The Social Security Administration grants social security disability through a rigorous process of determining disability eligibility. Also, in order for you to qualify for social security disability, you must not be earning an income equivalent to any amount under 'substantial gainful activity, SGA'.
Although this may seem like a death trap, this rule is actually made to protect people on disability from getting too hard on them. Also, the SSA does not completely prevents you from working, unless you work within the income limits set under the 'trial work period, TWP'.
Reporting disability changes and its affect on your benefits
It may be very difficult to comprehend how a specific change in your work may affect your disability benefits. However, there are certain guidelines issued by the SSA on how a change may reduce or stop your benefits, either temporarily or permanently.
- Work expenses related to your disability
Staying at home during a disability requires very less outside expenses as compared to going to work. While you go to work during disability, you may need certain equipments or services to assist you such as a wheelchair, a car driver, taxicab, paratransit or any other type of conveyance that makes your transit easier rather than public transport. You will need to report these expenses to the SSA and whether you are paying from them from your work income. If not, the SSA may deduct the amount from your monthly earnings to determine your eligibility for continued disability benefits.
Plan to achieve Self-Support, PASS
This is a short summary of your planner or an official planner that you can use to report to the SSA about your work expectations. This 'Plan' would help you achieve certain services, items or skills needed to achieve your work goals and expectations.
The 'PASS' would also help you while the SSA determines your eligibility for continued benefits. Any money you use towards achieving your PASS goals would not be counted while determining your eligibility by the SSA. For instance, you might want to set aside an income for a special trainings program as a rehabilitation counselor as a wartime veteran. The other goals under a PASS may include:
- Money for transportation to and fro your workplace;
- Money for your caretaker costs;
- Money for your child's caretaker or schooling;
- Tuition, expenses, training fees or memberships, books or other items related to your training or education;
- Technology items useful as assistance for employment-related purposes;
- Supplies to start your own business;
- Money for renovation of a real estate for mortgage or re-selling purposes;
- Uniforms, special clothing and safety assistance for your workplace;
- Coaching fee;
- Training fee for your workplace trainings;
Deciding and indicating your work plans and goals in your PASS may be the deal breaker for continuing your benefits. You may take assistance from your disability attorney in devising a detailed and clear plan to show to your disability examiner from the SSA.