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Disability Attorney Forrest Jackson

Working on Disability


Can I Work While Receiving Disability Benefits?

In general, the answer is yes. You can work part-time while receiving disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) which administers both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does place limits on how much you can make.

According to the SSA, as of 2023 earned income over $1470 per year makes you ineligible for SSDI. This amount is considered to be Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). If you are receiving SSDI, earning over this amount means your disability doesn't prevent you from working according to SSA standards. This limit would not include income from other sources including pensions, retirement funds, invesment returns, or dividend income. This is because as a disability insurance program run by the SSA, SSDI is paid into by the workers before they become disabled and unable to continue working. For SSI recipients who work or have certain other forms of income, the monthly payment of $914 gets reduced by the countable income received. In most cases, the countable income is less than the total income received.

Work Incentives for SSDI & SSI Recipients

The SSA does offer incentives for disability recipients to try working without losing their benefits for a period of time. The SSA created a program called Ticket to Work for SSI recipients who may be able to work. This program offers career counseing and planning as well as support services.

SSDI and SSI recipients can work for a nine-month trial period in which you can exceed the SGA maximum and still receive their disability benefits. This allows you to see if you're able to continue working. If you earn less than $970 in any particular month it won't count towards the 9 months of the trial period. The nine months of working on a trial basis do not have be consectutive. For self-employed people working more than 80 hours in one month counts towards to the nine-month trial period.

The Extended Period of Eligibility follows the nine-month trial work period during which time you will not receive any disability benefits for any month you go over the maximum limit for SGA. There is however an initial three-month grace period in which you will still receive disability payments if you go over the SGA limit. Also during this period, you will receive your full monthly disability payment for any month that you do not exceed the limit.

Medical Benefits

If after the Extended Period of Eligibility you continue and go off of disability you can still receive Medicare for 93 months.

Expedited Reinstatement

Recipients who go off of SSDI or SSI but find that their disability gets worse and are unable to continue working can have their beneifts reinstated without having to fill out a new application. The period can however last up to six months before the approval comes in.

Questions? Contact Us!

If you have questions on the work incentives, or anything involving Social Security disability benefits, do not hesitate to conact us at Jackson Law Firm, PLLC.

Jackson Law Firm serves the Chattanooga area and surrounding communities including Soddy Daisy, East Ridge, Red Bank, Dayton, Dunlap, Ooltewah, Collegedale, Cleveland TN as Well as North Georgia including Dalton, Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, and other surrounding areas.