Working Part Time On Disability


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ð´Can I Collect Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI and Work Part Time

If you are working part-time, it is very important that you and your employer document the accommodations that they are making for you. It is important to document anytime you are not able to meet the hours theyd like or the difficulties you are having in being able to work. Having this documentation is extremely helpful in presenting the best case possible. As you can imagine, just telling the judge that working is hard for you doesnt carry as much weight as showing documented proof of your struggles.

Contact Our Disability Attorney If You Are Working Part-Time

Given the tremendous pitfalls that surround almost every aspect of your disability case, from the initial application to the likely subsequent appeal, finding an experienced and aggressive disability attorney to manage your case is essential. Even after youve been approved, there are changes in circumstances, such as working a part-time job, that can jeopardize your benefits.

The Extended Period Of Eligibility

After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings arenât âsubstantial.â In 2022, the SSA considers monthly earning over $1,350 to be substantial. No new application or disability decision is needed to receive an SSDI benefit during this period.

What If My Income Changes Over Time

It is normal for a workers wages to change throughout their career. You may qualify for a raise, or your employer may cut your working hours. If you are receiving or applying for Disability benefits, these changes can have a big impact on your claim.

If your income rises above the maximum allowed amount, you:

  • Can no longer receive benefits
  • Must report the change to the SSA
  • May be asked to repay benefits you have already received, if you did not report the income increase fast enough and continued to receive benefits you were no longer eligible for

If your income decreases, you:

  • May be able to receive more benefits than you do now
  • Must report the change to the SSA
  • May have to supply the SSA with evidence showing your new income status

Disability lawyers keep a close eye on the SSAs income requirements. They can help you figure out if you qualify for benefits based on your income level.

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Can You Work While On Social Security Disability

Qualifying to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits from the Social Security Administration isnât easy. Itâs not uncommon for the processing of an application to take six months, or more, before getting a decision. The SSA is not known for moving quickly or being easy to work with. As you probably know, thereâs a lot of red tape working with any government agency the SSA is no exception.

Based on this, you would think that working part-time while collecting SSDI benefits would be a definite âno-no.â But, surprisingly, thatâs not the case. The SSA wants you to work, so the amount of benefits they have to pay out is reduced. So yes, you can work while on social security disability.

But, there are, of course, some rules and regulations that Uncle Sam has imposed for you to continue to receive payment if youâre working while collecting SSDI benefits. Letâs take a look at how this works.

You need to know three things about collecting Social Security disability benefits while working: the trial work period, the extended period of eligibility, and work expenses related to your disability payment.

Working While On Disability

Working Part

If you carry your own disability insurance, whether youve bought your own policy or one has been provided to you through your employer, working while on disability depends entirely on your policy.

There is a wide variation in the types of policies available, so the best way to find out is to read your policy documents carefully, or contact the provider.

Nichols writes:

Typical policies allow you to work, but reduce your benefit by the amount you earn. While this may seem to defeat the purpose of working, it can extend your benefit if your policy has a cap on its lifetime benefit amount.

Here are some questions to ask about the rules of working while on disability:

  • What would happen if I am disabled such that I can only do part of my job?
  • What if I can only work part-time? Will I be able to receive a partial benefit?

Working while on disability is possible. Many providers will pay partial benefits that, together with your part-time pay, will bring you to 100 percent of your pre-disability salary.

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Get The Legal Advice You Need

If you are currently receiving either SSDI benefits or SSI benefits, you should consult with an experienced Illinois social security attorney, like those at Ankin Law Offices, before you begin any part-time employment. Part-time employment can have a significant effect on your social security benefits and there are certain reporting obligations if you are currently receiving social security disability benefits and begin part-time employment. The skilled Illinois social security attorneys are familiar with the many issues affecting social security disability benefits and part-time employment and we can help guide you through each of these issues.

Can You Work While On Short

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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If You Go Back To Work While Collecting Long

By Aaron Hotfelder, J.D., University of Missouri School of Law

If youre collecting long-term disability benefits and wish to return to work, you could be putting your LTD benefits in jeopardy, especially if youll earn as much as you were making before you became disabled, or even a substantial portion of your pre-disability wages.

Whether youll continue to receive your full long-term disability benefits depends on the specifics of your LTD policy, but as a general rule, those with own occupation policies are usually given greater freedom to work than those with any occupation policies. Read your policys summary plan description, check with your claims handler, or consult your disability attorney if youre unsure whether you have an own occupation or any occupation policy. Heres the difference.

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Can I Work & Receive Social Security Disability Benefits

Part Time Work and Social Security Disability

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 .

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Residual Or Partial Disability Benefits

If your plan provides residual disability benefits , you can return to either part-time or full-time work as long as you earn less than a certain amount. A common residual disability benefit structure looks like this:

  • Less than 20% of your pre-disability income: You will continue to receive your long-term disability benefits in full.
  • Between 20% and 79% of your pre-disability income: The insurance company will reduce your LTD benefits proportionately based on your earnings.
  • At least 80% of your pre-disability income: You lose your right to long-term disability benefits.

What Are The Advantages To Keeping Income Below The Trial Work Period Services Amount

The trial work period rules allow you to earn any amount per month for nine months and still receive full monthly disability benefits. This lets you test your ability to return to full-time work without having your monthly disability benefits stop. For example, you could go to work full-time for eight months during which time you would get paid for full-time work and receive your Social Security disability benefits too. If at the end of eight months of work you decide that you cannot continue, there is no harm done to your on-going disability benefits. Youll keep your benefits as long as you dont medically improve.

