Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. Working at all, even from home, usually complicates Social Security disability and Long Term Disability claims, at the very least. At the worst, it may cause you to be denied for both types of benefits. When you get right down to it, though, it's going to depend on 1) what your old job was, 2) how much you used to make, 3) how old you are, 4) what you'd be doing at home, 5) how many hours you'd be spending working at home, 6) how much you'd be making working at home, 7) other household income, and 8) the terms of your LTD benefit plan.
You're right to be confused - this is a very confusing issue. I recommend filing your claims and seeing if you're approved quickly for LTD and/or Social Security disability benefits. If so, you may not need to work, which would be better for your claims. If not, then you should speak to an attorney, preferably one who can help you on both the LTD and the SSDI, and he or she can help answer your questions about working from home, based on your particular circumstances.
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I agree with Mr. Boreleon. You cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and still collect disability. SGA is usually grossing more than $1,100.00 in a month. Also, if you have not yet won your disability, any type of work can defeat that claim especially if you self-limit your hours so you are not automatically disqualifed under the gross income rules. The LTD carrier may have its own rules you would need to look at the policy and what it says about OTHER WORK.
This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.
Working from home is treated the same as working outside the home. It depends on the amount you make and whether or not you are limited by your conditions. If you are voluntarily holding back, your chances will definitely decrease.
Talk to a qualified lawyer about your options before you go any further. There are many good lawyers on Avvo or you can find one through www.nosscr.org.
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I agree with my colleagues that any type of employment would complicate the Social Security case even if it is part time; this does not even address the LTD claim, which may have its own set of rules. SS Judges hear it all the time that the person has been without an income for an extended period of time. My suggestion is that you file the LTD claim as soon as you can and start the SS process at the same time. Best of luck to you.
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It will not affect your case if you work part time so long as you don't earn greater than the amount the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers "substantial gainful activity", which I believe is over $1,000 a month. Check with the SSA to make sure what the amount is. The SSA looks at you working as you being motivated to try and help yourself, which should help your credibility with the Administrative Law Judge should your case have to be decided at a hearing.
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