Can I Work and Still Get Social Security Benefits?

If you are disabled, it is important to understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers income you may still be able to earn from work.

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your application and attached medical evidence must be clear that you are totally disabled and unable to engage in “substantial gainful employment.” SSDI is not paid for partial disability, even if it is permanent. Plus, your disability must be so severe that it prohibits you from gainful employment in another job, or a different field.

So, can you work and still receive SSDI? It depends.

When you apply for SSDI, the SSA will review your bank accounts and income to determine how much you are currently earning through employment. Because SSDI is only awarded to those who are unable to work, it is a good idea for you to speak with an attorney who specializes in SSDI about working while you apply for SSDI.

In any event, to qualify for SSDI, your monthly earned income must be $1,180 or less for the year 2018. For individuals who are statutorily blind, the amount is $1,970.

When you have qualified for SSDI, the Ticket to Work program supports helping disabled workers rejoin the workforce. Features of the SSA incentive program include:

  • Rules that allow you to continue to receive SSDI and work for a period of time.
  • If you try, but are unable to continue working, you may be able to restart your benefits without requalifying through a new SSDI application.
  • While engaged in the Ticket to Work program, you can maintain your Medicare benefits. You are eligible to receive vocational training, education, job referrals, and rehabilitation to help you get back into the workforce.
  • The trial work period lasts at least nine months within a 60-month period. Any month that you are receiving SSDI and earn more than $850 is considered a trial work month. Following the trial work period, you can continue to work and receive SSDI if your benefits do not exceed $1,180 monthly. If you are working and gainfully employed again, you still have five years to request your SSDI benefits be restarted if you can no longer work without filing a new application.
  • If you are approved for SSDI, you will need to let the SSA know when you start work, how much you are working, and how much you are being paid. You should also notify the SSA if you incur expenses because of your disability (like taking a car service to work), or if you are unable to continue to work.

If considering work while you are applying for SSDI or after you are approved, be sure to get accurate legal advice to ensure your SSDI benefits are available when you need them.

Related: Social Security Disability FAQs

Adams County SSDI attorney provides dedicated legal service to obtain the benefits for which you are eligible

The Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC delivers accurate, straightforward legal representation to obtain the disability and workers’ comp benefits you deserve. Contact us or call (303) 880-7994 today.