Is The Fact That My Sister-In-Law's Employment Lasted For More Than 6 Months Automatically Disqualifying?

May 2 2019 - 9:48pm

Hi Jerry,

Fantastic reply to an earlier question I asked regarding my 54 yo sister-in-law who is applying for SSDI/DCA as a result of her IDD condition. The links you provided were very helpful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!

Just one follow-up question. I do believe I have sufficient evidence to make a very strong argument that the only reason my sister-in-law's work could have met the SGA standard for success for the few years that it did, was through special conditions. NOTE: we are talking 25-30 years ago where her highest year of earnings was in 1986 when she earned $8784 dollars for the year. Some of the evidence I have includes a full-scale psychological evaluation where the Dr. reasoned that her disability was such that he found my sister-in-law "Permanently Unemployable." The problem is that she was always part time and although I seemingly can prove that the employer at the time did put a lower employment standard in place in an attempt to help my sister-in-law stay on the payroll, her work lasted more than three years. Although her hours were cut in a further attempt to help her, the standards eventually could not be lowered enough to keep her, thus she was fired.

That brings me to the follow-up the few years that her employment met or exceeded the SGA, it was always part time, but it lasted beyond the six months. So does that automatically/unequivocally disqualify her?


Hi Zane,

No, the fact that your sister-in-law's employment lasted longer than 6 months doesn't automatically disqualify her, but it likely rules out the possibility that her substantial gainful activity (SGA) could be disregarded as an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA). However, a UWA is only one of the possible ways that earnings above SGA level can be disregarded. If it can be established that your sister-in-law's work was not actually worth more than the applicable SGA level due to special circumstances involved with her employment, then it wouldn't be necessary to also meet the UWA criteria.

Best, Jerry