TN 8 (05-99)
DI 10501.005 Advice to Individual Regarding Work
A. Procedure - General
If an inquiry is received regarding the effect of current or contemplated work on disability status, contact the individual personally or by telephone, when feasible, to ensure a more adequate exchange of information than could be obtained by mail. Do not express an opinion as to whether particular facts indicate the demonstrated ability to engage in SGA, but explain the criteria by which the work will be evaluated.
B. Procedure - Advice regarding filing
When a person who is working requests advice regarding filing a disability claim, suggest immediate filing when there is any reasonable possibility of eligibility. If it is obvious that the individual cannot qualify because he or she is currently engaged in work which unquestionably constitutes SGA, and there is no possibility that the individual was disabled for at least 12 months, explain the requirements fully and leave the decision on whether to file up to the individual.
C. Procedure - Prospective cessation of work activity
A person may request advice as to what the effect would be if he or she were to stop working or were to reduce the amount of work activity. Inform the individual that past work will not prevent a finding of subsequent inability to engage in SGA if he or she establishes that cessation of work, or its reduction below the level of SGA, was primarily due to the impairment or the removal of special conditions related to the impairment that are essential to the further performance of work.
NOTE: When a beneficiary alleges blindness, always verify that the beneficiary has been determined to be statutorily blind before discussing work provisions for people who are blind.