Work evaluation forms a big part of the evaluation Social Security Administration (SSA) does to find out whether you are disabled. They consider both current and past work, as well as any other work you are capable of. Here is what you need to know.
The work you are currently engaged in is one of the factors that SSA uses to determine whether you are disabled. The administration may deny you the benefits if its evaluation reveals you are engaged in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). According to SSA, any work you are doing, regardless of whether you get paid for it, constitutes gainful activity.
The administration has a dollar limit, on how much you can earn before it classifies you as engaged in SGA. As of 2016, the amount was $1,820 and $1,130 for blind and non-blind applicants, respectively. If you are an unpaid volunteer, the administration will compute the amount of money you would have earned if you were being paid and use it as your "earnings" for the purposes of determining whether you are engaged in SGA.
In addition, the current work you are engaged in, your past work will also be evaluated. The administration will consider how much of your work functions you are still able to do despite your current limitations. Consider an example where you were a product salesperson who used to drive all over the state meeting prospective clients. In this case, SSA may consider whether your physical limitations can allow you to drive and whether your mental limitations can allow you to sell to clients.
Some people think that SSA will consider them unable to engage in their past works activities if their former employers cannot take them back, but this isn't the case. Whether or not your former employer can re-hire you in your current state is irrelevant; what matters is your ability (or inability) to do the work given the chance. If you can perform your past work, then the administration considers you not disabled.
Lastly, SSA may also consider your ability to engage in any other work. In this, the administration uses the following factors to make its decision:
You are likely to be found not disabled if you cannot adjust and undertake other available jobs. Suppose you are a middle-aged driver who has lost a limb in an accident. The administration may deem you not disabled if your level of education, age, and experience means you can be a driving instructor and jobs for driving instructors are available.
For more information, contact The Nelson Law Firm LLC or a similar organization.
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