Hi. I receive SSDI due to depression and PTSD. I have a difficult time working at close quarters with people (anxiety), so I've worked mostly part-time work after nothing came through full-time working with Voc Rehab. I have learned that if I can create structure and have some "breathing room" to unwind, I can work a bit more.
I was working at a job that required me to go to a store and rotate and stock products. I was able to get a second job that I would go to after the first. The first job took about an hour; we were required to go back and redo the stocking in the afternoon. From previous employment, I know that mileage between work sites can be deducted. Apparently, I made a bit over SGA; I received an overpayment notice. I went in and tried to explain to the representative that I had structured my employment in such a way that I could work more hours, but I had to use more than one job to accommodate my symptoms. Also, the employer at times requested I stock at a second store, but they didn't pay me mileage. They did tell me to "stay on the clock" during my travel between stores (and I believe that is correct, as I was under the direction of one employer), but I should still be able to deduct the mileage for using my personal vehicle for business. When I tried to explain that I should be able to deduct mileage from my income, the SSA rep either didn't understand what I was trying to say or disagreed.
I also have exacerbations depending on stress levels; the second job was one that I could work but I was not committed to being there every day. This worked for me, too, as I would not have the problems of calling in and probably eventually losing a "regular" job. Besides the mileage issue, I was reading that if your earnings are not steady but sort of zig-zag because of your condition, they are supposed to average it out over the year (I read this in an appeals case. I had 4-5 months that were a bit over SGA, but the rest were pretty low...about $350.
I don't care whether they look at the mileage as IRWE or as employee business expense (and they even mention using form 2106 to record IRWE expenses), but when I traveled from work site to work site, I should be able to deduct mileage as a "regular" person can or as a tool/accommodation that is helping me work more-I want to go back to a more "normal" schedule, but I am having to do this in a step-wise fashion to build up more emotional stamina and practice things from therapy. Is there a way to communicate this more clearly to them? Thank you
Social Security Handbook