it appears that you are performing your normal work in spite of your multiple myeloma; consequently your disability application would most likely be denied for the performance of SGA. However, should you have to reduce work activity to the point you are not performing SGA, you should strongly consider filing for disability benefits. In other words, as soon as you stop working, or your gross earnings drop below the limit we discussed, apply for disability benefits.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Applying for Disability with Depression
Mental Testing When You Apply for Disability for Depression
Questions about Social Security Disability SSI Hearings
Getting ready for a disability hearing
What's so hard about Filing for Disability
What do you do if you get denied for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Steps for Filing a Request for a Social Security Disability Hearing (and tips)
How to get Approved for Disability Benefits - Information on disability claims
How does Social Security decide Disability cases?
Social Security Disability Claim Advice
Social Security Disability Requirements
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI - How to file
How to get Approved for Disability Benefits - Information on disability claims
Disability hearing
Waiting for Social Security disability to be approved can be crushing
Who makes the Social Security Disability decision ?
How Does Social Security Disability Make its Decision?
How Do You Get Approved for Disability with Social Security?


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