I was approved for SSDI for 18 months, and have a review in a few months.
If I take some classes for a certificate program, will they deem I am able to work and cancel my benefits?
It's only one semester, and will be an all day saturday class, and 2 hours on monday and weds. One semester only, which is about 3 months.
I don't want to risk losing my benefits, as I truly am not able to work at this point. I hope to in the future, if my surgeries improve my condition, but at this point, I cannot.
Taking a class does not, by itself, disqualify you from receiving your benefits. It is a factor that SSA will consider because, assuming you are successful, you are demonstrating the capacity to concentrate and remain on task. However, the class you are describing sounds like 12 hours per week plus home study time which won't come close to equating to a full-time job.
The other way they will consider this class is that you may be qualified for new work that is maybe less exertionally demanding.
Attending classes has nothing to do with your being able to perform what Social Security calls "substantial gainful activity". The problems I see in these cases depend on whether your attending an all-day class conflicts with the reason you are disabled. For instance, if a person was found disabled because they cannot even do sedentary work which involves sitting for about six hours out of an eight hour workday, and then that person demonstrates the ability to sit all day in a classroom, it may look to Social Security like that person would no longer be disabled. This is usually also a problem where people have been found to be disabled due to mental impairments where they cannot concentrate and then they are able to get good grades in school which seems inconsistent. Therefore, a lot of it depends on why you are found to be disabled and if that conflicts with what you're doing at school.
Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is only an opinion of the author as to current law. You should consult an attorney with questions about your particular situation.
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