SSDI: Can I Work While Receiving Disability Benefits?

If you are disabled, but still wish to work, there are certain ways the Social Security disability benefits program allows for disabled individuals to work while continuing to receive Social Security disability benefits, which may benefit you. Additionally, if qualified, you can receive Supplemental Security Income benefits and still work until your earnings exceed your state’s Supplemental Income limits. Some incentives of working while disabled include the following:

  • Continuing to earn wages while collecting disability payments
  • Being able to receive educational or vocational training
  • Continuing to receive Medicare/Medicaid

To determine if you are eligible to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits, contact a highly experienced attorney at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo who will review your case and provide you with the best answers possible.

If you are deemed eligible to work, there will be what is called a trial work period where your ability to work will be tested and reviewed for nine months. Throughout the trial work period, you will continue to receive Social Security disability benefits regardless of the amount of money you earn while working. If you make over $810 per month for at least nine months out of a 60-month rolling period, then your disability has been deemed terminated. Upon working for nine months having made at least $810 a month, the Social Security Administration will then evaluate the work to see if it is over a certain limit. If it is above the administered ‘Substantial Gainful Activity’ limitation, disability benefits will continue only for an additional three months before being terminated.

However, after your disability benefits end, you still have an additional time frame of 36 months in which you may begin receiving benefits again. For example, if your monthly income is reduced below the $810 threshold or if your disability worsens and you find yourself unable to work, your benefits may be reinstated. There are other methods to keeping your benefits, such as deducting work expenses from your monthly earnings. For more information, visit the Krasno Krasno & Odwudinjo website to learn more about the process.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements exist that require you to report updates directly to the Social Security Administration, including the beginning or ending of employment, a change in job duties, hours, or pay, and paying work-related expenses because of your disability. If during the trial work period, you lost your employment status, Social Security Disability benefits are not affected. However, if the job loss occurs during the 36-month period post-work trial, you must contact the Social Security Administration to request that disability benefits be reinstated (assuming you are still disabled).

Others Who Can Work While Disabled

If you are blind, special rules apply including a monthly salary limitation of $1,820, and if you earn over $1,820 per month, the Social Security Administration will account for any time you spent making little or no income due to blindness in factoring in your benefits while working.

Also, there are some benefits awarded to disabled individuals less than 22 years of age. If you are in school or a training program, up to $1,780 in monthly earnings will not be counted toward your monthly income total when calculating such benefits.

Ticket to Work Program

Lastly, there is the Ticket to Work program, which is a free program that assists beneficiaries of Social Security disability benefits in returning to work. While in the program, an individual can keep his or her Medicare or Medicaid insurance as long as the individual is making progress to find employment or is already employed. Most people age 18 to 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits may qualify for the Ticket to Work program. If accepted into the program, an individual can either work with an Employment Network or his or her state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, depending on the individual’s needs. It is common to receive educational or training services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Agency before working for a company covered in the Employment Network.

An attorney can help assess your eligibility for working while receiving Social Security disability benefits, contact us today at 877-794-2396.