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What is an unsuccessful work attempt in Social Security?

One of the most common misconceptions about applying for disability is that you cannot attempt to work once your claim has started. Fortunately, the Social Security work attempt in Social SecurityAdministration has regulations in place for individuals that want to try working again but are unsure if their medical conditions will allow them to.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations;

-The Social Security Administration will consider work of 3 months or less to be an unsuccessful work attempt if you stopped working, or you reduced your work and earnings below the substantial gainful activity earnings level, because of your impairment or because of the removal of special conditions which took into account your impairment and permitted you to work.

-Social Security will also consider work that lasted longer than 3 months to be an unsuccessful work attempt if it ended, or was reduced below substantial gainful activity earnings level, within 6 months because of your impairment or because of the removal of special conditions which took into account your impairment and permitted you to work and;

  • 1) You were frequently absent from work because of your impairment;
  • 2) Your work was unsatisfactory because of your impairment;
  • 3) You worked during a period of temporary remission of your impairment; or
  • 4) You worked under special conditions that were essential to your performance and these conditions were removed.

So, what does this all mean? If you have applied for social security disability benefits and you want to see if you can work, you do not have to stop your claim immediately. You’ll want to speak to your representative or case manager about the type of work you will be attempting, your weekly hours and rate of pay. You’ll also want to take note of any special accommodations your employer may have for you.

Ultimately, if you are unable to continue your employment and you meet the regulations as they are stated above, your work could be considered an unsuccessful work attempt and you can still be found disabled prior to the date you attempted to return to work. However, if you find that you are able to continue working, you may have the possibility of being awarded for a closed time period. A closed time period of disability may be awarded if you were unable to seek gainful employment for at least 12 months due to your medical conditions prior to returning to work.

If you would like to talk to us about this subject in more detail, give us a call today for a free consultation. 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather us call you, fill out this form.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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