Working on Social Security Disability

by admin on June 10, 2021

If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, (Not SSI) you can work as long as your pre-tax earnings stay below the prescribed limits. (If you receive SSI benefits the rules are different for you; refer to our section on working while receiving SSI payments.) This means you can work and supplement your Social Security check, possibly even get health insurance without worrying about Social Security cutting off your Disability benefits.

The catch is you have to be very careful and monitor your monthly gross income so that you do not go over the limits. If you do go over the limit, Social Security could place you in what they call “Disability Cessation” due to your earnings. If this happens to you they will stop your monthly check and could charge you a hefty overpayment by backdating the time your record went into “Disability Cessation.”Disability Insurance

How do you safely work and keep your benefits? Always keep your earnings below the pre-tax limit; in 2006 this pre-tax limit is $860 per month. (If you are blind this amount is higher: $1,450 per month.) This $860 amount is what Social Security refers to as “Significant Gainful Activity” or SGA. If you are working and earning over this SGA amount Social Security figures you can work full time just like everyone else and don’t need Disability payments.

Understand that this SGA amount ($860 for 2006) is the upper limit for your earnings. There is another amount that Social Security tracks when it comes to your earnings. This amount is called a “Trial Work Month.” When you receive Social Security Disability benefits you are eligible for 9 Trial Work Months every five years. A “Trial Work Month” is any month that your earnings are higher than $620 pre-tax. ($620 is amount for 2006)

Trial work months are unique because you can earn any amount you like; these months are not subject to the SGA limit. For example, if you went over the limit one month and earned $1200, you’re still okay because Social Security will count this month as a trial work month. (As long as you haven’t used them all up, remember you only get 9 every 5 years) You can use your trial work months as a safety cushion if you go over the $860 limit. Don’t make a habit of going over because if you use up all your trial work months Social Security will evaluate your disability and could stop your benefits.

To be safe, never earn over the $860 limit. You will use up all of your trial work months doing this; however, Social Security will not stop your benefits or charge you a hefty overpayment. Remember that all of the dollar amounts quoted here are pre-tax amounts; this is before anything is deducted from your gross earnings. As soon as you start working be sure and notify Social Security by calling their toll-free number.


Representative Payees

May 21, 2021

Some people who receive Social Security or SSI benefits are unable to manage their personal business for themselves. This could be due to a disability or a medical condition. In these cases Social Security will designate another person or an organization to handle their benefits for them. This person is designated their representative payee. Some [...]

Read the full article →

Quick Disability Determinations QDD

March 12, 2021

Social Security is implementing sweeping changes to the way it processes Disability claims. One of these changes is Quick Disability Determinations. This is an automatic process where Social Security computers will identify certain types of disabilities for approval in 20 calendar days. This is not something you can request when filing your disability claim, Social [...]

Read the full article →

Disability Benefits Denied The First Time?

February 20, 2021

You might hear people say “Social Security automatically denies your disability claim the first time you apply.” This is simply not true. When you submit your Disability claim in the Social Security office, your Social Security representative will spend about thirty days putting your application together. After the file is complete, your case is transferred [...]

Read the full article →

Social Security Disabled Widow Benefits

January 11, 2021

If you are a disabled widow age 50 or older you may be able to receive benefits off your spouse’s (or former spouse’s) Social Security record. If your spouse or former spouse has recently passed away you should notify Social Security as soon as possible. Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. If you are [...]

Read the full article →
Page 1 of 212