However, people often use up their trial work period months by working part-time. Some people, who worked part-time while their claims were pending, are surprised to discover that they used up their trial work period months even before the Social Security Administration found them disabled. If your income exceeds the trial work period services monthly amount for nine months at any time since you applied for benefits, even if those nine months are not consecutive, you will have used up your trial work period. A trial work period month here and a trial work period month there counts as long as all nine months are in any five-year period. Once you use up your nine-month trial work period, it is gone.

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Hire A Disability Lawyer

If you are confused about your SGA or your income limits, or need help applying for benefits or appealing a denial of benefits with the SSA, you should consider hiring a disability benefits lawyer or advocate. A lawyer or advocate can help you gather necessary evidence, fill out your application, and make sure that you maximize your chance of receiving the disability benefits you need.

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Work Credits And Ssdi Benefits


Depending on your work history, you must earn enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance . When you earn a certain amount of income throughout the year and work at a job that pays into Social Security, you earn work credits. The maximum number of credits you can earn per year is four.

Most likely, the disabled worker has enough work credits to meet the Social Security Administrations requirements if they have previously worked at a full-time job and have recently stopped working. Your employment history can be obtained from your insurance company and reviewed by your attorneys to determine the strategy for your eligibility review.

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Substantial Gainful Activity Income Levels

In determining if work is substantial gainful activity, the New Jersey Social Security Administration averages income according to rules that consider the nature of the work, the period of time worked, and whether the SGA level changed during the time the claimant worked.

The SGA level, which was $300 per month during all of the 1980s and $500 per month from 1990 until July 1999, when it was raised to $700, is becoming considerably more generous than it used to be because of cost-of-living increases that have been applied beginning with the year 2001. For example, for the year 2010, average countable earnings of more than $1,000 per month show that work was substantial gainful activity.

You can find the substantial gainful activity amount for the current year at

When You And Your Family Work And Earn Money

Tell your caseworker about any money you and your family receive, including money:

  • you or your spouse earn from work
  • your children 18 years of age or older earn from a job or training program

The money you and your family earn from work may reduce your income support.

You must report all income, even if it is exempt.

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When No Longer Working

If you or an adult family member stop working or attending a training program, you need to:

  • tell your caseworker right away
  • fill out the Employment/Training Income Report form that month, and include:
  • when your job or training program ended
  • the name of your employer or training program
  • send the Employment/Training Income Report form to your caseworker
  • You may be asked to provide verification that your job or training program has ended. For example, you may need to send in a copy of your Record of Employment or a letter from your employer.

    If you have stopped working, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance. To find out more about Canada’s Employment Insurance program, visit the federal governmentâs website at

    Eligibility Depends On Income Level

    Can I work part time and get Social Security Disability benefits?

    To figure out if you qualify for Social Security Disability, it is more important to look at how much money you make and how many financial assets you own than it is to look at your working hours. This applies to both Disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income .

    For SSDI applicants, the current income limit is $1,350 a month gross as of 2022. If you have a job that pays you less than this amount, you can still qualify for benefits.

    For SSI applicants, your total assets must total no more than $2000 and your monthly income must not exceed the SSI monthly benefit. This includes, with some exceptions, the income you make from a part-time or full-time job.

    For a free legal consultation, call

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    To Be Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits An Employee Must Be Unable To Perform Generally Youre Better Off Working Than Applying For Disability

    If you can work, you should. Disability is there for you when you cant work, but working is usually a better option if youre able. Social Security Disability Insurance will replace some of your wages, but you can almost always make more money working. The average SSDI payment is around $1,200 and tops out at about $3,000 per month. You can get an estimate of what your SSDI would be using the Disability Alabama benefits calculator.

    A second reason to work if you can is that thousands upon thousands of disability cases are denied each year. If you can still work – its a good indication that the odds are against your claim being approved.

    The final reason to work if you can is that if you apply for disability theres a good chance youre going to have to wait many months before Social Security begins paying your disability benefit. While initial applications are approved within three to four months, around 70% of applications are denied. That means youll have to appeal to get your disability and that is like to take many months.

    How Much Money Can You Make And Still Get Disability

    Social Security will technically allow to make $1,349 per month in wages from an employer and not lose your eligibility for SSDI. But, if you have income that is not related to working, that are not wages, there is no limit to how much of that income you can have. For example you can have a monthly VA pension or railroad pension of several thousand dollars or both and it will not affect your eligibility for SSDI. However, once you have monthly income from a job of $1,350 you are ineligible for disability.

    Social Security Income is another matter. Every dollar of wages you earn from working will decrease your SSI benefit by roughly $0.50 and every dollar of unearned income will reduce your SSI benefit by $1. If you have monthly income of $1,349 you may still be eligible for SSI, but your benefit will be reduced to something around $132 per month in 2022.

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    If You Disagree With The Decision

    If you disagree with the decision, you may ask to have the decision reviewed. You must request this review in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.

    Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in making the original decision on your application.

    Are There Exceptions To The Sga Rule

    Can I work part time while getting disability?

    The SGA threshold is not always absolute when it comes to being able to work part-time or not and still be granted benefits. The SSA can evaluate the nature of your work and pay, instead of simply the amount you are earning. For example:

    • If you are volunteering at a soup kitchen, and you are able to keep up with fast-paced cooking and serving, the SSA might determine that you have the ability to work in the food service business. Even though you are not earning anything for your volunteer work, you might be deemed ineligible for benefits.
    • If you are earning more than the SGA limit but only working very limited hours or tasks because your employer subsidizes your work due to your disability, the SSA might realize that your income might not reflect your work abilities. You might qualify for benefits despite still earning income because of the limitations of your work.

    Many people work part-time and receive disability benefits, though it is important to discuss the matter with an experienced disability attorney first.

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