The decision to work full time or even part time while applying for social security disability or on social security disability is interesting question. Many disability applicants have no alternative since they must rely on the income, on the other hand if one engages in work this could impact the social security disability claim. Social Security may reason that this person could work full time if they are already working a significant number of hours. This analysis would depend upon the number of hours worked by the claimant and the length of time that was worked. For instance working only 15 hours a week for a few months would probably be considered trial work and would not amount to SGA “substantial gainful activity”.  Significant income is based on the level set by Social Security, and often changes yearly.  You can find this level here.  If a job only lasts a few months this could be considered unsuccessful work attempt.  This could be used as evidence that a person has tried to work, and due to the disability(ies) that the claimant cannot.

Social Security Disability and Working

Work is not considered substantial under Social Security rules if less than $1040 per month is earned and you are not blind. This is only for the year 2013 and typically increases every year. However it does not some years.  This is based on the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment. As explained above one should keep in mind that even if you earn less that this amount the fact one engages in work activity could influence the judge since they could reason that this person could in fact work full time at a level that was greater than the substantial level. Therefore, the decision to work should be weighed based on the financial needs vs. the need to succeed in your disability claim. If possible generally it is better not to work when applying for disability.