Most who file for SSD are unable to work, but there is no regulation that prohibits a claimant from filing while continuing to work. There are, however, rules that are to be followed in the manner in which certain items typically included in a claimant’s total compensation are calculated for purposes of disability.

Proof of Income

Claimants are required to submit copies of pay stubs to Social Security. If these are not available, it may be necessary for the claimant’s employer to provide verification of earnings.

Items Other Than Regular Pay

Bonuses and overtime, although not necessarily paid on a regular basis, are to be included when calculating income. However, categories such as sick pay or vacation pay are appropriately deducted from the claimant’s gross earnings. As an SSD attorney Westchester will explain, it is the income from work actually performed that is of interest to Social Security.

Impairment-related Deductions

If an SSD claimant finds it necessary to incur certain expenses directly caused by his or her impairment to enable the continuation of work, these may be deducted from the claimant’s gross income. Some examples include transportation to and from work, personal care, or equipment to enable job performance.


The Social Security Administration understands there may be circumstances under which an individual is unable to perform the full functions of a job yet are nonetheless paid a full salary for that role. Most typically found where a SSD claimant is employed by a relative or close friend, the SSA will look to the true value of the work instead of the paycheck in an effort to determine an accurate gross earnings number for the claimant.

Average Earnings

Social Security utilizes what is called a Substantial Gainful Activity amount as a tool to measure a claimant’s ability to work. Even if some months’ earnings exceed the SGA, the overall total of the average over the period in question will be the critical factor.

Contact an SSD Attorney Westchester for Legal Advice

It is important to fully understand the complexity of the disability process and realize a denial is not necessarily the end of the road. For any questions or concerns, call Hermann Law Group, PLLC, an SSD attorney Westchester, at (914) 286-3030.