Posted by Louis B. Lusk
Many people today are self-employed, whether by choice or because they cannot find other work. If you are a self-employed and becomes disabled, the question of whether you can obtain disability benefits can be complex. You may well find that it is in your best interests to consult with an Atlanta Social Security disability attorney.
When evaluating whether a claimant is disabled under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines, the five-step Sequential Evaluation Process is used. In essence, this process determines whether you can perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you do not meet the criteria under SGA, you will not qualify no matter how impaired your injury has left you.
It is easier to make this determination when the claimant is working for someone else. The SSA uses a mathematical calculation and usually will compare your work earnings after deductions with their guidelines. Being self-employed makes the matter of determining whether you are sufficiently disabled more difficult. Indeed, as your Atlanta Social Security disability attorney will tell you, self-employed claimants tend to be viewed with suspicion.
When the SSA reviews your application, the claims evaluator will consider your activities and their value to the business. Your income alone is not sufficient for determining SGA. This is because many factors can influence income, including capital investments, the stock market, work contributions of other employees, and distribution of profits.
Your work contributions may be financially beneficial to growth within the company, or may be overhead, depending upon the nature of your work. Moreover, you may simply be drawing an income because you made a significant capital investment in the business when it was created. If you have not been performing work that meets the definition of a substantial gainful activity, therefore, it may not be taken into consideration, and your claim may be denied.
If you are self-employed and become disabled, you may be able to collect disability. Call an Atlanta Social Security disability attorney today at the Law Office of Louis B. Lusk: (404) 250-7000.