Can I Work And Still Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Maybe! It is possible to work part-time and not lose your Social Security Disability benefits but the answer depends on how much you earn and what kind of disability benefits you are receiving.
If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and go to work, your SSI benefits will be reduced by $1.00 for every $2.00 you earn after the first $65.00 or ($85.00) if you have no other income. That means that you could earn so much working part-time but your SSI benefits would stop.
Social Security Disability Benefits and Working (SSD)
If you’re receiving Social Security Disability benefits and your earnings are below what the Social Security Administration calls the annual “Substantial Gainful Activity Amount,” your benefits will neither stop or be reduced because of your earnings. You continue to get your full Social Security Disability benefits while you work part-time. It’s also possible to earn more than “SGA” amount and still receive your full benefits during the 9-month trial work period.
How much can I earn per month and still receive my Social Security Disability benefits?
The amount that you can earn up to “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) changes on an annual basis and, as of 2014, is $1,070 per month. The SGA amount is the absolute cut-off point.
If your earnings are more than the substantial gainful activity amount your benefits will stop after you’ve used up your 9-month trial work (on a grace period of 3 months), no matter how disabled you are.
If you want to work part-time, it’s best to keep your income well below the substantial gainful activity amount. Remember, there is no trial work for SSI.
How long is the trial work period for SSD?
That trial work period allows you to earn any amount for 9 months and still receive your full disability benefits. You can test your ability to return to work full-time without having your monthly disability benefits stopped. Most people often use up their trial work period by working part-time. A trial work month here, and a trial work period there, still counts as long as all 9 months are used in a 5-year period of time. Once you use up your 9-month trial work period, it’s gone!
You’ll probably be able to get your disability benefits back if you start working within 3 years after you’ve used up your 9-month trial work period. If you’ve worked again at SGA for more than 3 years after your trial work period, you’re going to have to start the Social Security Disability Claims process all over.
The SGA number is based on gross wages which is not averaged over the months worked.
Don’t use up your trial work period
It’s best not to use your trial work period until you are ready to return to work full-time. Don’t waste it on part-time employment.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you are required to report your work promptly. We suggest that if you telephone the Social Security Administration to report you’ve begun to work, ask when you need to provide income documentation. Be sure to get the name and location of the name of the person you speak with and follow up with a letter to your local office keeping a copy of the letter for your files.
Call us at 727-894-3188 to discuss your options when it comes to hiring an Social Security Disability Attorney in the Tampa St. Petersburg area to help!