Does receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits prevent you from working? Read the following FAQs to learn the answer:
Can I work at all and still receive SSDI benefits? Yes, you may work while receiving SSDI benefits. However, your income must be small – up to $1,170 per month or $1,950 if you are blind (2017 values). Earning anything over those amounts is considered “Substantial Gainful Activity” and the Social Security Administration (SSA) will assume that you are able to work.
What if I want to try working more while on SSDI? The SSA encourages beneficiaries who are disabled to try to go back to work and offers special rules that allow you to experiment with part-time or full-time work without affecting your benefits. This program is called a “Trial Work Period.”
How long is a trial work period? The trial work period is 9 months over a 60-month period. The 9 months don’t have to be consecutive. A month counts during this period if you earn more than $840, or if a self-employed person works 80 or more hours.
Are earnings limited during the trial work period? No. You may earn as much money as you like during this period without lowering your monthly SSDI benefit.
What types of earnings apply toward the $840 trial work period threshold? All your earnings – before taxes – count toward the $840 threshold. However, you may deduct impairment-related work expenses such as service animal costs, job coaching and medical supplies. Be sure to track these expenses.
How will the SSA know that I am working? It’s up to you to inform your local Social Security office of your monthly earnings if you work while receiving SSDI payments. Failure to do so may result in termination of benefits.
What happens after the trial work period? Once you have worked more than 9 months in a 60-month period, the SSA will measure your work and earnings against the substantial gainful activity test as described above. If you exceed those amounts, the SSA will assume that you are no longer disabled.
Does the SSA offer any help to get me back to work? Yes. The Ticket to Work program helps SSDI recipients locate service providers to help find employment and rehabilitative services. An agency will provide services including training, career counseling, vocational rehabilitation and job placement. You can learn more at the SSA’s publication The Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives and at the SSA’s Ticket To Work website.
Let Us Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim
If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.