Can I Work & Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must comply with strict rules regarding your employment. Generally speaking, you cannot work while receiving Social Security disabilitybut there are some exceptions.
As of 2021, you can earn up to $1,310 per month and still receive SSDI benefits.
There is no limit to unearned income, such as your spouses earnings, inheritances, gifts, etc. associated with SSDI. Understanding your options and your rights can help you avoid a mistake that could cost you your benefits. Since 1922, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC has served the hard-working people of Pennsylvania, fighting for the fair treatment and benefits they deserve when they are disabled and cannot work. Federal and state benefit programs are in place to help those who cannot support themselves, and our attorneys believe in upholding the principles upon which SSDI and SSI were founded.
To find out how we can help you, call .
Can I Get Disability Insurance If I Go To A Drug Rehabilitation Facility Recommended By My Licensed Health Professional
You may qualify for up to 45 days of Disability Insurance benefits if you live at a licensed health professional-approved drug-free residential rehabilitation facility. The facility must be licensed and certified by the state in which the facility is located.
An additional 45 days may be paid if you remain a resident of the facility and your licensed health professional continues to certify to your need for continuing residential services.
Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you do not have a qualifying disability.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
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How To Lose Ssdi Benefits
The commonest reason why the SSA would stop a persons Social Security Disability payments is because the recipient has gone back to work, even though this isnt always the case. If you go back to your normal job when in receipt of SSDI benefits the SSA will decide if you are taking part in substantial gainful activity .
The key factor in deciding if work is considered to be SGA is the amount someone is paid. In 2020, somebody is typically considered to be engaging in SGA if his/her earnings exceed $1,260 or $2,110 for someone who is blind.
For example, if you are earning $200 weekly in a part-time job, you are not working above the SGA limit. If you are spending a lot of time at work but what you are doing constitute SGA despite the earnings being below the SGA threshold you could have your SSDI stopped.
However, if you are working and make over SGA you can be entered into a trial work period. This period allows somebody who is receiving SSDI benefits to try to go back to work without being told they will lose their SSDI eligibility.
In the majority of cases, you should be able to work for up to 9 months during a trial work period and you will still continue to receive your SSDI regardless of the amount you are earning. When the trial work period comes to an end and you are still taking part in a job earning above the SGA level the SSA is likely to decide you are no longer disabled so your Social Security Disability payments will stop.
How Much Money Can You Make On Social Security Disability
Using the above information, we can now summarize to answer this question. You can make up to $970 per month on an ongoing basis without worrying about losing your disability benefits. However, you can make over this amount for nine months in a rolling 60 month period in what is considered a trial work period.
But dont forget about SSI. Suppose you also receive SSI or regular Social Security Retirement income. In that case, those amounts count as income unless youre blind, so you should subtract those amounts from the $970/mo or $1350/mo, depending on your disability income earning strategy. This allows you to determine how much work income you can make without threatening your benefits.
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Ssa Trial Work Period
The Social Security Administration permits you to attempt to return to work with its trial work period. This program allows you to work for nine months in a five-year period while continuing to receive your full benefit. Your nine months do not have to be consecutive and months when you earn less than the threshold amount. The SSA will reevaluate your claim and stop your benefits if you average more than SGA in the nine applicable months. In the first three years after successfully completing a trial work period, you can still receive your disability check if your income falls below the SGA.
How Much Can I Earn Before My Disability Benefits Are Affected
According to North Carolina statistics, more than 30% of North Carolinians living with disabilities are also working. If you are a disabled worker, your SSD benefits will be decreased according to your income. SSA administrators do not make these deductions for the first $65 you earn. After that initial $65, one dollar will be deducted for every two dollars you earn.
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Substantial Gainful Activity & Disability Benefits
As mentioned above, eligibility for SSI and SSDI is based on your inability to work. This is specifically defined by the SSA as a substantial gainful activity, or SGA. Earning more than a certain amount of money is deemed engaging in a substantial gainful activity, which would make one ineligible for benefits. As of 2020, the substantial gainful activity limit is $1,260 per month for disabled applicants.
