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New question about work and SSI Disability

IvorymoonIIvorymoon Posts: 44
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Health Insurance Issues
OK, so some people have said that No you absolutely cannot work part time if you are applying for SSI disability, that it is an automatic denial if you're even working limited part time. Then there are those who say that Yes, you can work part time and apply for SSI.

Here is my question..... so, then, why is it that after you are approved and are on SSI disability, why is it that you ARE allowed to work some part time then?? Seems to me then, that in fact you can work part time while applying for and waiting for your SSI claim? Perhaps it varies from state to state? Any opinions on this? I'm sort of confused.

I applied for SSI, back in June 2009, have an attorney and have gone thru my first denial, we've appealed and are now waiting. But if I do not try to at least work some part time, I will be homeless and have no food or things I need to live, as I am single with no family and no other means of support. It has been extremely difficult tho in trying to find any part time job I am capable of doing though, in the last year and a half I have tried about 17 jobs, none lasted more than a couple months, due to my health issues.


  • I didn't think this was about insurance, as I do not have insurance and I am not dealing with health insurance. I am dealing with social security, not worker's comp or an insurance company.... so I guess I am more confused than before now..... hmmm....

    Thanks for the clarification Paul.
  • Just wanted to share what information that I know. My sister had a part time job and was awarded her SSDI. It took her about 2 years but she was approved. So yes you can work part time. That was a year ago when she was approved and to this day she still works the same part time job.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    SSDI and SSI are forms of insurance. Think of it this way, you pay into the system for SSDI via taxes out of your paycheck (kind of like paying premium) and then when you file a claim - it's just like filing an insurance claim.

    Have you applied for both SSDI and SSI? And have you been denied for both?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Thanks morris and thank you SpineAZ! You both helped clarify a couple things for me, makes me feel better! Silly me, I didn't think of SSI as insurance, but it makes sense to me now. And it is heartening to hear that some people have been able to work limited part time and stil get awarded SSI. I am having a terribly hard time being able to work and find a job that I can do, but because I have no family and no means of support I have to do something (work) to keep from being homeless. But I have gone thru about 17 jobs in the last 12 or 14 months due to the fact I cannot do any kind of work out there....

    I applied for SSI June 2009, have been denied once and we appealed (I hired an attorney right away last July 2009), and are now waiting, again. More waiting.

    I met with with my doctor today and we reviewed the report from the doctor that SSI sent me to. The two herniated disks are now totally gone, so basically bone on bone and the vertebrae have basically started to fuse themselves together. This is at L3 - 4 and L4 - 5. I have DDD, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis, as well as arthritis of the facets. Hope I got all that right....whew....I should have asked for a copy of that report.

    My doctor is sending me in for an MRI and then to see the Pain Clinic, for possible injections.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    You may want to check out www.ssa.gov or call SS at 1-800-772-1213 to ask them - let them know you are severely physically limited but are trying to find a way to stay afloat until benefits may be approved.

    Under FAQ on their site they do talk about how much can be earned to remain on SSDI and/or to qualify for SSDI. The basic concept of SSDI is someone is unable to work at any job. I believe in 2010 the max one can earn in an month and still possibly qualify is around $700/mo.

    It's important to know what you may qualify for under SSI or SSDI. Every year, about 4-8 weeks before you birthday SS sends every person a 4-5 page document that details what you've earned so far, what your estimated SS Retirmenet amount may be if you continue working and depending on what age you decide to retire, and if you qualify for SSDI and what the estimated SS amount you can get per month would be under SSDI based on your earnings.

    At this point you have to find social services in your area that can help with housing, food, etc as it's essential to keep work to a minimum. And make sure your doctor's agree that "while he/she can work "x" amount of hours per week, even this causes her pain/etc"
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Thank you, you've been so helpful!

    Right now I am getting rental assistance, but I have to pay them $40 a month, plus a little portion of my rent too, so some type of income is necessary for me. So that is why I am trying to work part time. One huge problem is currently I can only find physically demanding work, such as housekeeping, and it about killed me.... I started a new job because I was so broke and I will lose all county assistance unless I pay the $40 a month, so I tried a housekeeping job last week and after only a day and a half I was so crippled up I had to call in to work sick and laid up for three days. My doctor told me I cannot do that work, but I figured I had to try..... I needed some money.... the county here is not very helpful. My attorney did tell me there was a certain amount that I could earn a month, but I am not even close to that at all.
  • What does your attorney say about working?

    The difference in working while you apply for benefits and then working AFTER you've been approved is this:

    SSA has a program called "TICKET TO WORK"; it allows individuals to test the waters to see if working is an option, and also to hopefully regain the dignity one loses when applying for assistance. Of course, we all KNOW there is nothing WRONG with asking for help when you need it, but still - that does not change the way we feel.

    If I were in your shoes, I would consult with my attorney, and heed his advice. If he says "Go for it" then do so. If he says, "Not a good idea at this point in the game" then I'd re-think it.

    But Paul is right: even though an individual is in dire straits and in danger of losing their home, SSA will look at the situation as "Well, if they can work part-time, do the medical records support this person cannot work full-time?"

    Also, I am a bit confused with which type of claim (not that it matters a bit...); have you paid into Social Security and have enough quarters that you can file an SSD claim, or have you only applied for SSI (Supplemental Security Income)? The first is a federal program based on what you have paid into Social Security; the second is a State program and is based on financial need - as well as medical issues.

    Medically, you can file for both claims at the same time and they will be processed at the same time; technically, the rules are requirements are different.

    As you can see, it's a very confusing kettle of fish, and you have done the right thing in hiring an attorney. 8}

  • This is still so new to me..... I believe I may have filed for both, OK, yes I have paid enough into Soc. Sec to apply for SSD... let me go look at my paperwork....OK I have filed for social security and SSI disability benefits it says. While I am trying to work part time, I am not having much luck, I lose every job I try, due to my health issues. I have discussed this with my attorney, he told me to go ahead and try doing some part time if I am able to. I can't even hold down a part time job tho, I've tried over 15 jobs in the last year, most only last a couple days..... and I am off work either with my back issues or IBS issues. So..... in other words I have to go live in my car and be homeless in order to get approved? Sort of sounds that way, I have called every county and state assistance program out there, there just is no help for people like me I am told. Just makes no sense.....if I had kids I could get more help (gee no wonder there are so many single moms out there in my area, and one of the highest teenage pregnancies in the U.S. here in my county). I am at least trying to work a little bit here and little bit there in order to not lose my apartment. I don't know what to do..... no wonder there are so many depressed and suicidal people out there.....I have been down to no food (I get food stamps but it doesn't go very far), no money for gas, no money to do laundry (coin laundry here in my building), and not even any of the things I need in order to live..... I have called every dept. at the county level including Human Services and so on...... the soc. sec. system doesn't always seem to work for those who truly need it. Yet I know a drunk who is on SSI, and someone else who was approved immediately and was still able to work other jobs....... {{bangs head on wall}}..... Sorry about the rant..... I just am about at the end of my rope and I have no idea what to do next.... If I am denied again, I will be homeless for sure.... my landlord is already threatening me and the county assistance people tell me I have to keep on making monthly payments to them if I want their help for rental assistance, yet if I can't work how do I pay the county for assistance.... it's insanity..... Well, I am praying this time around I will be approved, especially seeing as I had new documentation in regards to my spine and back troubles being worse now.

    Thanks for reading this far if you got thru all that! lol.
  • Try posting your questions in the right section. You may get more answers and sooner.



    Try in - Health Insurance Issues.
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