What Are My Income Limits On Social Security
Since its inception, Social Security has benefitted hundreds of millions of Americans in need. A large portion of these benefits go to those with severe disabilities who are unable to earn sufficient wages.
To be sure Social Security goes to those who need it most, income plays a large role in deciding who receives Social Security disability insurance and Supple-mental Security Income .
How Long Do You Intend To Work
The last major factor into how work will affect your disability claim is how long you expect to keep working.
This affects applicants for disability differently from current recipients of disability:
- Disability applicants who wish to return to work one day may choose to file for unemployment benefits.
- Those who already receive disability may try to return to work. However, if you earn a certain amount of money and work for a certain amount of time, you may trigger a trial work period.
Working While On Social Security Disability
Many people assume that you cannot work if you are receiving Social Security Disability. While that is generally true in most cases, there are some exceptions. If you meet the Social Security Administrations specific criteria for working while on Social Security Disability, you may still be able to remain employed and receive benefits.
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Can You Work And Get Disability
Can you work while applying for, or receiving, disability?
Yes, you are allowed to work while receiving Social Security Disability or SSI, and you are allowed to work while having initiated applying for benefits. As long as you follow the rule set in place by Social Security for earned income.
What is the rule?
In the case of a pending claim, i.e. you have filed a disability application, you can do this as long as your earnings do not exceed the earnings threshold for the SGA limit. SGA stands for substantial gainful activity and it corresponds to a specific dollar amount that you cannot exceed.
Going over the limit means being denied
If your gross monthly earnings exceed this amount, you claim will be denied for SGA because it is the social security administrations position that if you can make this amount you are not functionally limited enough to be considered disabled .
This is why we advise individuals who are trying to get their disability benefits to be very careful about engaging in work activity. That doesnt change the fact that people who are disabled sometimes still have to make the attempt to work in order to keep their bills paid.
What if you try to work but it doesnt work out?
If you are already getting disability, Social Security will allow you to try working
How the trial work system works
Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
How much you can earn while on disability is different for individuals currently getting SSDI benefits and those getting SSI benefits. For a discussion of how much you can work when first applying for benefits, see our section on working and eligibility for Social Security disability. This article is about how working affects people who are currently receiving SSDI benefits, versus how working affects people who are currently receiving SSI benefits.
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What If I Am Able To Work But Must Stop Again Because Of My Disability
The SSA will cut off your benefits if it finds you are capable of engaging in substantial gainful activity . However, in many cases, a persons disability will, at a later date, make it impossible to continue working.
If this happens to you, the SSA offers expedited reinstatement. This means you will not need to file a new application or wait for the SSA to review your condition to begin receiving benefits.
All you need to do is request the SSA restart your benefits within five years.
What Is Substantial Gainful Activity
Substantial gainful activity is generally work that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. In 2022, that amount is $1,350 for non-blind disabled SSDI or SSI applicants, and $2,260 for blind SSDI applicants . If you are making more than that amount per month, the SSA presumes that you must not be disabled . In deciding whether you are doing SGA, Social Security does not count any income you obtain from non-work sources, such as interest, investments, or gifts.
Low earnings, however, don’t necessarily establish that you’re unable to work. The SSA will consider the circumstances under which you performed work. For example, where a disability applicant had worked as a substitute bus driver, the court found that he was doing SGA because his low earnings did not indicate that he was unable to work, and his income was less than it could be because of the on-call nature of the job. The SSA can even consider volunteer activities and criminal activities as SGA if they represent substantial work for which someone would ordinarily be paid .
Similarly, high earnings don’t necessarily mean the disability claimant was doing SGA, if he or she was working under special conditions. Claimants can argue that their income would have been lower but for the fact that the claimant:
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Trial Work Period For Social Security Disability Benefits
Recipients of disability benefits are given a 9-month period to test their ability to work without any change in their benefit amount. Therefore, during this period, you will continue to receive your benefits even if youre making more than the amounts specified as Substantial Gainful Activity . In order for any specific month to fall under the trial work period, you should make a minimum of $840 during that month.
