Many people across Pennsylvania work hard for years -- often decades -- before they ever feel a disability-related need to call upon assistance for necessary living expenses.
And that need is almost without exception dire.
Moreover, and notwithstanding the argument of some Social Security Disability critics that the program is a government hand out, people who seek help by applying for SSD benefits can only do so when they are eligible, with eligibility being pegged to a demonstrated work history. And that history must demonstrate payments made to the government over a lengthy period through taxes withheld from earned wages.
Getting to that point is not easy for many applicants. And when they do meet every threshold SSD requirement and submit their disability application, they enter a universe that is generally marked by long waits, an initial denial, a subsequent reappraisal and, sometimes, an appeal.
The point: Every SSD applicant who ultimately qualifies for benefits -- often doing so through the focused and aggressive efforts of a proven disability attorney -- knows that securing them took considerable time and effort.
It is thus understandable that a benefit recipient thinks about the possibility of losing disability benefits when he or she feels well enough to pursue employment at some limited level that will not unduly interfere with a disabling illness or condition.
Can a disabled person collecting SSD benefits work without jeopardizing or losing outright disability payments?
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is qualified and dependent on the facts in a specific case. One government program that might be of interest to SSD recipients contemplating a return to the work force to some extent is the Social Security Ticket to Work Program.
The program's requirements are myriad and, some people might find, a bit complex. Questions or concerns regarding Ticket to Work might reasonably be addressed to an experienced SSD attorney, who can also discuss the implications that returning to work might have on existing disability payments.