If you earn more than that, you may not be eligible for SSDI. There is no limit on unearned income.
You Are Attempting A Return To Full
Returning to work, even full-time, does not necessarily mean that disability benefits will be denied. This is a somewhat complicated area of Social Security disability law, but Social Security will permit you to work at “substantial” levels for up to nine months before questioning whether or not your benefits should end. This is called the Trial Work Period.
If you have already worke d f ull-time for nine months, or you are quite certain that your condition has improved to the point that you will be able to work on a regular basis, it still may be possible to obtain disability benefits, as long as your disabling impairment prevented you from working for at least a 12-month period prior to returning to work. This is called a “closed period” of disability.
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What Are Social Security Work Incentives / Trial Work Period
If a sudden or suddenly worsening condition led to your disability, then applying for disability benefits may have seemed your only or best option at the time. However, once youve become accustomed to your disability and have had an opportunity to explore other options, it may look like you can return to work.
With that said, many people are afraid that they may not be able to make an adequate income, so they dont attempt to do it despite wanting to work. What if they lose their benefits and cant get them back? Thats a valid fear.
For this reason, SSA has created an incentive for you to try to work after you start receiving benefits. Its called the trial work period. During this time, you may earn income and receive benefits, as you test your ability to make more income through working versus receiving benefits.
You can complete a trial work period for up to nine consecutive or non-consecutive months over a rolling 60-month timeframe before youre considered to not have a disability requiring benefits. In any of these work months, if you exceed $970 , then it counts toward the nine months in 5 years.
In other words, even though a non-blind person with a disability can earn $1350 in additional income from gainful employment and stay on disability, you shouldnt expect that youll be allowed to reach this limit every month. For all but nine months in 60 months, the actual limit is $970.
Can You Get Approved For Disability While Working
It is possible to be approved for disability while you are working. However, if the SSA determines that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity earning over the income limit then your disability claim may be denied.
Social Security rules on working while applying for disability or awaiting a determination are complex. Generally, if you plan to apply for Social Security, you should quit your job. While you may still qualify for disability benefits while working, the SSA might deny your disability application on the basis that you are not disabled.
There are many things to take into consideration before you file for SSD benefits. A skilled disability benefits lawyer can work with you to help you determine whether you may be eligible for SSDI and/or SSI benefits.
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Contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick For Help
If you wish to try and return to work while still receiving long-term disability benefits, it may be beneficial to seek the help of an LTD attorney. Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatricks attorneys have experience handling such cases and can evaluate your policy to ensure you are proceeding within the bounds of your plan. If you are appealing a loss of benefits, our team can help you fight back. Our lawyers have over 33 years of combined experience working with long-term disability law and are available to assist you with your case as you try to return to work. You can contact our team for a complimentary consultation at 800-544-9144 or by reaching out online.
Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
One of the basic requirements for getting approved for disability benefits is that your medical condition is so severe it prevents you from performing a substantial amount of work. The Social Security Administration defines a substantial amount of work, which it calls substantial gainful activity , as earning $1,310 a month from working . Therefore, if you are earning this much from work when you apply for benefits, you will be denied.
However, once you get approved for SSI, the SSA no longer determines whether you are making over the SGA amount. But the SSA will reduce your SSI benefits if you are working by subtracting part of your income from your payment. If you go over the SSI income limit, the SSA will terminate your benefits. In general, though, the SSA encourages SSI recipients to try to go back to work and has created a number of work incentives that let a person work without losing their eligibility for benefits.
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Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.
In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.
I Work More Than One Job Will I Get Benefits That Cover All My Jobs
Yes. If all of your employers take State Disability Insurance out of your paychecks, your Disability Insurance benefits will reflect all jobs. This will be listed as CASDI on your paystubs. Report all employment on your application form when you apply by listing the name, address, telephone number, and last day you worked for each employer.
