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The 40 Hour Rule
Posted in: Social Security Disability on August 10th, 2011

Social Security Disability Insurance is in trouble – the program has been underwater insofar as revenues have been concerned since 2005.  This means that soon the program is expected to run out of money, which could cause no end of problems for disabled individuals and their families.

disability and workingWhat Can Be Done?

One of the most hotly contested aspects of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance is that it judges a person’s ability to work for a 40 hour week at federal minimum wage, which is currently at 7.25 an hour.  What this does not take into consideration is that many people earn more than this rate an hour, for both skilled and unskilled labor.  A commonly heard line at disability appeals hearings is that the applicant is “able to work, just not for 40 hours a week.”

Many people are beginning to question the validity of judging a person disabled based on a 40-hour workweek at minimum wage.  If the slated changes are approved, the barometer could change from 40 hours a week to something more along the lines of 20 hours, and judges who make decisions on Social Security Disability Insurance would be able to consider an applicant ineligible based on individual wages rather than the national minimum wage.  For example, if one applicant makes 10 dollars an hour and can work 20 hours a week, that would put him at an income level of 600 dollars of income a month, which would either render him ineligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or simply get a lower payment.

Nobody likes it when it becomes more difficult to get disability benefits, but with Social Security Disability Insurance running out of money fast, drastic measures may have to be taken.

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