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Can I work while I am waiting to hear back on my disability application in Phoenix, Arizona?

Can I work while I am waiting to hear back 
on my disability application?
By Nicholas Wearne, Associate Attorney
Snow, Carpio & Weekley

My advice is do not work if you have applied for social security disability.  Technically you can work for up to 3 months after you have applied for disability and if it does not work out it will be considered a failed work attempt.  Technically, in certain cases, and depending on your age, you can work making less than $1000.00 a month and still be considered disabled.

But again, my advice is do not work… at all.

Part of what you are claiming when you apply for disability is that you are so severely impaired that you are physically unable to work.  If you have applied for disability but you go on to keep working then the judge will confront you about why you feel you cannot work now but you could work for those three months.  They will ask you why you stopped working and why you could not work longer than the three month period.  If you are working making less than $1000.00 they will ask you why you cannot put in more hours.  They will also ask you what you are doing to make the $1000.00 dollars to make sure it is line with your work restrictions.  While under the law you can technically work in some cases, the judges come down very hard on people who are working and often times doubt your truthfulness about your symptoms.  When my clients ask if they can try working some to make ends meet I explain the potential consequences and leave it up to them as to whether or not it is worth it.  Generally speaking, my advice is do not work.

One last word of caution, the judges often have a broad definition of work.  If you are a mechanic for example, and you have been doing side jobs for friends to make ends meet, this is considered work.  If you have been selling things on the internet and making money off them, this is often considered work.  If you have questions about what you can and cannot do as far as working or would like a more detailed explanation of what is in this blog call Snow Carpio, and Weekley to set up a free consultation.

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