Just because you worked after the date you said you became disabled does not automatically mean that you cannot get Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. An unsuccessful work attempt (“UWA”) is one way that you can receive SSD benefits even if you have worked after your disability began.
I represent a 50 year old motor equipment operator with back problems whose SSD application was approved today without a hearing. The claimant stopped working on May 24, 2012. However, the claimant did try to resume working in March and April of this year, but had to stop when working exacerbated his symptoms.
If you worked for less than three months because of your medical impairment, the work effort can be treated as an UWA. Your impairment may have caused you to leave because you couldn't do the work, your doctor's restrictions wouldn't allow you to do the work, or the removal of special conditions, known as accommodations, were removed. Examples of accommodations include: assistance from other employees; special equipment; modified work schedule; to work irregular hours; extra breaks; and so.
Because the claimant stopped working within three months for the reasons set forth above, his UWA did not stop him from receiving any SSD benefits. Had he worked between 6 and 9 months, then the requirements for qualifying as an UWA would be more restrictive.