Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Passive Income

You can receive Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits and still receive income from other sources. If the income is passive, such as money from investments, there are no limits to how much you can receive. There are limits only if the income is from your work activity. 

SSD benefits are often held up because the Social Security Administration believes claimants are working. If a claimant explains that income is from rental property, the SSA requires a hearing to take sworn testimony that the claimant is not doing any physical work for the property. If a claimant explains that income is from their former business, then SSA will want letters from former suppliers that the claimant no longer works there, or proof of the business being closed. 

I represent a 55 year old lab technician with cervical and lumbar radiculopathy and carpal tunnel syndrome whose SSD benefits were held up because of “earnings” after her disability onset. The amount of the “earnings” greatly exceeded substantial gainful activity limits. The source of the earnings was an insurance company, which we were able to show represented benefits paid under a group disability plan through work. This shows that as long as the income was passive, a claimant is entitled to SSD benefits regardless of the amount of the passive income.

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