How Can A Disability Benefits Attorney Help Me With My Case
Whether you are just beginning to think about applying for benefits or you have already sent in your application and are awaiting a decision, we can help. Our disability benefits attorneys have more than 40 years of experience helping people seek the benefits they need.
- Tell you how your under-the-table pay could affect your application
- Explain if you meet work credit requirements
- File your application
- Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork
- Explain how to gather additional documentation
- Help you understand why a claim was denied
- Represent you during the appeal process
We can guide you through the entire benefits process. You dont have to figure out your disability benefits application on your own.
Student Earned Income Exclusion
If you are a student who is under the age of 22, the SSA may disregard up to $1,900 of your gross wages when figuring your countable income. “Gross wages” means the amount of your paycheck before things like taxes are deducted. Note that the SSA limits this exclusion to $7,770 per calendar year, however .
To use this incentive, you must go to school on a regular basis. If you are between 7th and 12th grade, this means going to school at least 12 hours a week. If you go to a college or university, you must attend at least eight hours of classes a week. And if you are enrolled in a work-training program, you must attend between 12 and 15 hours a week depending on the type of training you are getting. Even if you can’t go to school because of your disability but you are educated at home, you may be eligible for this incentive.
What Happens If You Get Caught Working While On Workers Comp In Pennsylvania
Oftentimes when a worker is injured, they want to know if they are allowed to work while receiving workers compensation benefits. This really depends on the status of your case. There are some circumstances in which you may be able to work in a limited or part-time capacity if you are partially disabled, but this will have an impact on your benefits. There are strict rules with how this must be reported. If you are caught working without reporting it to your insurance carrier, there are serious consequences to your workers compensation claim, and there may even be criminal penalties.
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What If You Own Your Own Business
The SSA recognizes that whether a small business’s net profit is over $1,350 per month isn’t always a good indicator of whether you, the business owner, are doing substantial gainful activity. If you are self-employed and you aren’t applying for disability for blindness or low vision, the SSA will try to look more closely at what you’re doing for the company. The SSA will apply what it calls “The Three Tests” to determine if your business activity is SGA.
Your business activity will be considered SGA if you:
- provide significant services to the business and receive a substantial income from it , or
- perform work that’s comparable to the work of persons without disability in your community engaged in the same or similar businesses, or
- perform work that’s worth $1,350 per month in terms of its value to the business or what it saves you from having to pay an employee to do the work.
Workers Compensation Fraud Is Risky
In our online world today, it is easier than ever to get caught working while on workers compensation benefits. For example:
- Your boss, a coworker, a customer, or someone else could submit an anonymous tip about your employment to your states workers compensation official.
- You might get recorded on surveillance video while working.
- Someone who does not know that you are collecting workers compensation benefits might post on social media a photo or video of you working or a comment about you working.
These are but a few examples of how easy it is to get caught working while collecting workers compensation benefits. In addition to the federal government investigating allegations of workers compensation fraud, state law enforcement agencies, like the Bureau of Workers Compensation Fraud in Florida, have multiple squads that focus on these cases.
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Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place
You are too injured or ill to keep working at your current job, and you dont want to risk not being approved for benefits by working a different job, but you cant afford to not do any sort of work while you wait to hear back about your application for benefits. We have advised all too many clients in this damned if you do, damned if you dont scenario.
At the Seelig Law Group, we help our clients determine what sort of work they can do, if any, to help make ends meet while waiting to see if their application for SSDI or SSI is approved.
Generally, it is better not to work at all because that can trigger a determination that you do not meet the definition of a disabled no matter how serious your medical condition. However, we understand that not bringing in any money while an application is pending is a real hardship. There is a little bit of wiggle room in the law, which our firm can help you maneuver around.
What Is Entailed In An Application For Disability Benefits
When you apply for disability benefits, you should be prepared to provide documentation that proves your inability to work. You can show evidence of your disability through your medical records and statements from your doctors.
Then, you can apply with the help of a disability benefits attorney from our team. We can ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork and assist you with filing.
It can take up to 3-5 months to hear back from the SSA. You may receive news that:
- Your claim was denied
- Your claim was approved
- The SSA requires additional documentation
It is common to receive a denial initially. However, dont let this discourage you, should you receive a denial. You can appeal your denial, starting with a reconsideration. If necessary, we will represent you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
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Employment And Disability Payments
Social assistance payments: DisabilityAllowance and Blind Pensionare means-tested disability payments. If you start work, you must notify theDSP and provide proof of your earnings . You do not need to have been getting yourpayment for a minimum period of time before you can take up work. You may keepyour Disability Allowance or Blind Pension if your income is below a certainlevel.
