THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BLOG

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P: 828-252-2852

What happens if I am able to return to work before my Social Security Disability claim is determined?

The Social Security disability process can be very lengthy, sometimes taking three (3) years or more for a final decision to be made. Most claimants have to make an initial application, a Reconsideration appeal, and go through an Administrative Law Judge hearing before receiving a favorable decision. Due to the time period between application and hearing, some claimants may find that their condition has improved to the point they are able to return to gainful employment before their disability claim has gone through all the steps for a final determination.

If the Social Security Administration determines that you were disabled, but your condition improved while you were still waiting on a disability decision, then you can still be awarded disability benefits from the established date of onset of your disability until you became able to return to gainful employment. This period of time is known as a “closed period benefit.” To be eligible for closed period disability benefits, the period of disability must have lasted at least twelve (12) months.

Any retroactive pay for the closed period benefit is still subject to the five (5) month disability waiting period and the Social Security Administration automatically subtracts the first five (5) full months from the disability pay. In other words, if you were found to be disabled for a period of fifteen (15) months, you would only receive disability pay for 10 months. This rule does not apply to retroactive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Disability claimants are more likely to be successful in receiving disability awards if they are able to return to work because the Social Security Administration assumes less risk in awarding benefits for the closed benefit period than in situations where the disability is ongoing and possibly continuing for decades (or until you reach your SS retirement age). If you are able to return to work, the period for which you were found to be disabled is excluded in determining your future work credits which may impact the amount of Social Security retirement income you are entitled to receive.

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P: 828-252-2852

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FREQUENTLY ASKED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY QUESTIONS

Q. How do I select a lawyer?

Social Security law changes regularly with new Congressional legislation and Court decisions. You should select a lawyer who regularly practices in SS court. The lawyer should be experienced, knowledgeable and concerned about your claim.

Q. What happens in a SS disability hearing?

A. SS disability hearings are informal. The decisions are made by an Administrative Law Judge, most of whom live in Greenville, SC. The people likely to be present at the actual hearing are you, the Judge, a court reporter, and your lawyer. In some cases, the Administrative Law Judge has a medical doctor or vocational expert present to testify at the hearing. SS hearings do not have any jurors, spectators, or lawyers representing SS. Some hearings in Western NC are now conducted by closed circuit television by Judges who live all over the United States.

Q. What happens when I am denied?

Most claimants are denied several times before they receive a favorable decision on their claim. DO NOT GIVE UP. Your best opportunity to prove your disability occurs with a lawyer at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. You have paid SS taxes for years and should pursue your rights to get SS benefits aggressively.

Q. When can I expect a hearing on my claim?

Due to the large number of appeals in Social Security cases, it is often many months before each level of an appeal is decided. You are generally given several months notice prior to a hearing before an ALJ and you will be expected to attend that hearing unless you have an extraordinary reason why you cannot attend. The exact number of months between appeals varies from time to time and there is little that can be done by you or your lawyer to speed up the process in light of the huge backlog of cases waiting for a hearing. Once a hearing is held, the ALJ should render a favorable or unfavorable decision within ninety (90) days of the hearing.

Q. What happens if I try to work when I am receiving Social Security benefits?

A. Social Security law requires that you report any income or benefits while you are receiving checks. You cannot work and be disabled at the same time. However, Social Security law permits you to make some efforts to work without jeopardizing your eligibility. If you fail to report any earnings made while trying to work, your Social Security check could be terminated. The law on making work attempts is complicated and changes on a regular basis. You should consult a qualified lawyer before deciding how you approach this issue.

Q. Am I eligible for SS disability if my ailment is not permanent?

A. Yes. SS law requires only that the disabling condition (1) result in death OR (2) exist for a period of twelve (12) months or more. No part of SS requires the disabling condition to be permanent. While many disabling ailments are permanent, the law does not require any duration longer than twelve (12) months.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY VIDEOS

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found. Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Social Security Detail

Social Security – Detail

Social Security part 4

Social Security Part 4

Social Security part 3

Social Security Part 3

Social Security part 2

Social Security Part 2

Social Security part 1

Social Security Part 1

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Social Security Hearing Timeframe

Resolution of Social Security Disability Cases: A Timeframe Overview

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Claims

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefit

Working While on Social Security

Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Appealing Social Security Denials

Appealing the Denial of Your Social Security Disability Claim

Work History Requirements

Work History Requirements for Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Child Eligibility for Social Security

Child Eligibility for Social Security Benefits and Social Security Insurance

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in Social Security Disability

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in the Social Security Appellate Hearing

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases

~ What Our Clients Say ~

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

I am very grateful to David Gantt & his staff! They were wonderful and made the confusing process much easier to understand. I wish I had contacted them sooner. They were super to work with and such nice people! Thank you so much! ~K.S.

Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.

Martindale Review 2018

October 8, 2018

Recommended 5.0/5.0 in Social Security. I highly recommended David Gantt. He is a kind and generous person. He puts you at ease from the minute that you meat him. Very efficient and does what he says he’ll do. His staff is awesome too. Trust me… You can’t go wrong with David Gantt.