After the 9-month trial work period, you are immediately considered for what is called an extended period of eligibility. This is an additional 36-month period where you will be eligible to receive benefits during any particular month in which your income falls below the $1,170/month.
Once you have continued to show your ability to work and receive income that is above the SGA level, your benefits will be discontinued. You will, however, be granted a 5-year period where you can have your benefits reinstated if you are forced to stop working due to your disability. This is what is referred to as expedited reinstatement.
Another Wrinkle To Part
Generally, Social Security will find you disabled if you can’t sustain full-time work on a regular basis. But if your regular work before applying for disability was part-time work, and Social Security finds you can still do this work, your claim can be denied. See our article on partial disability and part-time work.
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Keep Your Local Social Security Office Informed
When you are working while still receiving SSD payments it is important to keep your local Social Security office informed of what you are doing. They will keep track of your working months and help ensure that you do not exceed them. If you do end up exceeding the number of months or the income limit, you will have to repay those benefits, which is typically accomplished by deducting a portion of the overpayment from your monthly benefits until your account is brought current.
When it is time to start thinking about applying for Social Security Disability benefits, we are ready to discuss your case and answer all of your questions and concerns. We will be that strong advocate by your side as you move through the arduous process of obtaining disability benefits. Please contact Bailey & Greer, PLLC to speak with an experienced West Tennessee Social Security Disability attorney.
What Happens To Medicare Coverage During The Twp And Epe
Medicare coverage comes with SSDI benefits . It continues during the Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligibility. At the end of your TWP, you’ll remain covered by Medicare for another 93 months, even if you’re working and earning SGA during this time. Of course, if you remain entitled to disability benefits after the EPE ends, you will still enjoy Medicare coverage as well.
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Employment: Social Security Disability Work Incentives At A Glance
SSDI WORK INCENTIVES
Trial Work Period – The trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your trial work period, you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you are earning as long as you report your work activity and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2021, a trial work month is any month in which your total earnings are $940 or more, or, if you are self employed, you earn more than $940 or spend more than 80 hours in your own business. The trial work period continues until you have worked nine months within a 60-month period.
Extended Period of Eligibility – After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings are not substantial. In 2021, earnings of $1,310 or more are considered substantial. No new application or disability decision is needed for you to receive a Social Security disability benefit during this period.
Expedited Reinstatement – After your benefits stop because your earnings are substantial, you have five years during which you may ask Social Security to start your benefits immediately if you find yourself unable to continue working because of your condition. ou will not have to file a new disability application, and you will not have to wait for your benefits to start while your medical condition is being reviewed to make sure you are still disabled.
If You Work How Much Money Will Be Withheld From Your Ssi Or Ssdi Check
If you are working while receiving either benefit, the SSA disregards the first $65 you earn, plus half your remaining monthly earnings.
As an example, let’s suppose you get monthly SSI checks of $841, the maximum monthly SSI benefit as of 2022.
If you earn $65 or less in a given month from wages, you will still receive your regular $841 check.
Alternatively, suppose you are receiving SSI and earn $165 from wages.
In this case, the SSA would disregard the first $65, leaving you with $100 of earned income.
Before deducting this amount from your monthly benefit, the SSA would divide your income by two.
Therefore, the total amount to be taken from your SSI check would be $50, leaving you with $791.
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Working For An Employer
Disabled individuals have many options for part-time work while receiving Social Security Disability Income. Most individuals can work part-time and stay within the income guidelines set by their state. While many disabled people utilize the Ticket to Work Program, they may also find their own employment. If an individual chooses to seek their own employment, they should be aware of income guidelines before accepting work. These income guidelines are available from their local Social Security Administration office, or on the SSAs website.
Understanding The Substantial Gainful Activity Limitations
The short answer is yes. You can work part time while on Social Security Disability. You just have to make sure your income doesnt exceed the limitations for substantial gainful activity, or SGA. The SGA amount is a set maximum monthly wage that helps the Social Security Administration determine whether or not your disability prevents you from earning a living. Essentially, if you exceed this limit, they may think you dont need disability benefits anymore.