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Does Social Security Make Exceptions To The Sga Limit
Some argue that the monthly SGA earnings limit is an arbitrary amount with no real basis and is unfair, and to some extent that’s true. For instance, someone making the federal minimum wage can work 32 hours per week and have their earnings come under the SGA amount, while someone who makes significantly more can work only five hours per week without becoming ineligible for benefits.
In actuality, Social Security can look at things that affect the true “worth” of your work. If the value of your work is more or less than the dollar amount earned, Social Security might take this into account when it determines whether you’re doing SGA-level work activity.
Social Security claims representatives will investigate whether an individual is performing work activity that is actually worth what they are being paid. They will consider the fact that some employers will subsidize disabled employees’ work by paying them their full wage even though the employees are not performing up to the value of that wage because of their disability. For instance, if an employer considers an employee’s work to be worth half of the actual pay, then Social Security could just count half the amount of earnings toward the SGA determination.
What If Your Countable Income Goes Above The Ssi Income Limit
Supplemental Security Insurance pays out based on financial need and is not the same as SSDI, although overlap in those who qualify exists. SSI is for people who are:
But they also have little or no income or financial assets. We fund it through taxes, not someones income, so adults with disabilities who have never worked may qualify for it.
Its not intended to replace income, but to help a person cover the basics when they dont have the means to do so:
Your countable assets cant exceed $2000 for an individual or $3000 for a couple to get SSI. However, many assets are not counted like your:
- Primary residence
- Primary vehicle if you or a family member use it for transportation
The SSI countable income limit is the same as SSDI . However, if you are not blind, SSI and the Social Security you get at retirement age will count toward your income limit. Be sure to subtract these amounts to determine the upper limit for your monthly income from gainful employment.
You can use the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool on SSA.gov to determine what you or a loved one may qualify for SSDI, SSI or both.
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Programs That Provide Work Incentives
The SSA supports the activities of applicants who would like to go back to work. They support several programs that provide incentives that make it easier for people to keep their benefits as they begin to work. These programs include the Plan to Achieve Self-Support , Work Expenses for Blind People, and Impairment-related work Expenses .
PASS is a program that allows you to save part of your income to be used to pay for work-related items. Work Expenses for Blind People allows for those who are blind to exclude any and all expenses that relate to their job from their income. This enables them to receive a larger benefit amount because a lower amount is deducted from benefits based on their income.
Impairment Related Work Expenses are costs that you incur while doing your job because you are disabled. Some of these costs can be excluded from your countable income in order for you to receive a larger benefit amount.
How Has The Covid
Working people with disabilities experience disproportionate job loss, compared to workers without disabilities, during economic downturns,39 and SSI applications generally increase when the unemployment rate increases . This trend held during the Great Recession and subsequent economic recovery.40 One exception to the general trend is the period from 2003 to 2007, when SSI applications continued to rise despite falling unemployment.41 Possible explanations for this anomaly include factors such as the lagged effect of federal welfare reform leading TANF enrollees to switch to SSI and persistently high poverty rates.42 The same study also found that the likelihood of applying for SSI significantly increases during extended periods of high unemployment.43
Figure 7: Percent change in SSI Applications Filed by Adults Ages 18-64 and U.S. Unemployment Rates, 1991-2019
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Ner With Berger And Green On Your Disability Benefits Case
At Berger and Green, we customize a benefits strategy for each client. We can help you apply for benefits or challenge the SSAs decision if it denied your claim.
If your disability was caused by someone elses negligence in Pennsylvania, our team can explore the possibility of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit to seek additional damages. We also help Disability claimants in Ohio. To begin your free case review, call us today.
What Happens If The Dac Gets Married
If the child receives benefits as a DAC, the benefits generally end if they get married. However, some marriages are considered protected.
The rules vary depending on the situation. Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the benefits can continue.
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
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