Working While Collecting Social Security Disability


Once you have been approved to receive Social Security Disability payments for your medical condition, you may want to return to work at some point. Social Security Disability was put in place for people who are unable to work due to their medical condition, so you may be surprised to learn that you can work while still receiving a monthly monetary payment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does have some provisions in place that could allow you to do a limited amount of work, if your medical condition allows it. Read on for more information about the guidelines for working and earning money while continuing to receive your benefits.

Substantial Gainful Activity

The SSA considers any work that you are able to do that results in earning money over a certain amount as substantial gainful activity (SGA). You must limit the amount you earn each month to $1,130, or $1,820.00 for blind applicants. This limit can change every year and is based on the cost of living.

The Nature of the Work Also Considered

The SSA considers not only the amount of money you are able to earn in determining SGA, but also what type of work you are doing to earn that money. For example, you may be able to stay under the income limit by working only part time at a job that you were too disabled to do previously, but the SSA would likely consider doing so SGA. On the other hand, if you are able to stay under the income limit by doing a more sedentary job than your previous job, the SGA would not be likely to consider that SGA.

Trial Work Period

The SSA goes further for those who want to try to return to work by offering a program called the trial work period (TWP). This program encourages claimants to work and earn up to a certain amount of money and still continue to receive their regular benefits. You can participate in the TWP for up 9 months a year; the months don't have be consecutive and the time allowed is a rolling period.

Tread carefully when earning money after being approved for Social Security Disability benefits. The SSA requires that you conscientiously report all earnings, whether you stay under the monthly limit or not and no matter what type of work program you are participating in. For more information about working while receiving benefits, contact a Social Security law firm such as LeCroy Law Firm, PLLC.


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