Can I Work While On Social Security Disability


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What We Mean By Disability

Can you work if you receive SSI disability payments?

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

We consider you to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:

  • You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
  • You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

Are There Sga Limit Exceptions To Social Security

Yes, there are SGA limit exceptions to social security. Every year, the SGA limits are recalibrated to match national trends in average wages. Some work incentives help those receiving SSDI or SSI exclusively to overcome these limitations.

Social Security may still find you disabled if you can only work part-time. However, if your regular work before applying for disability was part-time work and Social Security finds that you can still do this level of work, they may deny your claim.

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Working While Receiving Disability Benefits

To qualify for Social Security disability, a person will need to demonstrate that they are not currently working, or if they are working, they are earning less than what is considered substantial gainful activity . In 2022, SGA is defined as $1,350 per month, or $2,260 per month for a person who is blind. A person who receives disability benefits may work part-time or in a low-wage position, and if they earn less than the amount that is considered SGA, this will not affect the benefits they receive.

Any changes in a persons work should be reported to Social Security, including starting a new job, stopping work at a current job, or changes in hours, duties, or wages. Social Security also encourages those who receive benefits to return to work, and it offers some incentives to assist in the transition. These include employment networks, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and other organizations that offer education and job training, career planning, assistance with job placement, and other benefits.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Working With A Disability

How will working affect my disability benefits and health care coverage?

This is a complicated question and the answer varies by situation and individual. In order to address your specific concerns about how working will affect your disability benefits or health care coverage, we have Disability Resource Coordinators available in some of our One-Stop Career Centers around the state. All of our Disability Resource Coordinators are certified benefits counselors who can provide free benefits counseling and tell you about the Ticket to Work Program. Go to the Disability Employment Initiative , to locate a Disability Resource Coordinator near you.

What is the Ticket to Work Program?

Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary program that can help Social Security Beneficiaries go to work and become financially independent. Individuals ages 18-64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income may qualify for this program. To find out more about the Ticket to Work Program, go to the Disability Employment Initiative to contact a Disability Resource Coordinator.

Can I return to work while receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income ?

If I go to work, will I automatically lose my Medicare or Medicaid?

If I use my Ticket to go to work, will the Social Security Administration conduct a medical review of my case?

How can the local One Stop Career Center in my county assist me with the Ticket to Work Program?

How Many Hours Can You Work If You Are On Disability

Social Security Disability

Generally, the number of hours you can work will vary depending on your salary. You can earn no more than $1,350 gross each month for disability income payments in your name. Overall Household income levels affect only Social Security Insurance payments.

Disability benefits are not a gold mine. Living high on the hog is not possible on Social Security Disability benefits. Supplementing your benefit payments with earned income from a part-time job is a good option for many clients. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security

Email us or call us at 877-794-2396 to find out more about how you can supplement your Social Security Disability benefit payments with part-time work income. Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable, helpful, and highly skilled attorneys in your area.

Krasno, Krasno, & Onwudinjo is headquartered in Philadelphia. We advise, counsel and represent clients from 11 different offices throughout Pennsylvania.

Also Check: Social Security Disability Extra Benefits

How Long Do You Intend To Work

The last major factor into how work will affect your disability claim is how long you expect to keep working.

This affects applicants for disability differently from current recipients of disability:

  • Disability applicants who wish to return to work one day may choose to file for unemployment benefits.
  • Those who already receive disability may try to return to work. However, if you earn a certain amount of money and work for a certain amount of time, you may trigger a trial work period.

If I Cant Work Then How Do I Make Ends Meet

In YTD 2022, the SSA has reviewed an average of about 65,000 disability claims every month. With that many applicants, its very easy to have your claim thrown out on minor technicalities. Thats also why hiring a disability lawyer is a really good idea.

But I cant even afford my bills, how can I afford a lawyer? Good question. Fortunately, most Social Security disability attorneys work on a contingency basis. So, you dont pay anything out of pocket until they successfully settle your claim. Plus, studies show that people with representation are 3x more likely to get benefits.