If you leave your new job, you should contact the DSP and your DisabilityAllowance will be quickly re-instated at the appropriate rate.
Can I Work Under The Table While Drawing Ssdi
Some people may try to work under the table while also drawing SSDI benefits. This is not a good idea, as it could constitute fraud if discovered. If you can work and need the additional income, you should consider getting a job that pays legally.
You may be able to return to work after receiving approval for benefits. If you follow guidelines from the Social Security Administration and report a change in your work status, you can continue to earn some income without worrying about serious consequences.
If the SSA discovers you are working under the table while drawing benefits, you may have to pay back the benefits you earned during the months you worked, in addition to penalties. You could also lose the ability to draw disability benefits in the future, depending on the situation. You could also be charged and convicted of a crime, per the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Title Ii Disability Benefits
This article discusses how work can affect a personâs eligibility for Title II disability benefits, commonly referred to as âSocial Security Disability.â The next Voice article will discuss preserving Medicare and Medicaid benefits when a Title II disability recipient begins to work.
Title II of the Social Security Act provides three types of insurance benefits for individuals with disabilities. Some people receive Title II disability benefits on their own work history . Others receive Title II disability insurance on the account of a deceased spouse or former spouse s Benefits or DWB). Some adult children receive Title II disability benefits on the account of a disabled, retired or deceased parent . In order for a worker, spouse, or child to qualify for Title II disability benefits, the worker on whose account benefits are paid must have paid Social Security taxes on earnings and must have earned the requisite number of work credits. Title II disability benefits are a type of insurance and are not affected by a personâs assets or unearned income.
Catching Social Security Disability Fraudsters In The Act
Investigators go undercover to catch people committing fraud.
May 9, 2014& #151 — UPDATE: Since this story first aired on May 9, 2014, Cory Eglash was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release for committing disability fraud. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the federal government.
The Social Security disability program is meant to be a lifeline for the severely disabled, but shameless con-artists are increasingly seeing it as a way to make easy money, thinking that no one is watching.
The Office of the Inspector General for Social Security says its investigations uncovered $340 million in savings for the government during the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, new applications for disability are on the rise as the U.S. population ages.
In Washington state, Special Agent Joe Rogers leads the state’s “Cooperative Disability Investigations Program,” a sort of a CSI unit of the OIG for sniffing out disability fraud. He said he and his team handle a minimum of ten to 12 cases a week, and they rely on surveillance footage and complex paper trails to catch people in the act.
Rogers and his agents recently busted Ramona Hayes, 42, and Cory Eglash, 52. The two of them ran a coffee shop in Friday Harbor, a beautiful tourist town in Washington’s San Juan Islands. With the eye-catching name “Criminal Coffee” the two of them boasted their cafe was “The place to come when you’re on the run.”
All three had their claims denied.
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Substantial Gainful Activity & Disability Benefits
As mentioned above, eligibility for SSI and SSDI is based on your inability to work. This is specifically defined by the SSA as a substantial gainful activity, or SGA. Earning more than a certain amount of money is deemed engaging in a substantial gainful activity, which would make one ineligible for benefits. As of 2020, the substantial gainful activity limit is $1,260 per month for disabled applicants.
If you earn more than that, you may not be eligible for SSDI. There is no limit on unearned income.
How Works Affects Your Ssi Payment
It’s important to understand how SSI benefit amounts are calculated before you can figure out how working will affect your payments.
For the year 2021, the SSA will pay up to $794 in SSI benefits . This amount is called the federal benefit rate . Your monthly benefit amount is the difference between the FBR and your countable income. Your countable income is made up of the following:
- wages you are paid from your job
- the value of free food and shelter provided for you
- support money from family or friends , and
- payments from other sources, like veterans benefits or unemployment.
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What Is Workers Compensation
To recap, workers compensation is composed of two types of benefits: medical and wage loss. if you are currently getting workers compensation wage loss benefits, that means that the insurance carrier has recognized that you were injured at work and that the injury has rendered you disabled, i.e., unable to perform your pre-injury job duties. Thus, an injured worker is not permitted to be receiving total disability benefits under workers compensation and be working and earning wages on top of that. This follows the same rationale as how a person cannot collect unemployment and work a job.
However, if your work injury has not interfered with your ability to work and you are only receiving medical benefits in relation to your work injury, then yes, you are able to and should continue working.
