Three Ways Going to School Affects Social Security Disability


The Social Security Administration wants to help people get on with their lives and try to find a way to make a living. Going back to school is a logical step. However, going back to college or a trade school can cause problems in disability cases.

Social Security Disability (SSD) provides benefits to people who can no longer work as a result of a disability. In general, to be eligible for SSD benefits, an individual must be both medically and financially eligible. In other words, you must be physically unable to work and unable to support yourself while out of work.

Here are three ways going to school could result in Social Security stopping your disability benefits:

  1. If going to school is inconsistent with your disability

If you have PTSD, social anxiety disorder, or another condition, how are you managing with the social requirements of going to school? This is not an insurmountable question, but Social Security will consider it, and you need to have an answer. Often times, such students turn to online classes or take fewer classes.

  1. If the school activity is comparable to work

If classes, labs, homework and studying take up around 30 to 40 hours per week, then Social Security may see this as showing the ability to do full-time work. That could easily cause Social Security to stop your disability benefits!

  1. If the degree you’re pursuing is inconsistent with your disability

Ask yourself, “what jobs can I do with my degree?”

If the jobs are inconsistent with your current disability, how are you going to explain to Social Security why you are pursuing training in that area?

For example, if you have a seizure disorder and are training to be an electrician, Social Security may wonder how you are planning to deal with the possibility of losing consciousness while working around live wires? The result may be that Social Security may infer that the seizure disorder may not be disabling considering your educational goals, and deny your case.

Of course, not every degree program or retraining is inconsistent with a disability claim.

Going to school while pursuing a Social Security disability case brings a unique set of potential traps for the unwary. Whether this keeps you from winning your case often depends on how well you understand the potential risks and the documentation you have prepared to resolve potential problems.

The Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is here to help you decide when to apply for Social Security and/or how to navigate the application process. Our experienced Social Security attorneys provide our clients with one-on-one, personalized representation to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have been denied Social Security benefits or believe you have been wrongfully terminated by the SSA, contact us today for a free consultation. Our highly skilled and successful team of legal professionals will improve your chances of winning disability benefits.

Don’t fight this stressful situation on your own. Filing for Social Security benefits is a time-sensitive process, so do not delay in calling us today at 1-866-460-1990.