Can You Work While on Disability?

Can You Work While on Disability?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that provides medical coverage and cash payment assistance for those who are unable to support themselves due to a permanent disability. Because it is intended for those who cannot work, the amount of work you are allowed to do while receiving disability benefits is very limited. In this article, we’ll discuss whether you can work while on disability and the factors that may influence this.

SSDI & Substantial Gainful Activity

The Social Security Administration defines “substantial gainful activity” as any activity done for pay (or that could be done for pay). While it is possible to work while on disability, the SSA does not allow SSDI beneficiaries to do any work that earns more than $1170 per month. Volunteer work can also be considered substantial gainful activity. If the activity is something the beneficiary could be paid for and amounts to more than $1170 per month, the SSA could decide to discontinue benefits.

If you are working while applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, even if the work pays less than $1170 a month, this may put you at a disadvantage. It can be difficult to convince a judge that you are unable to work due to a disability when you are still working (even at a limited capacity).

Social Security Disability Work Incentives

If you are currently receiving disability benefits and are interested in rejoining the work force, you may benefit from the Social Security Administration’s work incentives. The SSA offers certain incentives to encourage beneficiaries to try to return to work. This includes a nine-month trial work period that allows you to begin working on a trial basis without losing your benefits. After your trial work period ends, you can still keep your Medicare benefits and automatically reinstate your benefits if needed, for a limited time. You will also qualify for expedited reinstatement of benefits for up to five years after you reenter the workforce.

SSI & VA Benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an income-based disability program. If you receive SSI, you are allowed to work as long as your wages do not surpass the income maximum. However, your SSI payments will be reduced in proportion to your income.

VA disability benefits are available to veterans with a service-connected disability. You can still work and receive VA benefits. You will be assigned a VA disability rating between 0-100%, which describes how disabled you are. Someone with a disability rating of 20% is considered to be 20% disabled, and therefore will still probably be able and expected to work. However, you will probably not be assigned a 100% (totally and permanently disabled) disability rating if you are working full-time or making decent wages.

Need Legal Assistance? Get Help Today

Successfully applying for disability benefits can be tricky. Your previous and current work history may impact your application’s chances of approval. Once your application has been approved, the SSA can still discontinue your benefits if they determine you are capable of supporting yourself.

If you have questions about working while receiving disability benefits, or applying for disability while employed, speak to a knowledgeable disability lawyer. Contact the experienced disability attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC today.

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