Can I Work While on Social Security Disability?

Many disabled individuals consider rejoining the workforce but are fearful about how taking a job could affect their Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does allow people to test the employment waters without risking their benefits, but a person whose income exceeds certain limits may be at risk of losing their benefits.

Anyone who wants to be actively employed again but also needs to protect their SSD benefits should make sure that they talk to an SSD lawyer for assistance navigating this complicated set of rules.

Can I Work While on SSD Benefits?

The SSA allows a person receiving SSD benefits to engage in a trial period of employment for nine months during which the person will continue to receive benefits, regardless of the amount they make. In 2019, any month in which a person earns more than $850 would be considered a trial month by the SSA.

After the trial period has ends, a person can continue to receive benefits only so long as their income does not constitute substantial gainful activity. The SSA will not pay benefits to a person who earns more than $1,180 a month, or $1,970 a month if the person is blind.

What Kind of Work Can I Perform on SSD?

Some SSD recipients may choose to take a job working for someone else, or they may wish to start their own business. A disabled person could attempt to be self-employed, but it is important to note that any month of self-employment involving 80 hours of work is considered a trial work month.

Certain disabilities can dramatically impact the type of work a person is able to do, but many people can thrive in a variety of settings despite their disabilities. Some disabling conditions improve with treatment and time, which can make an SSD recipient eager to test the waters in the working world.

A New York Times story noted that Microsoft, Bank of America, and CVS were just three major companies that have actively sought to hire disabled individuals. People with disabilities can perform admirably in such roles as accountants, customer service representatives, and engineers, for example.

How Many Hours or How Much Money Can I Make While on Disability?

Choices Navigator is a program funded by Social Security and administered in the western half of Kentucky by the Center for Accessible Living in Louisville. A Community Work Incentive Coordinator helps people understand complex work incentive program requirements by providing information about federal, state, and local work incentive and related programs.

After a person has had nine trial months in a 60-month period, they will enter an extended eligibility period under which they can continue to receive benefits so long as their income does not constitute substantial gainful activity. This extended period lasts 36 months, and you are also subject to a five-year window that will allow you to continue receiving benefits if you happen to stop working.

How Paul Baker Law Office Can Help

The rules on attempting to go back to work while still receiving SSD are complex. You don’t want to put your benefits at risk by making a simple mistake.

Paul Baker Law Office understands the desire people have to get back to work but also the need to protect important SSD benefits. Our firm can help you find the right solution. Our firm has been helping individuals all over Kentucky for more than 30 years.

You can have us review your situation and answer all of your legal questions when you call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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