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Can I go to school and still get SSDI benefits?

Is it OK to go to school either before I get social Security Disability Benefits or after? Or is that something that can disqualify me from getting SSDI benefits or cause the SSA to take them away?

 
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Editor's Response

Yes, it is OK to go to school.  The Social Security Administration does not have a policy that prevents SSDI recipients from going to school.  Nor does going to school, full or part time, mean that someone is not eligible to apply for SSDI benefits.  Certainly, a person can meet the SSA's definition of 'disabled' but still be able to go to, and excel at, school.
 
The bottom line on this is whether an activity is inconsistent with your status as a disabled individual.  In other words, if you decide to go to a trade school to learn to be an electrician, for example, and are required to go to school 6 hours a day and perform physical activities, like climbing ladders, then it might be reasonable for the Social Security Administration to wonder, either at application or at review, why you can't work.  However, if you are attending a few classes a week in an environment that caters to your disabled status, there is not likely to be an issue. 
 
The only time you might be cautious about this issue is when your claim is based on mental impairment, such as depression.  In that case, I would discuss your unique situation with an attorney who practices in this area of the law.  I am not suggesting that people in this situation cannot go to school, but your attorney may suggest, either when applying or when your claim is being re-evaluated, that you not publicize your status as a student.  Good luck.

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