While the SGA limit for 2022 is $1,350, SS disability beneficiaries who make a gross income of $970 a month will trigger whats known as a trial work period. Its not impossible to work part-time while receiving Social Security disability benefits, but its important to keep in mind that the rules surrounding disability claims and work activity are extremely complicated. For this reason, the vast majority of people choose not to work while getting benefits, so they can avoid overpayments that can jeopardize their benefits.
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Can I Be Working Full Time When I Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Disability
If you are working full time when you apply for either Social Security or SSI disability benefits, Social Security will not consider you disabled. This is because not being able to work a substantial amount of time is part of Social Securitys definition of disability. It doesnt matter whether you are working through pain or fatigue your application wont even advance to the part of the disability evaluation process where your medical condition is assessed.
Ssa Income Limits For Disability Benefits
The 2015 monthly income limit for individual SSI claimants is $733. This number is called the Federal Benefit Rate, or FBR. The FBR represents not only the maximum earnings per month but also the maximum payment a claimant can receive each month. In other words, you can neither earn nor receive more than $733 per month. The FBR for couples is higher: $1,100 per month.
If you earn more than the FBR, dont panic. You could still potentially qualify, because some of your earnings dont count toward the FBR. The SSA uses a complex formula to determine how much of your income is countable, and certain portions of your income and earnings are excluded. For example, the SSA does not count any of the following:
- The first $20 of your monthly income.
- Income tax refunds.
- Loans that youre responsible for repaying.
- Need-based assistance you receive from the state of Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
- The value of SNAP .
Finally, you must also have limited resources. Your resources include all and any of the following:
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Talk To A Social Security Disability Lawyer For Free Today
Many disabled individuals struggle to get the SSDI benefits they deserve. If you are worried about losing benefits or not qualifying, talk to Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers John Foy & Associates. With over 20 years of experience, we know how to help you with your SSDI case.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. Call us or contact us online to get started for FREE.
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Extended Period Of Eligibility
So how does SGA affect a personâs eligibility to continue receiving his or her SSDI check? After the individual has accumulated 9 months of a TWP, he or she then has a 36- month period referred to as an âextended period of eligibilityâ . During the EPE, Social Security looks at whether earnings in any given month exceed the applicable SGA amount, after taking into account any gross wage reductions for IRWE or work subsidies. If adjusted net earnings exceed the applicable SGA amount, Social Security will make a determination of cessation of disability. The SSDI benefit amount will be terminated after the third month from the cessation of disability month. If wages drop below the SGA amount in any given month during the 36-month EPE, the SSDI benefit amount will be reinstated.
The importance of the EPE is that an individual can again receive the SSDI benefit amount in any month during the 36-month period when countable earnings fall below the SGA amount.
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Is Di Out Of Sync With The Americans With Disabilities Act
The Social Security Advisory Board, which was created by Congress to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security, posed the question of whether the DI program and its test of disability is out of sync with the Americans with Disabilities Act . In April 2004, the Academy drew on findings of its Disability Policy Panel report, Balancing Security and Opportunity, to testify before the Board as follows:
The need for a disability wage-replacement program does not go away because we have the Americans with Disabilities Act . Nor is the need for such a program eliminated by advances in medicine, changes in the demands of jobs, new assistive technology, or other environmental accommodations. These developments may increase employment opportunities for some categories of individuals with disabilities. For example, the ADA expands opportunity for people who have highly valued skills whose main impediments to work had been based on discrimination, architectural barriers, or other impediments that the ADA alleviates. But other individuals may face increasing impediments to work as the work environment and demands of work change. For example, in an increasingly competitive world of work, emphasis on versatility and speed may impede employment prospects for people with mental impairments. Because the phenomenon of work disability will remain with us in a competitive economy, wage replacement programs remain essential.