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Does Driving for Uber or Lyft Impact My Disability Case?

Published on March 16th, 2020

For many people who are suffering from a disability straight from the Blue Book, they may still be able to make an income from driving for companies like Uber and Lyft to make ends meet. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s natural to wonder whether or not having an income from Uber or Lyft will have an impact on how the Social Security Administration views your ability to work. Here’s what you should know from our disability attorney in Illinois.

Self-Employment & SSI Benefits

Those who are self-employed and still wish to pursue Social Security disability benefits must consider the Social Security Administration (SSA) viewpoint of their situation. The SSA evaluates your work utilizing one of three approaches.

  • Significant Services & Income Test: There is a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount determined every year that is the cap of how much you can make on a monthly basis. For 2020, this amount is $1260. If you earn more than this amount through Uber or Lyft on a monthly basis, you won’t be eligible to receive benefits. In the case that you are not making this amount, the SSA will utilize two other tests to see if you qualify for benefits.
  • Comparability Test: According to SSA regulations, if your work activity in terms of hours, energy output, efficiency duties or responsibilities, is comparable to unimpaired individuals who are in the same or similar businesses, then your work is considered Substantial Gainful Activity. In this case, you are not able to receive benefits.
  • Countable Income Test: The SSA will calculate your net income (your gross income minus your business expenses) to determine how much money you would ultimately report to the IRS. The remaining figure is referred to as “countable income” and helps determine whether or not you’ve exceeded the Substantial Gainful Activity limits.

Key Takeaways

Even if you don’t earn more than the limit, it’s possible that your income from Uber or Lyft could be considered Substantial Gainful Activity. Because month-to-month earnings can alter so drastically, a judge may not see this as substantial evidence in your case. Seasonal demand, how hard an individual is willing to work and the weather are additional factors that come into play.

Navigating SSI and SSDI benefits can be tricky to tackle on your own, especially when self-employment is involved. Our disability attorney in Illinois is here to help you with your case! Take advantage of our free case evaluations today.

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