But even more importantly in this circumstance, an attorney can also potentially shorten the time youll wait for your first payment. If youre not working and still need the money, you dont have time to waste on multiple appeals. The faster you settle your claim, the faster you can get back on track. And a skilled disability lawyer can help you do that!

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Working While Receiving Ssdi Benefits

Are There Any Exceptions?

Is it possible to work while receiving SSDI benefits? In some cases, yes. If you lose your case because you are working at the substantial gainful activity level, an experienced lawyer would know how to appeal your case and possibly win at the next appeals level.

Unsuccessful Work AttemptTrial Work PeriodExtended Period of Eligibility

Can You Work While Applying For Social Security Disability

Can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits?
  • Medical Conditions, Listed Impairments & SSDI
  • The Initial Application
  • Social Security Disability Approval Rates State by State
  • Hearing Appeals
  • How Much Money Does SSDI Pay Per Month?
  • When Do Disability Insurance Benefits Start?
  • Can I Get Medicare or Medicaid?
  • Do I Need an Advocate?
  • How Do Advocates Like Citizens Disability Help Me?
  • How Does The SSA Determine Disability?
  • See If You Qualify
  • Read Also: Definition Of Specific Learning Disability

    What Is Social Security Disability

    Social Security Disability benefits are not related to workers compensation. You can receive both benefits if you suffer an injury at work that leaves you permanently unable to maintain full-time employment. However, individuals can receive social security disability benefits without an on-the-job injury.

    To apply for social security disability benefits, you must qualify in the following ways:

    • You are age 18 or older
    • You are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security account
    • You are unable to work due to a medical condition that will last at least 12 months or result in death
    • You have not been denied disability benefits within the last 60 days

    Your benefits typically begin in the sixth month of your disability. The SSA determines the amount of your benefits based on your age and how long you worked before becoming disabled. They also review your case to determine when your disability began.

    If youre unable to work full time while waiting for your benefits, you can work part-time for a small amount of income.

    However, its critical to be well-informed about the disability criteria and benefit rules before beginning part-time work. While the SSA reviews your case, you dont want to give them any reason not to believe you are unable to carry on full-time employment with your disability.

    How Much Can I Make While On Social Security Disability

    Social Security Disability benefits help support disabled workers who become too ill or injured to work full time because of a physical or mental impairment. The amount each recipient gets in their monthly SSD benefit payment varies, depending on their lifetime average annual taxable income. But no matter how much each person receives, SSD was not intended to fully support a workers family by itself. Most SSD recipients need to obtain help from other public programs, or they work to earn enough to keep their heads above water.

    Recommended Reading: The Americans With Disabilities Act

    Ticket To Work Program

    The Ticket to Work program supports career development for SSDI and SSI recipients who want to work. This free and voluntary service connects people with disabilities with the support and services they require to find and maintain employment and progress toward financial independence. Participants can receive training, vocational rehabilitation, job referrals, and other employment support services.

    Eligible participants can obtain services from approved Ticket to Work service providers, which include:

    • Employment Networks
    • Counseling services
    • Co-payments for prescriptions

    A person does not receive SSDI benefits in the months when his or her countable gross income exceeds the SGA amount. However, there is a grace period, which is a one-time exception to the rule. A person is eligible for SSDI benefits for the first month that his or her work and earnings are above the SGA amount and for the next two consecutive months.

    After the grace period, disability benefits will stop if a person continues to earn over the SGA amount. If earnings fall below the SGA amount while the person is still in his or her EPE, the SSA can restart the SSDI benefits without the person having to complete a new application. A persons benefits will terminate if he or she works above the SGA level on any month after the 36-month EPE ends.

    People do not get this work incentive under the SSI program.

    Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work

    Does the Social Security Administration monitor your bank account if ...

    If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.

    We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.

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    How Many Hours Can You Work On Disability If Youre Self

    When you work for yourself, you can work hours without receiving an hourly wage. In that case, the SSA will look at how many hours youve worked, plus your monthly income.

    Social Security typically allows up to 45 hours of work per month if youre self-employed and on SSDI. That comes out to around 10 hours per week. The SSA will also see whether or not youre the only person working for your business. You must not be earning SGA, along with not working too many hours.

    What You Can Do For Income While Waiting For Social Security Disability Benefits

    If you qualify for other types of assistance, you may consider applying for these programs while you wait for your Social Security disability to be approved. Some states, including New Jersey, offer short-term disability benefits for people with disabilities who are unable to work. Alternatively, if you have disability insurance, you may qualify for short-term disability before being approved for SSDI and/or SSI.

    The best way to increase the likelihood of your Social Security disability claim being approved is to work with a skilled attorney who can ensure that your forms are filled out correctly and that all supporting documentation is submitted to the SSA. Bross & Frankel represents individuals who cannot work due to a disability. Give our office a call today to schedule a free claim review.

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    Can I Work While Pursuing A Social Security Disability Claim

    The advice and guidance of an experienced Charlotte social security disability attorney can be invaluable. Call Bridgman & Serbin at .

    One of the most commonly asked questions we get asked from current or potential social security disability clients is Can I work while I am waiting for my social security disability claim? As a Charlotte social security disability attorney there is an easy short answer to this question, but there are numerous exceptions. The short answer is that you cannot work at the same time you are applying for social security disability. The reason is that when you apply for social security disability you are basically stating that you are unable to work because of a severe medical impairment and if you are working it is in contradiction to that statement. However, there are exceptions.

    The best thing to do if you are currently working and thinking about applying for social security disability or if you have a current disability claim pending and want to consider working part time, you may want to speak with an attorney first before making that decision. If you have any questions about how your work activity may affect your social security disability claim, please feel free to contact one of our Charlotte, NC attorneys at Bridgman Law Offices and take a look at our website at

    Can You Work While On Short

    Can You Work While Getting Social Security Disability Insurance?

    Insurance companies that sell disability insurance policies arenât known to be soft touches when it comes to qualifying for a disability insurance policy. Still, they are fair, and they do allow you to earn an income while youâre collecting short or long-term disability benefits.

    These benefits are claimed under the partial disability definition and are called residual disability benefits.

    The residual disability benefit for partial disability may pay the full amount of benefits youâd receive if you were totally disabled for a limited time, after which youâll receive a percentage based on your earnings from work. The calculation of that percentage is performed by the insurance company and factors in the loss of responsibilities, income, and time, and pays out to replace those losses.

    To elaborate on the three ways that insurers measure a partial disability:

    • Loss of responsibilities: when you can work, but you arenât able to accomplish the duties that make up 20% or more of your work.
    • Loss of time: when you can perform all of your duties, but you canât perform them for more than 75% to 80% of the time you previously spent doing them.
    • Loss of income: when you experience at least a 15% to 20% loss of income because of illness or injury.

    You may qualify for total disability benefits if your illness or injury progresses to the point that you become unable to continue working at your job.

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    How Your Earnings Can Affect Your Social Security Benefits

    There are many factors that can affect whether or not you can get benefits and how long you can get benefits for, and your earnings are one of them. When working while applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to make sure you are not making more than the income threshold for each type of program.

    According to the Social Security Administration, you cannot earn more than what is considered substantial gainful activity . As of 2022, you cannot earn more than $1,350 per month to qualify for benefits as a non-blind individual. When applying for SSI benefits, you cannot make significant income or assets. This program is need-based and only certain incomes or asset levels are eligible.

    Extended Period Of Eligibility

    So how does SGA affect a personâs eligibility to continue receiving his or her SSDI check? After the individual has accumulated 9 months of a TWP, he or she then has a 36- month period referred to as an âextended period of eligibilityâ . During the EPE, Social Security looks at whether earnings in any given month exceed the applicable SGA amount, after taking into account any gross wage reductions for IRWE or work subsidies. If adjusted net earnings exceed the applicable SGA amount, Social Security will make a determination of cessation of disability. The SSDI benefit amount will be terminated after the third month from the cessation of disability month. If wages drop below the SGA amount in any given month during the 36-month EPE, the SSDI benefit amount will be reinstated.

    The importance of the EPE is that an individual can again receive the SSDI benefit amount in any month during the 36-month period when countable earnings fall below the SGA amount.

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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.

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