Since there is no way to determine exactly how long an injury will last, workers compensation benefits only last as long as the disability from the work injury lasts. When the disability ends, so do the workers compensation benefits. As such, by returning to your full-time, full-duty position, you are indicating that you are no longer disabled under workers compensation laws.
Getting Help With Your Workers Compensation Claim
A workers compensation lawyer with our firm can tell you what you need to know and guide you through the process of filing a claim and appealing the decision if your claim is denied. Also, an attorney can explain the consequences if you get caught working while on workers compensation.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC represents clients throughout the United States who suffered serious injuries on the job. A member of our team can work with you to help you follow your states laws. Call our office today at .
If You Go Back To Work While Collecting Long
If you’re collecting long-term disability benefits and wish to return to work, you could be putting your LTD benefits in jeopardy, especially if you’ll earn as much as you were making before you became disabled, or even a substantial portion of your pre-disability wages.
Whether you’ll continue to receive your full long-term disability benefits depends on the specifics of your LTD policy, but as a general rule, those with “own occupation” policies are usually given greater freedom to work than those with “any occupation” policies. Read your policy’s summary plan description, check with your claims handler, or consult your disability attorney if you’re unsure whether you have an “own occupation” or “any occupation” policy. Here’s the difference.
Corporate Surveillance Investigation: Employee Caught Working While On Short
In the spring of 2018, a client retained Texas Investigative Network, Inc. to conduct a corporate surveillance investigation on an employee , who was suspected of fraudulently receiving short-term disability benefits. Specifically, this Subject was believed to be managing several of his rental properties while alleging that he can no longer climb structures , bend, stoop, squat, lift anything heavy, or perform any overhead work.
TIN Investigators conducted two weeks ofcovert, mobile surveillanceand discreetly observed the Subject performing general maintenance activities at his rental properties. Surprisingly, our Investigators also observed the Subject carrying two recently purchased toilets and then loading them into the back of his van without any assistance whatsoever.
Our Subject was also observed carrying boxes of flooring and ceiling fans, working on an air conditioning unit, changing a flat tire, washing his vehicle, climbing in and out of his work van, and visiting local home improvement stores . The above activities were all captured discreetly onhigh definition videoby TIN Investigators, all while the Subject showed no discernible signs of pain, discomfort, or disability.
Working While On Disability
If you carry your own disability insurance, whether youve bought your own policy or one has been provided to you through your employer, working while on disability depends entirely on your policy.
There is a wide variation in the types of policies available, so the best way to find out is to read your policy documents carefully, or contact the provider.
Typical policies allow you to work, but reduce your benefit by the amount you earn. While this may seem to defeat the purpose of working, it can extend your benefit if your policy has a cap on its lifetime benefit amount.
Here are some questions to ask about the rules of working while on disability:
- What would happen if I am disabled such that I can only do part of my job?
- What if I can only work part-time? Will I be able to receive a partial benefit?
Working while on disability is possible. Many providers will pay partial benefits that, together with your part-time pay, will bring you to 100 percent of your pre-disability salary.
I Will Lose My Ssi/ssdi Checks When I Start To Work
It is a common concern to be worried about starting work and not earning enough money to pay your expenses and, at the same time, not getting your SSI/SSDI checks anymore.
Both SSI and SSDI have rules to protect your benefits so you can try working and not worry about losing your cash benefits if you cant keep working, or you need to work fewer hours. Some of these rules are the same if you are on SSI or SSDI, but most of them are different. It is important to know if you are on SSI or SSDI, or both. If you are not sure, you may want to request something called a Benefits Planning Query from your Social Security office to find out. For more information on BPQY, click here. You can also read the first page of this section, which has information on figuring whether you are on SSI or SSDI.
o Be paid by you and not paid or reimbursed by another source
o Relate to a serious medical condition, and
o Be necessary without it, you will be unable to work
What Happens If You Get Caught Working Under The Table
Because the employer ultimately holds more power than the employee and makes the payments, the employer is the one who faces consequences and penalties for getting caught working under the table. But sometimes, employees could be treated as accessory or party to tax fraud if they specifically ask their employer not to withhold any taxes from their paychecks.
Is working under the table a felony? In some states, such as California,you can face criminal prosecution if the state Department of Labor finds out. Willfully ignoring employment laws and the tax code constitutes fraud.
Making an honest mistake with respect to withholding or worker classification results in a civil penalty, but purposely paying workers under the table and refusing to comply with employment laws can result in IRS and state tax department audits, interest and fines on top of the unpaid taxes themselves, and even jail time.
So yes, making employees work under the table is a crime with a steep price tag attached.