We discussed the importance of the disability onset date in the previous post. If you have not read that post first I suggest you do, so this one makes more sense. These two posts are closely related and have an impact on each other. If you recall we mentioned your disability onset date cannot pre-date any work that a claimant has completed. If you can work you are not disabled. However we mentioned the possibility of having an onset date that pre-dates some type of unsuccessful work effort. This is allowed according to the social security administration (SSA).
This post only applies when you have worked after setting your disability onset date. Here are some general rules that will put you in the right direction in starting you research. While this post is designed to give you a limited working knowledge on the subject, there is relatively no substitute for putting your case in the hands of a qualified social security disability lawyer.
For your work to meet the definition of an unsuccessful work effort there must be an interruption in your previous work. Any one of the following would qualify as an interruption: the work you did was reduced below the substantial gainful activity (SGA), you are absent from work 30 consecutive days, or you are forced to change to another employer or another line of work. You must meet one of these requirements listed above. Once you do there is another set of rules depending on the length of the work you completed.
For work that lasts three months or less your work must end or be reduced below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) directly as a result of your impairment or indirectly due to your impairment. Your impairment indirectly affects your job if special conditions are removed as a result of the impairment that makes your job impossible to continue. Either way your impairment must be the cause. If your work is less than three months, you only need to prove either of these reasons.
However if your work lasts longer than three months and shorter than six months you need to prove either of the to reasons mentioned above as well as the following: the work must have been done during period of remission of your impairment, your work must have been unsatisfactory due to your impairment, there must have been special conditions, or there had to have been frequent absence from work as a result of the impairment.
These are the only two classifications, less than three months and three to six months. So what about everything else? The social security administration (SSA) classifies any work lasting longer than six months that is at or above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) as a successful work attempt. If this is your situation, then your disability onset date cannot pre-date your work attempt. However, look at the requirements listed above. It needs to be six consecutive months of successful work. It is possible to have several small unsuccessful work attempts over a long period of time. It is important to be able to track and provide your social security disability lawyer with your employment history. Days and weeks can end up having a huge impact in the amount of benefits you could receive for you SSDI claim.
While there is much more to discuss, this should be a good place to start your inquiry.