Earned income and what exactly does medically unable to work mean?
By: Darrell Castle
Hello, I’m Darrell Castle. I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and I’ve been doing a series of videos on Social Security Disability and today we’re going to talk about what it’s going to take for you to be qualified for Disability under the Social Security rules.
Can you earn income and still be disabled? You know you have to be medically unable to work, but can you earn income? The answer is yes if your income is less than $1,070 per month on average. In other words, if you work this year in 2014 or you earn income this year, can you still be qualified? Yes, if you earn less than $1,070 per month on average and not a penny more. There has to be a cutoff and that is the rule.
So, what does it take to be medically unable to work under the Social Security Administration rules? They maintain a list of conditions – very severe conditions – that are so severe that if you have one of those conditions, you’re medically qualified and automatically disabled.
What if your condition is severe but not on the list? Well then you have to look at your past work. Does it interfere with your past work? Does it interfere with basic work activity? That is the test of disability.
What if your test is severe but not as severe as those on the list? Well, same answer. Does it medically keep you from working? That is the real answer.
Now let’s talk about age for a minute. Let’s say you are 65 years old and you have some condition that you feel keeps you from working. Can you get Social Security Disability? The answer is NO. Once you reach the age of 65, the administration considers you retired. You are no longer working so you no longer need an insurance policy to replace lost income. There is no lost income and you are on Social Security by that time. Your Social Security should be just as high as your disability payments would be, but you cannot collect both at the same time so 65 is the cut off.
What about the application process? Well that is a good subject for our next video.