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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) -New Rule Changes to Unsuccessful Work Attempt Regs

Often Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants try to return to work while applying for Social Security Disability or appealing the denial of their disability claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has rules and regulations defining how those attempts should be treated in regards to the ultimate decision on a claim for disability. The SSA has recently revised the rule on Unsuccessful Work Attempts (UWA) for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. The rule was published on October 17, 2016 taking effect on November 16, 2016.

The rule amended 20 CFR § 404.1574(c), 404.1575(c), 416.974(c), and 416.975(d) removing additional criteria for evaluating UWAs that last between three and six months. The old rule differentiated between UWAs lasting up to three months and those lasting up to six months. Under the new rule, the previous and current standard for work attempts of under three months will apply to all work attempts lasting six months or less. A pertinent summary of the final rule states:

Ordinarily, work you have done will not show that you are able to do substantial gainful activity if, after you work for a period of six months or less, your impairment forced you to stop working or to reduce the amount of work you do so that your earnings from such work fall below the substantial gainful activity earnings level.

The substantial gainful activity (SGA) earnings level is determined by the Social Security Administration and a chart can be found here.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website.

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