During a continuing disability review or other investigation, Social Security is looking for evidence of work or work-like activity. So for example, if an individual had no income but was volunteering 40+ hours per week at the animal shelter, Social Security likely would view that as work-like activity and then question why the individual cannot sustain competitive employment. Thus, it does not matter if one is doing the work-like activity for a paycheck or just for fun. Highly accommodated work or work-like activity is not sustaining competitive employment. In a meeting with Social Security an individual should first and foremost tell the truth, however, one should not volunteer information beyond the specific question asked, individuals tend to say too much rather than too little. If asked about the work-like activity, one should emphasize all the special accommodations one grants to oneself to allow the completion of these tasks - for example, if accurate, one should indicate - no set hours (I do it when I feel up to it), breaks whenever needed and way more than one rest break every 4 fours and one 30 minute lunch each 8 hours, no interaction with the public, co-workers or supervisors, no lifting more than 3 pounds, etc. etc. etc.
If one receives a notice of an overpayment or actual continuing disability review, one probably should:
1) Get an attorney, one could contact one's local Legal Aid Services organization, state Veterans' Services agency, local or stat bar association, or NOSSCR at:
NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service: For help in finding attorney representation, contact their lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours: 800-431-2804
Most Social Security attorneys will offer a no cost initial consultation of 30 minutes or so.
2) Contest any notice of overpayment right away and ask for continuing benefits while contesting the notice of overpayment (you may have only ten days to ask for continuing benefts so do not delay!)
Good luck to you.
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, then you may have to go on your own with your payee. Even if you have made a few dollars selling pictures you may not have a problem as long as you are still clearly disabled and you have not made more than $1,000 a month. Of course, it would be best to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one at least consult an attorney, it may ve worthwhile.
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.