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Blog: Disability



Is Returning to Work a Fatal Mistake When Applying for Social Security Disability?

By Chris Rothemich

Anyone who has ever filed for Social Security Disability benefits or had a friend or
family member file knows it can be a long and arduous process.  Normally the initial application will be decided within six months. But if it is denied the appeal process can take between 12-18 months before you see a judge depending on what jurisdiction the appeal is filed.

What if you return to work before your case has been fully adjudicated? Do you need to abandon your application? The simple answer is No! The Social Security Administration allows applicants to receive benefits even if they return to work, under certain circumstances.

First, if you return to work but the work does not meet the definition of substantial gainful activity you are not prohibited from receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Second, if you return to work you can convert your application to a ‘closed period of disability’ and could receive benefits for the time you were unable to work
as long as you have been out for at least one year.

If you have any questions about whether you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits please contact us for a free consultation