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Is it possible to work while on social security disability?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability benefits offer vital support to individuals unable to work due to a disability. However, many recipients wonder if they can supplement their income by working while receiving these benefits.

Understanding the rules and regulations for SSD is important for those considering this option.

Understanding SSD eligibility

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, individuals must meet specific criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration. One primary requirement is the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. The SSA defines SGA as earning over a certain monthly amount, which gets adjusted annually.

Trial work period

The SSA offers a Trial Work Period during which recipients can test their ability to work without risking their benefits. During the TWP, recipients can earn income and still receive their disability benefits. The TWP typically consists of nine months within a rolling 60-month period.

Substantial gainful activity

While earning income, recipients must be cautious not to exceed the SGA limit, as doing so may result in the cessation of benefits. In 2024, the SGA limit stands at $1,550 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,590 per month for blind individuals. If a recipient’s earnings surpass these thresholds, it could trigger a review by the SSA to determine if they are still eligible for benefits.

Work incentives and support programs

The SSA provides various work incentives and support programs to encourage recipients to return to work without fear of losing their benefits. Programs such as the Ticket to Work program and vocational rehabilitation services offer resources and assistance to individuals navigating the transition back to work.

Understanding these rules can help recipients make informed decisions about their employment options while ensuring they maintain their much-needed benefits.