SSD: The First Step

For complete information and expert representation, contact a Charlotte disability attorney at Bridgman Law Offices at (888) 632-9912.

SSD

What is the initial step in qualifying for Social Security disability? A Charlotte disability attorneywill tell you that you must meet the "substantial gainful activity" rule. As an applicant you must show that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity (SGA).

SGArefers to work done for pay or profit. Can you earn a paycheck?If you can, you are most likely engaged in SGA. This applies even if you are self-employed. Let's say you are a contractor, working in your own small business. Even if your tax returns show a net loss, if you are able to work then you are doing the physical and mental activities required for SGA. In such a case you would not qualify for benefits.

However, those who cannotperform work tasks independently, and those in need of more supervision or support, may qualify as unable to work.This is the first step toward eligibility for benefits. Those who cannot perform even minimal job duties and are not of value to an employer (or to their own self-owned company) are more likely to be found disabled. The key is that a disability must meet specific standards defined by the government, not just a person's opinion of their work status.

Income and deductions

How much can you make and still qualify for SSD benefits? This changes periodically based on the economy. For instance, in 2010 earnings over $1,000 per month meant that the individual was performing substantial gainful activity.However, some deductions are permitted for disability-related expenses such as refitting a home or vehicle for adaptive use.

The laws are detailed, so it is best to work with a Charlotte disability attorney on your application. For complete information and expert representation, contact Bridgman Law Offices at (888) 632-9912.