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Q&A With Charles Binder

Charles Binder continues to you provide answers to YOUR questions! Read our earlier Q&A's with Charles HERE and HERE.  

Question: If I am approved for SSD, does that mean I can never work again or can I get a part-time job to make ends meet?

Charles Binder's Answer: Disability means the inability to perform a regular job on a regular basis. There is a presumption that earning a certain amount of money is proof that you can work on a regular basis. Work below that amount is presumed to be not work or in the SSD lingo, not "substantial gainful employment". For 2014 the number is just over $1000 so if you are earning $700-800 per month on a part time basis, you are not working and therefore can continue to be considered disabled. I recommend if you feel you can do part time work to go ahead and try. If after doing part time work you and your doctors feel you want to try full time work, do so but be aware that while the government will encourage you to work, they will also look to cut off your benefits as soon as you "prove" to them you are not disabled. There is a 9-month "trial work period" but explaining those rules will take pages and pages of examples.

It is crucial to always let SSA know that you are working even if it is part time. Contact the district office by letter (you can never prove you called them and spoke to a claims representative about work), send it certified and keep the receipt along with a copy of the letter. I would do this only after you have been doing it for a week or so--otherwise you may cause a premature review of your disability. So if you start to work part time, after a week or so when you are confident you can continue, notify SSA in a letter. If you find you were not able to continue, also tell them that you tried to work part time and were not successful. Whenever you stop work, even if you have been working part time for while, notify SSA by letter. Keep a copy--there is almost no chance your letter will be found when SSA decides to investigate you for working.

**Do you have a question about Social Security Disability that you'd like Charles to answer personally? Leave your question here as a comment, send us a message with your question on our Facebook page, or send a quick email to We ask that you be respectful with your questions, and avoid questions specific to your own claim as we are unable to answer them publically**

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