What to Do During the Waiting Period
Are you a recent applicant for Social Security disability benefits? If so, you may have several questions about what is – and is not – allowed during the period between your initial application and ultimate approval. One of the best resources to help better understand these issues is a knowledgeable Tampa Bay area lawyer – and you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the Social Security disability process right away.
Working While Waiting – What’s Allowed?
One of the most common questions posed by our disability clients involves whether an applicant awaiting benefits can work during the interim period. The answer to this depends upon the nature of your work and the amount you earn monthly. The SSA maintains a threshold amount one can earn per month and still earn disability – known as the “substantial gainful activity” threshold, or SGA limit. Currently, a disabled individual may still qualify for benefits if he or she earns less than $1,170 per month (or $1,950 if you are blind). If, while waiting for approval, you earn above and beyond this amount, you may face a penalty period for the number of months in which you earned above the SGA.
How Long Will it Take?
Another common inquiry involves how long it will take for benefits approval to occur after the application is sent. The answer to this question varies heavily by state, number of pending claims and whether your case involves an appeal. Some larger states, like Florida, have wait times up to a year, even longer for applicants who are denied at least once. Smaller states with fewer applicants may have a shorter wait time depending upon the number of available agents and evaluators in the local field offices. In many cases, an applicant for disability who was denied at least once, and ultimately approved, may be eligible for back pay to cover the months when disability should have been granted.
What if Changes Occur?
When you sign (or e-sign) your application for disability benefits, you are certifying that the information contained within the application is truthful. Because of this, the SSA requires applicants to notify its office in the event a change (positive or negative) occurs with regard to the status of your medical condition. Therefore, if you experience greater setbacks or marked improvement, you must notify the SSA right away and add the new information to your claim.
Contact a Reputable Tampa Bay Area Lawyer Today!
If you have questions about what to do while you wait for your disability approval, please contact attorney Fernando V. Narvaez by calling 727-914-4999 today.