Subsidized Work Environments
Substantial Gainful Activity and Subsidized Work Environments
If you are able to perform substantial gainful activity Social Security may find you physically disabled according to their rules, but you will not be able to collect Social Security Disability benefits. One of the components of substantial gainful activity is the ability to earn over approximately $1040/month (this amount increases ever year. Consult with one of our Disability Attorneys Boise for the current number). If you are earning over this amount, but feel you are still disabled, you should speak with one of our disability attorneys in Boise to see if subsidies or special conditions may be used by Social Security to reduce the amount of income they count in calculating your gross monthly pay. A disability attorney can help you identify these and determine if you should apply for disability benefits in spite of the fact that you are otherwise making too much each month.
Subsidies and Special Conditions
You may be receiving special supports or accommodations from your employer because of your disability, which can count towards reducing the amount you earn. If you are receiving special support, or if you are making less than your coworker, you should speak with our attorneys to see there are sufficient reasons to reduce your earnings to less than $1040/month. You may have a subsidy from your employer if:
- You receive special supervision or oversight (more than what other workers receive who are doing your same job)
- You are required to do fewer or simpler tasks that those who are doing the same job for the same pay
- You have a job coach or special mentor who does work that others in your position would do themselves
- You are allowed extra time to perform your duties
- Your employer provides you with an adjusted work schedule—allows you to go home early and work fewer days.
With the help of your Social Security disability attorney, you can calculate the value of any subsidies that you are receiving and subtract them from your monthly gross income. If this new adjusted monthly gross income is less than $1040, you may then qualify for disability even though you are making more than what would otherwise be allowed.
The basic theory behind allowing you to make more money and still qualify for disability is this: the income component of substantial gainful activity is meant to capture your ability to work—in other words, what your earning capacity is. The subsidies your employer provides to you are essentially gifts to you. In other words, you are not actually earning the money that you are being paid. For example, if you are a salaried employee and are paid based on a 40 hour week, but you only end up working 25 hours a week, you have a 15 hour/week subsidy. If you are then receiving $1500/month in salary, we would divide that $1500 by the 160 hours a month you are supposed to be working and then multiply it by the 100 hours that you are actually working and come up with your unsubsidized earnings. In this example, that would be $938/month, which would allow you to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you have a job for a family member where they pay you to “watch the phones” or to “hold down the fort” or if you are in the military and are receiving full pay in spite of the fact that you are not performing your duties or are only performing some of your duties, you should contact one of our Social Security disability attorneys in Boise today to find out if you should apply for disability. A good attorney will provide you with important guidance that will help you to avoid some of the common mistakes made by those who apply for Social Security disability without the help a disability lawyer.
Originally posted 2014-11-19 17:32:05.