If you are disabled and receiving Social Security disability benefits, those benefits may be an essential source of financial security and disability for you, and for your family. Indeed, being disabled often means that you are unable to work full-time and earn an income as you normally would. The disability benefits you receive from the Social Security Administration may be extremely helpful in relieving the financial stress that being unable to work can cause.
In some cases, those who are disabled are unable to work at all – perhaps for an indefinite period, or maybe never again. In other instances, however, disabled individuals can perform some types of work, and engage in income-earning activities.
The question then becomes – can you do so while receiving Social Security disability? If so, how much can you earn? These are reasonable and important questions to ask, and, understandably, you might be wary of engaging in any activity that might cause those benefits to stop. Let’s take a closer look at how earnings might affect the receipt of disability benefits.
Learning The Limits
Ultimately, when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is an upper limit on how much income a disabled individual can earn. This is what the Social Security Administration refers to as the “substantial gainful activity” or SGA limit. This limit is adjusted annually by the Social Security Administration to account for changes in the cost of living from year to year. In 2022, that amount is $1350 for a disabled individual who is not blind and $2250 for a blind individual.
Exceptions To The Rule
If you are disabled and your income is above the SGA limits determined by the Social Security Administration, you typically cannot continue to collect disability benefits. One exception to this rule is if you are participating in one of the “work incentive” programs established by the Social Security Administration, which are designed and intended to encourage those receiving disability benefits to attempt a transition back to the workforce.
One of the Social Security Administration’s most popular work incentive programs is its “Ticket to Work” program. This initiative offers job training, work experience, and a variety of other support services to assist disabled individuals who have the goal of returning to the workforce if possible. For those individuals who participate in Ticket to Work, the SGA earnings
limits are temporarily waived.
In addition, it should be noted that SSDI beneficiaries are often also allowed a trial period lasting up to nine months, during which time they can attempt a return to work. These allotted trial months may be spread out over the course of five years. During those months, disabled individuals can receive their full benefit amount regardless of work-related earnings. Other Types Of Income
We are also often asked not only about income earned through work but also about income earned through other sources. This is an important question to ask as well. Fortunately, other income, earned from sources aside from work, is often not considered when determining the amount of SSDI benefits to be received.
Fortunately, it is typically the case that while Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and some other need-based types of programs will consider various types of income in determining benefit amounts, the Social Security Administration will only consider earnings from work when making its calculations for SSDI benefits. This means that only income earned as an employee, self-employed worker, or contractor counts toward the Substantial Gainful Activity limit. As a result, if you can generate income through other means – investments, rental properties, or the sale of assets, for example – you may do so without any impact on your SSDI benefit amounts.
While this general information is intended to be helpful for those considering the possibility of working while earning disability benefits, it is ultimately no substitute for the advice of knowledgeable legal counsel tailored to your particular circumstances. At London Eligibility, we’re here for you.
London Eligibility – Here For You
If you are struggling with a disability, you already have more stress in your life than you need. You don’t need to add legal worries on top of it. You don’t need to feel anxious about how to ensure that you can still earn an income, if possible, while also continuing to receive the disability benefits you need and deserve. Instead, you can leave those matters to the
knowledgeable and experienced legal team at London Eligibility. We’ll fight for you so that you can focus on what’s most important – enjoying life with those you love. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today. We’re ready to listen to you, and let you know how we can help. We look forward to speaking with you soon.