This is a question we get asked a lot. The short answer is: it depends. The number one factor regarding whether or not you need to quit work to receive disability benefits is your salary. The current SGA (substantial gainful activity) standards set by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for employees are set at $1130 per month and $1820 monthly for blind workers. So, if you make more than this figure on a monthly basis, and you are injured and seeking to apply for SSI, the answer is yes, you will need to quit your job to receive benefits.
Exceptions to the SGA\
For example, if while working you require many accommodations to help you do your work such as assistive devices or support from co-workers. These may affect how Social Security reviews your salary and may adjust your SGA guidelines even it is more than the standards. Another exception may be made for small business owners. The Social Security Administration tends to use different rules when determining your substantial gainful activity.
Making less than the SGA requirements will not automatically serve to qualify you for benefits, though. If it is determined that you can actually work more hours than you are currently and that affects your SGA status, then you could be denied for benefits.
Length of Time Matters
Many people erroneously believe they need to be disabled and out of work for 12 months to qualify. But this is not the case. Your disability must be expected to, or has lasted longer than twelve months; it does not have to do with how long you are out of work. So do not quit work to receive disability benefits prematurely, as it may cause undue financial burdens. Although, it may be recommended that you are unemployed for a couple of months before applying.
Make Sure You Are Protected
Before your resign from your job, check your benefits package. Make sure that you will still be able to collect any paid time off, such as vacations and personal days. Also, see if you have the option to continue your health insurance, possibly through COBRA. If not, you may want to consider applying through The Maryland Health Exchange. If you are injured, you will need to continue medical treatment, as this is supported evidence for your case, and more importantly, will help alleviate symptoms.
So if you are left wondering if you need to quit work to receive disability benefits, contact the experts at Disability Support Services. We vow to work with you throughout the entire application process. Contact us today to make an appointment.