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Applicants for Social Security disability benefits currently face an average 17-month wait from the date of their initial application until their hearing with an administrative law judge. Over the course of this agonizing wait, many claimants will feel financial pressure to return to work in some capacity. Current regulations permit claimants to explore different ways to work despite their impairments. Claimants can currently earn less than $1,040 per month and still technically qualify for disability. Claimants could alternatively earn more than this monthly amount without losing their eligibility as long as their work qualifies as an "unsuccessful work attempt," which is work that lasts no more than six months and ends because of the claimant’s impairments.

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