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Can you work while on Social Security disability?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2020 | Social Security Disability

When successfully approved for Social Security disability benefits, you cannot return to your former work position in Massachusetts, right? At least, not if you hope to continue receiving benefits.

To help dispel any misinformation you may harbor about the situation, which can harm your overall financial health, see what U.S. News & World Report says. The truth is that you can work and receive disability benefits at the same time, but only under specific parameters.

Watch your earnings

Social Security disability benefits may not be enough to cover your current financial obligations, but your earning potential in your current physical state may not suffice, either. To help bridge the gap, you may eventually choose to return to work in a reduced capacity while still receiving benefits. Bear in mind that to remain eligible for benefits, you cannot earn more than $880 a month from your employer.


There are deductions that you can figure into the $880 monthly earnings. For instance, you may have to pay for special equipment out of your own pocket to return to work, or you may have to take either rideshares or public transportation to work rather than drive yourself. In either case, you can deduct the extra money you spend.

Trial work period

Should your disability improve to where you can work again, be sure to inquire about the Social Security Administration’s trial work period. During this period, you can earn more than $880 a month and still retain benefits. After a specific period during which you earn more than a substantial gainful activity threshold, $1,200 in 2019, the SSA may decide to discontinue your benefits.