Are You Able to Work While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

These days, every little bit of financial assistance helps, especially as you get on in years. Having the right benefits will ensure you can meet both your daily obligations as well as plan for a comfortable retirement. However, navigating the gray areas of Social Security disability benefits and insurance can often be a little overwhelming, so the team from Second Chance Lawyer is here to help.

As a Waco Social Security disability lawyer, Merryl Jones from Second Chance Lawyer has helped many people get the benefits they deserve. If you are still working, this does not necessarily mean you can’t also be receiving benefits; it all depends on your case.

Here are some insights into how it works.

Working & Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Every applicant for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is assessed on a case-by-case basis.  This is true for those who are unable to work, as well as those who are still working and also want to receive benefits. Often, you won’t be able to receive your same salary while receiving SSDI but you may be able to receive some income. Generally speaking, if you qualify for disability, it won’t be possible for you to perform work you normally would if you weren’t suffering from a disability.  This means the income you receive from employment will be less than what you’d normally get if you had no disability. If you are unable to perform work at the substantial gainful activity level, then you could qualify for benefits and still receive some income.

The Social Security Administration currently defines substantial gainful activity (SGA) for the year 2021as having the ability to perform duties and make more than $1,310 per month (or if you’re blind, $2,190 per month). These amounts vary from year to year based on national average wage index.  However, the Social Security Administration encourages recipients to return to their daily working routine if possible.  Therefore, there are some exceptions to the SGA rule. One such exception applies to SSDI recipients’ ability to use a trial work period.  It’s possible during this time to make more than the SGA amount without sacrificing your SSDI benefits.

How Does the Trial Work Period Work?

The trial work period for SSDI recipients lasts nine months and gives employees receiving benefits a chance to test out their abilities.  Thus, they can return to work while receiving pay from their employer in addition to their regular disability benefits. Any SSDI recipient with a monthly income of more than $940 is considered by the Social Security Administration to be undergoing a trial work month. Additionally, for those who are self-employed, any month where you work more than 80 hours falls into this trial-work category.

What Happens Next After Completing the Trial Work Period?

It’s important to note that the nine months that make up your trial work period don’t need to be consecutive. Once the nine months are finished, should you decide to return to work, you’ll usually be able to receive SSDI benefits any time your earnings fall below that SGA average. However, this only lasts for three years. This three-year period is referred to as the extended period of eligibility. Your SSDI benefits should only stop after your trial work period if your income is considered substantial by the Social Security Administration.

However, you may still have the option to have your benefits reinstated.  For five years after the trial period, you should not be required to file a new application if you need to stop working again and go back on disability. Additionally, if you are working and there are added expenses due to your disability that any other person wouldn’t have, these could also be calculated into the benefits you receive each month.

Can I Work & Also Receive Supplemental Security Income?

Those working who also want to receive their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will need to make certain that their earnings don’t exceed the Social Security Administration’s income limit for benefits. It’s important to note that if you’re working while also receiving SSI benefits, the average amount of your benefits will be reduced according to the wages you’re earning.

Are There Any Reporting Requirements Necessary?

If you’re working and receiving either SSDI or SSI benefits, you’ll need to report to the Social Security Administration on a regular basis to let them know your status. In addition to reporting your wages each month, you’ll also be required to report things like:

  • Any changes to duties, work hours, or pay scale
  • The start and stop date for any job
  • Whether you incur any work-related expenses due to your disability

There are a number of different ways you can report such information, either by phone or mail or by checking in with your local Social Security Administration office. For those reporting information by phone, it needs to be done no later than the sixth of the subsequent month; by mail or in-person, the tenth.

Let us be your Social Security disability lawyer

Merryl Jones who is the Second Chance Lawyer has helped thousands of deserving Central Texans win the benefits they deserve and has obtained benefits for 98% of her clients. She’s also received numerous awards, including being named a Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer for Ethical Standards & Legal Ability and receiving the Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award for Excellence in Quality of Service. She also has been admitted to practice law in front of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Merryl Jones and her team at Second Chance Lawyer specializes in SSDI and SSI benefits at every level. We can help you apply for benefits, as well as determine whether or not you qualify for disability. Additionally, for those who have been denied benefits for one reason or another and want to appeal their disability claim, we can help make the process painless.

To learn more about our services and how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve each month, contact us online today or call 1 (800) 749-3612.