Working While on Social Security Disability

Working While on Social Security Disability

For many individuals who receive Social Security Disability Benefits, their disability may prevent them from doing certain types of work but not from others. For instance, an individual with a back injury may be unable to perform any job duties that require them to lift heavy objects, but they may be perfectly capable of performing typical office duties.

In order to supplement their Social Security Disability Benefits, they may think to seek part or full-time employment with a company that has a current opening for a position that features duties they can comfortably perform. Unfortunately, however, individuals who receive SSDI benefits are restricted from performing any “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) if they hope to continue to receive benefits. In this article, we’ll explore working while on social security disability and how a disability attorney can help you.

Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligibility

The SSA offers individuals who receive SSDI benefits the opportunity to test their capabilities post-disability with a “trial work period.” The trial work period is a period of nine months in which the individual may work and bring in a monthly income of no more than $810.

Once an individual has completed the trial work period, they can continue to work and receive SSDI benefits for an additional 36 months—so long as their earnings fall below the $1,130 per month limit. For example, if you were to work beyond the trial work period and make less than $1,130 per month, you would still be eligible to receive your SSDI benefits. However, let us say that during the months of May, June, and July—your 13th, 14th, and 15th months of working while disabled—you bring in $1,200 each month. During those three months, you would not receive your SSDI benefits check.

Reinstatement of Social Security Disability Benefits

If you receive a substantial amount of income even though you are disabled, your benefits will stop. Even so, you will be eligible for reinstatement for the five years following the cancellation of your benefits. If at any point you choose to reinstate your benefits, you will not have to reapply for them; simply contact the SSA and request an expedited reinstatement.

Reporting Requirements

 If you receive any disability compensation from the SSA, you must report all information regarding your additional income. This includes:

  • The beginning and end date of any job that you take on
  • Any changes to duties performed at each job, pay scale, or hours worked
  • Whether or not you have any work-related expenses as a result of your disability (i.e. the need for transportation, special accommodations at work, etc.)

You must also report all of your monthly wages, either by telephone by the 6th of the next month, or by mail or in person by the 10th of the next month.

SSA Bias Toward Disabled Individuals Who Work

Unfortunately, the mere fact that you are able to work causes the SSA administrators to form an adverse opinion about your disability claim. If you continue working while on social security disability, you may be denied benefits altogether. Because of this—and even though it is risky without receiving a sure decision—it could be in your best interest to take a leave of absence or medical leave while your disability claim is pending.

Consult with a Mount Pleasant Disability Attorney

At Klok Law Firm LLC, we understand how South Carolina disability law works and have dealt with numerous cases involving SSDI benefits. If you want to continue to work but still need the assistance of SSDI benefits, consult one of our South Carolina social security disability attorneys.

Contact us to set up your consultation today.