Disability Hearing with ALJ on April 10th Question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by srobins, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. srobins

    srobins New Member

    My disability hearing with the ALJ is 10 days away! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nervous! Here is my question. Has anyone on here been self-employed and received SSDI? Here's my story (sorry if it is kind of long):

    I worked full-time at a corporate job until August of 2002. At this time, I quit my full-time job to work only my Mary Kay business. The last few months at my full-time job I had to decrease my hours due to my health getting worse.

    In 2003, I worked approximately 16 hours a week and I was a Mary Kay Sales Director. I was unable to keep my position due to not being able to work a full-time schedule which is necessary for a MK Sales Director. In September 2003, two months after debuting as a Sales Director, I had a major flare up and was in bed for months. I tried to hold onto my position and MK worked with me, but I had very few months that I was making my required sales production. So, in December of 2004, I had to resign and from 12/04 through 11/05, I was only a consultant and servicing my existing customer base. I was no longer holding selling appointments. In 2004, I worked approx. 9.86 hours a week, in 2005 an average of 1.58 hours per week.

    When I filed for disability back in December of 2003, I had told the SSDI interviewer that I considered myself disabled as of September 2003, because this is when I had a major flare up and was in bed for months. But the SSDI interviewer said that since I quit my job in 2002 to work at a reduced schedule that the August 2002 date would be used to start my disability.

    I told her when I first got on the phone that I was self-employed and she asked me how much I made, according to my 1040, and I told her. She said I could apply - I had not made over $800.00 a month after expenses and I would be okay.

    So back in September of 2005, the ALJ was reveiwing my file and wanted to see my tax records. I faxed everything and my lawyer called me very upset. She said, "You sold and earned in commissions over $28,000 the one year, $17,000 was your earnings the next year, and then $12,000 the following. There is no way you are going to be approved". She acted as if I had misled her and I did not. I was just going by what SSDI told me.

    I also explained to her that as a first year sales director, I should have made $40,000 plus, in addition to my sales had I been able to work. She still acted as though I had misled her. She is not hopeful of me getting a favorable decision because of this. I had called the SSA and talked to someone there and they told me that it did not matter how much product I sold - they would only go by what is on the tax returns and how many hours per week I worked. Another lawyer told me the same thing. I told this to my attorney and she said that that's not true. So I am really concerned about my outcome.

    Has anyone on here had any experience with being self-employed and going through the disablity process?

    I tried to continue working as long as I could, and I hope that this does not work against me. I think the fact that I continued to try and find some type of work that I could do should be in my favor, but I don't know.

    The reasons I filed for SSDI: CFS, FM, Interstitial Cystitis, Migraines, IBS, Tarsel Tunnel


    [This Message was Edited on 03/31/2006]
  2. deb06

    deb06 New Member

    You lawyer makes no sense to me. They go by not your gross earnings, but what you actually made after all your write-offs etc.

    I was self-employed for 2 years after stopping my dental assisting job. It caused much trouble in my case. I thought it would help me and show that I tried to work as long as I could. It is very subjective and can be used in many ways to use against you by a judge that really wants to.

    Even if you don't qualify for SSDI, you can still qualify for benefits.

    I did make money, but came out a loss on my taxes so I was considered disabled ultimately during the time I was self employed. Didn't matter because I lost the case anyway.

    You may have to look into a different lawyer that will support you and your situation.

    Luv, deb
  3. srobins

    srobins New Member

    So you did you lose your case at the ALJ level, or the other stages?
  4. srobins

    srobins New Member

    to get more info! Thanks!