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If You File for Disability while Still Employed, Your Application Will Be Denied

Retiring from the workforce is one of life's major decisions—and it's not made any easier by the fact that you are physically unable to work, as opposed to healthfully reaching your 60s and 70s and wanting to enjoy your golden years. Many individuals who are severely disabled, or suffer from chronic medical conditions, would prefer to have their disability payments “lined up” before they retire—but the way the Social Security Administration works, this can be an unattainable goal.

Working during the Application Process Sends a Big Red Flag to SSA

Imagine you are a Social Security disability examiner who is swamped with hundreds of applications, which you have to evaluate on deadline. The first thing you would want to do is to reject applications that are obviously flawed or improperly filled out—and a good first step would be to discard all the files in which the applicant is currently employed. This is because:

  • If you are still able to hold a job, even while claiming to be disabled, this will tell the examiner that you're not too sick to work in some capacity
  • If you are still working, and earning a salary or commission, your financial situation is less desperate than that of a severely disabled person who is genuinely unable to work
  • Because you are still very early on in the application process, the examiner may choose to reject your paperwork, on the basis that you will apply again when you actually stop working
  • The examiner suspects that you may be trying to get a “free ride” from the government, simply because you don't want to work any more
  • If you can work in some capacity while being disabled, there must be some less stressful job that you can find, somewhere, rather than getting monthly payments from SSA

You Need to Stop Working before You File for Disability

It may sound counterintuitive, but the way the Social Security Administration works, you need to take a “leap into the void” and quit your job before you even consider filing for disability benefits. Do you want to learn more? Contact the northern California Social Security disability experts at the Ledgerwood Law Group (888-761-7383) for a free consultation today!


Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group