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Can you still work while receiving Social Security disability?

When you suffer a permanent or long-term injury, the impact can be severely life-changing. Not only must you adapt to new limitations in everyday tasks, but your employment status may suffer.

Though your doctor may clear you to work, you may have to limit your hours or pursue less gainful job opportunities. These options may compromise your ability to earn a sustainable living. The good news is that Social Security disability is not solely for the unemployed. As long as you meet the income requirements, you can still keep your job.   

How is disability defined in North Carolina? 

Determination of disability is universal across all 50 states. To be eligible, you must demonstrate that your affliction will prevent you from earning a suitable income for a period of no less than one year. The Social Security Administration may reevaluate a case at various intervals to decide if the disability is still present.

What is the process to apply for disability?

There are many factors at play when the SSA reviews your application. Officials consider the severity of your physical condition with the help of reports from your doctors and other medical professionals. Other information you may need to provide includes current medications and lab results.

On top of proving your medical condition, the SSA will also ask for documents concerning your previous employment, such as W-2s or other tax forms. To receive disability, you must fall below a specific wage cap, so you may also need to show recent income verification if you still hold down a job.

What is the wage cap to continue receiving disability payments?

The official name for the wage cap on SSD is Substantial Gainful Activity. The SGA changes every year to reflect inflation. For 2019, the maximum amount you can earn per month, before taxes, is $1220. As long as your income stays below the SGA, you qualify to receive SSD payments.

You may not be able to do the same job you were doing before, but that does not mean you have to give up working entirely. Keep pounding the pavement as a means of earning additional income, and take advantage of the fulfillment that a meaningful job can provide.

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