Forbes recently featured an interesting article by the co-founder and chief operating officer of a staffing company that focuses on recruiting people with disabilities. In the article, the woman said her eyes were recently opened to a scary reality for people with disabilities: It becomes difficult to qualify for disability benefits if the benefits have been turned down in the past.
The author told the story of a disabled woman whose sister deperately contated the staffing company because the disabled sister and her family were on the brink of homelessness. The disabled sister had been raised to work just as hard as her able-bodied siblings and she had routinely turned down government services for people with disabilities. She was now finding it very difficult to qualify for benefits because she had never needed them in the past.
The author of the article said that many disabled individuals are faced with a similar gamble. If they choose to work despite their disabling conditions and turn down government benefits, they often find it very difficult to qualify for benefits down the road if they end up needing them.
Luckily, the author said that the disabled woman whose sister contacted her company could still work and was a shoe-in for a job order that matched the woman's skill set. But others might not be as lucky.
As you can see, this is an issue that people with disabilities and their families need to consider when deciding whether to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. In cases where benefits are denied because an applicant appears to have maintained a career despite the disability, an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer may be of assistance.
Source: Forbes, "A Scary Reality For People With Disabilities," Judy Owen, July 17, 2013