Chicago Social Security disability lawyerSocial Security disability is designed for individuals who are disabled to the extent that they cannot work for at least 12 months. Nevertheless, there are situations in which a person can still work and collect SSD. The Social Security Administration’s rules for being deemed disabled and for collecting disability while working are quite complex, so it is in your best interests to consult a Chicago disability attorney. The following offers a brief overview of deductions and inclusions if you work and draw SSD.

A Chicago Disability Lawyer Explains the Trial Work Period
One of the underlying presumptions of Social Security disability is that, once a claimant is able, he will return to work. Therefore, the SSA developed a process through which a person can resume working gradually. This is called the trial work period. It is possible to work for a total of nine months out of sixty without losing your benefits. Whether these months are consecutive or not, once you reach the threshold of nine months you will no longer be eligible if you continue to work. There is an exception to this, however. Once your nine months are over, the SSA will assess whether you have been engaged in “substantial gainful activity,” which is defined as earning more than $1,070 or more for any given month. Your benefits will end in such case.

A Chicago Disability Attorney on the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)
Once your trial work period ends, you may be able to collect benefits for an extended period of eligibility. The EPE is designed to help you as you resume regular work. Provided you are successful in returning to work, you will be evaluated on a monthly basis and sent a check for any months when your countable gross income is below the SGA.

A Chicago Disability Attorney Discusses Deductions and Exclusions
Your countable gross income is rated based on your gross income minus certain costs and considerations. These are called deductions and inclusions and are added/subtracted from the gross. Pay from actual work performed is included unless your total gross income is below $1,070. Make sure to add in bonuses and other payment for actual work. You should not include pay that is not tied to actual work, such as vacations.

You should also exclude any costs that are related to your impairment such as medical treatment, equipment at work to facilitate your impairment, transportation or care-giving assistance at work should all be deducted. Moreover, if you are receiving a subsidy on your check, this amount should be excluded.

Work with a Chicago Disability Lawyer If You Are Disabled and Wish to Work
While there are strict limitations on work when you are claiming Social Security disability, it is possible. Indeed, the SSA hopes that claimants will exercise the options of the trial work period and extended period of eligibility, for it is far better for everyone if the disabled claimant can eventually return to a productive life. If you have questions or need assistance with your claim, it is important that you have a Chicago disability attorney in your corner who is experienced and knowledgeable. Call Chicago Disability Law today to arrange a consultation.