I have to work to survive. Can I still file a claim for disability?

You can work and file a claim for disability but there are strict limitations. Social Security follows a Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process in evaluating disability. The first step of the evaluation process is determining whether you are engaging in work that the Social Security Administration judges to be substantial gainful activity. If—in this first step—you are found to be engaging in substantial gainful activity, Social Security will stop evaluating your case and deny your benefits without even looking at your medical condition. In 2019, you will be considered engaging in substantial gainful activity if your gross monthly income is more than $1,220. If you are blind you can earn more—up to $2,040.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska