Can You Work If On Disability


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Income Limits For Ssi Disability Benefits

CORRECTION | Can Veterans Work While Receiving VA Disability? | VA Service-Connection | theSITREP

As you begin to work and receive an income, your disability benefits will be adjusted according to your wages. The first $85 of your income is left as-is. After that, the SSA deducts 50 cents for every dollar of income that you receive.

For example, if you made $1,250 during a particular month, the first $85 is left untouched = $1,165. From this remaining amount, 50 cents is deducted from your benefits for every dollar, therefore $1,165/2 = $582.50.

The amount of your disability benefit for that month will be reduced by $582.50. In 2017, the SSA pays up to $735 per month in benefits . Therefore, if your monthly benefit is reduced by $582.50, you will receive about $152.50 from the SSA. In other words, you can earn about $1,500 before your benefit amount is reduced to zero.

If you continue to earn enough money, your benefits could reduce to zero and your payments stopped by the SSA. If this happens, you are still eligible for the additional 5-year period where your benefits can be reinstated if your disability prevents you from working.

What If I Am Able To Work But Must Stop Again Because Of My Disability

The SSA will cut off your benefits if it finds you are capable of engaging in substantial gainful activity . However, in many cases, a persons disability will, at a later date, make it impossible to continue working.

If this happens to you, the SSA offers expedited reinstatement. This means you will not need to file a new application or wait for the SSA to review your condition to begin receiving benefits.

All you need to do is request the SSA restart your benefits within five years.

Disability Benefits And Part

Disability benefits are available to those who suffer from a disability or medical condition that makes it so they are unable to work. These benefits are offered by the Social Security Administration and are meant to help you pay medical bills and every day living expenses.

If you are receiving disability benefits from the SSA and are working part-time work, there are certain factors you should know about that may affect your disability benefits status. Exceeding the Substantial Gainful Activity income limit while working part time on disability may jeopardize your benefits.

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Information We Need About Your Work And Education

To decide whether you are disabled, we use a five-step process. Listed below are frequently asked questions about Step 4 and Step 5 of the process.

We need to find out about your past work to decide if you can still do it. To make this decision, we need to know how you did your job. We also need to know if you learned skills on your job.

We need this information to see if you can do any of your past work. Remember that you are not disabled according to our rules unless your illnesses, injuries or conditions prevent you from doing your past work or adjusting to other work.

Information about your education and training are also very important to us. If you cannot do your past work, we look at your age, education, training, and work experience to see if you can do other kinds of work.

Disclaimer: The following is general information only. The Social Security Act and related regulations, rulings and case law should be used or cited as authority for the Social Security disability programs.

Trial Work Period For Social Security Disability Benefits

How much you can work depends on whether you collect SSDI or SSI ...

Recipients of disability benefits are given a 9-month period to test their ability to work without any change in their benefit amount. Therefore, during this period, you will continue to receive your benefits even if youre making more than the amounts specified as Substantial Gainful Activity . In order for any specific month to fall under the trial work period, you should make a minimum of $840 during that month.

After the 9-month trial work period, you are immediately considered for what is called an extended period of eligibility. This is an additional 36-month period where you will be eligible to receive benefits during any particular month in which your income falls below the $1,170/month.

Once you have continued to show your ability to work and receive income that is above the SGA level, your benefits will be discontinued. You will, however, be granted a 5-year period where you can have your benefits reinstated if you are forced to stop working due to your disability. This is what is referred to as expedited reinstatement.

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Why Do Disabled People Still Lose Out

For starters, federal policy hasnt kept up with inflation or changes in the labor market, experts say. Thats especially so for Supplemental Security Income, the program James is on.

While the program mainly caters to the elderly and children with disabilities, James situation highlights several dated provisions. For example, the $85 income deduction was set when the act was signed into law in 1972. It hasnt budged since. The $2,000 cap on liquid assets to qualify for SSI was set in 1989.

Another issue is the maximum monthly payout of $841. While this number does change annually, Romig notes its well below the poverty line.

For SSI and SSDI recipients who do work, their earned income can fluctuate month-to-month because its often hard to stick to a fixed work schedule due to the nature of their conditions. This makes it difficult for even the most earnest recipients to accurately report their income.

You always want people to work to their fullest potential, of course. This is America, Romig says. Thats one of our foundational ideals.

But the difficulty of navigating the programs coupled with the threat of losing benefits as a worker often clashes with that value.

How To Ask For Support From Your Friends And Family

Theres nothing like having supportive loved ones when you have a disability. My friends and chosen family are incredibly validating when I need to vent, and they have also helped me advocate for myself when I have needed to at work, in public spaces, at events, at medical appointments, and while traveling.

Warner recommends offering resources to those who are close to youyou might give them books, articles, podcasts, TikToks, YouTube videos, and so on, all from the mindset of wanting them to learn more about your disability. These resources could be a combination of medical resources, such as information about your medical condition and diagnosis, along with resources that show what its like to actually live with your disability. Unfixed Media has a wealth of videos that can be helpful resources on a variety of disabilities and chronic illnesses. As an autistic person, I often refer people to the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network and discourage my loved ones from referring to any resources created by Autism Speaks, which is known for its harmful stance on autistic people. For Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Im often pointing people to Annie Segarra or Jessica Kellgren-Fozard. For Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which is commonly co-morbid with EDS, I often recommend people read the writing of Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All.

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Expedited Reinstatement Of Benefits

At the end of the EPE there is an additional five year period called âexpedited reinstatement of benefits.â If the original impairment flairs up within five years of the end of the 36-month EPE, preventing the individual from earning SGA, Social Security can reinstate the SSDI benefits provisionally while a medical review is completed. If the medical review confirms the disability condition or blindness, then the provisional SSDI benefits will be made permanent. If the medical review concludes that there is not a medical disability, SSDI benefits will be immediately terminated but with no overpayment for benefits paid provisionally.

Extended Period Of Eligibility

Can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

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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Social Security Work Incentives

The SSA offers incentives to help people on SSDI or SSI get back to work, without jeopardizing their current benefits. These incentives include:

  • A nine-month trial work period where you can still receive full Social Security benefits, regardless of how much money youre earning, as long as your reporting your work to the SSA.
  • An extended 36-month eligibility period where you can receive Social Security benefits for any month that you earn less than $1,260 .
  • Expedited reinstatement, which includes a five-year period where you can request for the SSA to restart your benefits if your disability prevents you from continuing to work, without having to go through the entire application process again.
  • An extension of Medicare coverage for at least 96 months after your 9-month trial work period, if your Social Security Disability benefits have ended due to your earnings, but you are still disabled.

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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Benefits For Children With Disabilities

A child under age 18 may have a disability, but we don’t need to consider the child’s disability when deciding if he or she qualifies for benefits as a dependent. The child’s benefits normally stop at age 18 unless they are a full-time student in an elementary or high school or have a qualifying disability.

Children who were receiving benefits as a minor child on a parents Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parents record upon reaching age 18 if they have a qualifying disability.

Need Help Understanding Your Benefits The Wolf Pack Has Your Back

SSD and SSI disability and the hours you can work.

Can you work part time on Social Security Disability? Does my part-time job exceed the SGA limit? How do I start my trial work period? From the start of the application process for disability benefits to long after youve been approved, there are many difficult questions you may have.

If you need help applying or appealing for SSDI or SSI benefits, The Wolf Pack at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys has your back! Serving disabled individuals and their families in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Ardmore, and surrounding communities, our experienced disability attorneys will do everything in our power to help you get approved for the benefits you deserve. We know the ins and outs of the Social Security system and will answer any questions you may have about your benefits.

Contact The Wolf Pack today at or to get your free case review today!

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What To Do If You Dont Think You Can Continue To Work What Are The Rules For Working While On Ssdi

What if you cant work anymore? If you have a choice its usually better to keep working – but for a lot of people, thats not possible. In fact, a doctor may have even told you to stop working. What do you do when your health prevents you from working anymore either immediately or in the very near future?

  • Create a record with your employer. If youre having difficulties at work for medical reasons, make sure your employer knows and is putting it in your employment file. They may try to accommodate you, or they may say you can no longer work for them. Either way, youve helped to create a written record that your health issues interfere with your employment.
  • Get help from your doctors. To be approved for disability, you must not be able to do any job in the national economy – not just your last one. This means that Social Security might say youre not disabled if there is another job you could do – even if you can no longer do your old job. A doctors opinion that you should not work is always helpful – but will not guarantee your claim is approved. More helpful is if your doctor writes down suggested limitations – things you should not do at work
  • Talk to a lawyer. Each situation is different. Before you decide to quit your job to apply for disability or to keep working while you apply for disability, talk to a lawyer. There may be things you can do to improve your work situation, or your disability claim before leaving the workforce.
  • Can You Work While Applying For Disability Benefits

    Its a conundrum: youre applying for disability benefits because you can no longer work But while youre waiting and trying to qualify, the bills keep coming. You need income and have to work, even though youre in pain and barely or unable to work. So whats the solution?

    The short answer is: Yes. You can apply for disability while youre still working, but there is a limit to how much you can earn. As long as you earn less than $1,310, the 2021 threshold for monthly income, you are able to continue working. For applicants who are legally blind, the limit is $2,190.

    However, its not quite as simple as that.

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    Will I Lose My Disability Benefits If I Work Part

    If you have already been approved for Social Security disability benefits, then you are limited in how much you can work. These disability programs have strict income limits. If you earn over a certain amount known as substantial gainful activity in a month, then you may lose your disability benefits.

    Getting approved for SSDI and/or SSI can be challenging. Once you have secured these benefits, you will want to make sure that you keep them. If you have questions about your disability application or benefits, reach out to our office to schedule a free claim review.

    Can You Work Part

    Can you work if you receive SSI disability payments?

    Since Social Security defines working as earning about $1,350 per month, what if you work some but not enough to earn $1,350 per month? If youre earning less than the substantial gainful activity amount then you will not be automatically disqualified for disability. However, Social Security will want to see documentation that you cannot work more.

    Often the people that decide Social Security claims will assume that your ability to do some work, means that you can do other work. Therefore, to overcome that bias you want strong evidence in your employment file and medical file that you cannot work more than part-time. Your claim is generally easier to win if you are not working at all when you apply.

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    Adults With A Disability That Began Before Age 22

    An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.

    The Disabled Adult Child who may be an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a qualified disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.


    It is not necessary that the DAC ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.

    • A DAC must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider substantial increases each year. In 2022, this means working and earning more than $1,350 a month.

    Working While Disabled: How We Can Help

    Do I Need To Report My Wages To The Social Security Administration

    Recipients of SSI or SSDI must report the following to the SSA:

    • The beginning and end date for any job while receiving benefits
    • Changes to pay scale, hours worked, or duties and
    • Impairment-related work expenses.

    In addition, you must report all monthly earnings to the SSA. Typically, the SSA allows recipients to report their earnings using several methods. If you report your wages by phone, you must do it before the 6th of every month. However, if you decide to mail or bring in a pay stub to a local SSA office, it must be done by the 10th.

    These arent the only ways to report your income to the SSA. Recipients of SSI can report their wages using the SSAs phone app, while SSDI recipients may use their account on the SSAs website to report earnings.

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