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Can You Have an Income and Qualify For SSDI Benefits?

By Kenton Koszdin on October 4, 2018 | In Social Security Claims Process

Can You Have an Income and Qualify For SSDI Benefits?

If you haven’t started receiving SSDI benefits, you must show your past income, as well as any income you are currently earning. This will be factored into your approval, or denial, of benefits. Disability applications are commonly approved, even with income, if that income is not enough to support you or is very sporadic due to your disability. There are rules and limitations surrounding the question of monthly income while qualifying for SSDI benefits.

What is SGA?

SGA stands for “Substantial Gainful Employment” and is the main measure of how much you earn and whether you can still receive SSDI benefits. Your employment earnings become substantial and gainful once they’ve reached the monthly limit. The limit is based on the nature of the disability or disabilities and is usually adjusted comparatively with the National Average Wage Index.

What are the income limits?

A Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is made each year for the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. The COLA is also used to help determine where the SGA limits will be set for the coming year. As of 2018, someone receiving SSDI benefits due to blindness has an SGA limit of $1,970. If you aren’t blind, the SGA is $1,180. The wages you earn while on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are factored into your monthly benefit so your total income, including SSI, is at $750. If you receive SSI and are blind, your earned wages are not factored in to your SSI payment. SSDI benefits ensure you always have your cash benefit on top of your earned wages, assuming you don’t go over the SGA limit.

Can you attempt to return to work while receiving SSDI benefits?

The Social Security Administration, or SSA, has made it much easier for those receiving SSDI benefits to return to work, no longer needing their benefits. In a trial work period, your SSDI cash benefit will be decreased to $850 but you will keep your Medicaid or Medicare. They will also provide you with education and training to enter a new line of work, as well as vocational rehabilitation services. If you aren’t able to return to work earning enough to support yourself, the trial period ends and you receive full SSDI benefits again.

It is important to be aware of your abilities and limitations, not only due to your disability but also because of your SSDI benefits. Contact Kenton Koszdin through our convenient web form. Through a free consultation, we can show you the rules and regulations surrounding earned income while qualifying for SSDI benefits.

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