Monday, May 16, 2022

Can You Work And Draw Social Security Disability

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What If I Work Many Hours For Someone Else

Can You Work While Getting Social Security Disability Insurance?

Generally, your monthly income matters most for your eligibility. However, working too many hours could affect your case.

For example, maybe youre working close full-time hours even though you dont earn over $1,260 per month. The SSA might consider you able to work a full-time job and deny you benefits. It will be harder to convince Social Security that youre disabled if you can work many hours.

What Is The Disability Standard For Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security

Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security are reserved for workers with the most severe disabilities and conditions, and both use the same strict disability standard: inability to engage in substantial gainful activitydefined as being able to earn $1,040 a month in 2013due to one or more severe physical or mental impairments that are expected to last at least a year or could result in death. A workers impairment or combination of impairments must be so severe that the applicant is not only unable to do his or her previous work but also unableconsidering his or her age, education, and work experienceto engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.

Medical evidence is the cornerstone for the determination of disability in both programs. To qualify, there must be medical evidence from a doctor, specialist, or certain other licensed or certified medical sources that documents a severe impairment. Evidence from other health care providerssuch as nurse practitioners or clinical social workersis not sufficient to document a severe medical impairment. And statements from the applicants themselves, their families, co-workers, friends, or neighbors are not treated as medical evidence.

To Work Or Not To Work

If youre going to a job a few days a week, the SSA might have a hard time believing your disability is severe enough to award benefits to you. Working while you wait for your benefits to begin is not forbidden. However, its a good idea to consider the type of work you do and where you do it while the Social Security Administration decides your condition and benefits.

The SSA is on the lookout for SGA . While they dont want you to have a disability that keeps you from working, if youre applying for benefits, you need to have a disability that keeps you from maintaining SGA.

If your part-time job looks like its providing you with too much income, you wont qualify for disability benefits. To avoid breaching the substantial gainful activity threshold:

  • Non-blind individuals can earn no more than $1,260 per month
  • Blind individuals can earn no more than $2,110 per month

The SSA monitors your earnings to make sure you arent exceeding the maximum each month. In some cases, when you earn too much money in a month, you could receive a lower benefit payment that month.

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Understanding Your Monthly Earning Limit On Ssd

The Social Security Administration defines qualified workers as disabled and eligible for SSD benefits when they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents them from performing substantive gainful activities. The disability needs to last for at least 12 months or be expected to result in the death of the SSD applicant. They refer to the substantial gainful activity as SGA.

Whats substantial gainful activity ? It may seem odd that whether you are eligible for SSDI benefits would be based on such a vague concept. The Social Security Administration created the SGA limit as a uniform, across-the-board dollar amount that the government can use to separate workers who can earn a living from the workers who are too disabled to earn the same amount.

In 2021, the government set the SGA figure at $1,310 per month. According to the SSD rules, that means if you can earn more than $1,310 in a month, then you are not disabled enough to receive SSD benefits. The dollar figure is determined in relation to the national average annual wage index. However, it is worth noting that the 2021 poverty guideline for an individual is $12,880 annually. That means individuals who earn more than the $1,310 per month SGA level would be above the poverty line by $2,840 per year. For each additional family member in the household, the poverty level increases by $4,540.

Trial Work Period Program Allows Ssd Benefits And Higher Monthly Earnings

Can You Work While Receiving Social Security Disability ...

The Social Security Administration wanted to encourage SSD benefits recipients to try to resume any employment they could manage without the threat of immediately losing their benefits if they were successful. To solve the problem, the government created the Trial Work Period program.

Under the Trial Work Period plan, an SSD benefit recipient can earn as much as they can above the monthly SGA cut-off limit and still keep receiving their full benefits. The catch is that you can only take advantage of this program for 9 months. But for each of those 9 months, you can earn an unlimited amount of income and the government will not penalize you by reducing or eliminating your regular SSD payment. The 9 months do not have to be consecutive they can be spread across a five-year period.

Importantly, any month in which you earn more than $970 will count as one of your 9 months.

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Offsetting Your Earnings With Expenses

Earning more than $1,180 per month, or $1,970 per month if you’re blind, can make you ineligible for disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration will deduct certain disability-related expenses that allow you to work from your income to lower your earnings on paper. If, for example, you’re unable to take public transportation to work because of your disability and must pay for taxis or car service instead, deducting that cost from your earnings could be enough to push you below the SGA threshold, which would help you hold on to your disability benefits while employed. Let’s say, for instance, that you earn $2,000 per month but have $900 in deductible expenses. That $900 will effectively reduce your income to $1,100, leaving you eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Remember, the Social Security Administration actually encourages those receiving disability benefits to pursue work opportunities, and has special programs in place to help make that happen. And working while collecting benefits could wind up being just as good for your health as it is for your bank account.

Experts Advice: Dont Go It Alone

Vieillet says the intricacies of each program are confusing, even to the experts. For the average person, it can be downright overwhelming.

When letters from Social Security start coming in the mail, they scare the bejesus out of people, says Teresa Nier, benefits and employment manager with My Employment Options.

For disabled workers, joining a free work-incentive program and employment network can help. Ticket to Work offers benefits protection for recipients who want to test the employment waters. And organizations like My Employment Options have certified benefits counselors on staff to help applicants trudge through the paperwork and fine print all while finding a job that fits their unique needs.

To avoid unexpected benefits cuts or having to return overpayments to the agency, people need to keep Social Security updated with phone numbers and addresses, Nier says. Open those letters. Ask questions.

For James, the idea of not working is unsettling. He doesnt want to be a burden.

Im more of an entrepreneur, he says. Im a very social person. Im very outgoing.

I want to try to make this work. Somehow.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that dont involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter .

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Social Security Income Limits

The Social Security Administration reported in October 2021 that the estimated average monthly retirement benefit will be $1,657. While that regular monthly income helps, it’s usually not enough to cover living expenses. That’s one reason many people are working longer.

If you work, the money you bring home can affect your Social Security benefitsbut the specifics depend on your age and how much you earn. Remember that, although your full retirement age might be 67, you can start receiving benefits at 62, even if you’re still working.

But here’s the catch: For the 2021 tax year, if you start benefits before full retirement age, you can only earn up to $18,960 and still get your full benefits. Once you earn more than the limit, Social Security deducts $1 from your benefits for every $2 you earn.

In the year you reach full retirement age, Social Security becomes more forgiving. If you earn more than $50,520 it deducts $1 for every $3 you earnbut only during the months before you reach full retirement age. Once you reach full retirement age, you can earn any amount of money, and it won’t reduce your monthly benefits.

Note, however, that any money deducted from your benefit is not permanently lost. After you reach full retirement age, Social Security will recalculate your benefit and increase it to account for the benefits that it withheld earlier.

Who Handles Overseas Ssa Issues And Other Help

Can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

The SSA actually operates a division specifically set up to deal with international matters. Its called the Office of International Operations . According to the SSA, the division receives assistance from the Department of States embassies as well as various consulates. The OIO serves people who are already living outside the U.S. or who plan to live outside the U.S.

OIO allows people to:

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What If You Make More Than The 2022 Maximum Income Limit

Earning more than the monthly income limit for eligibility has the effect of disqualifying the SSD recipient from the formal definition of disabled. The fact that an SSD recipient earned more than the monthly income limit is evidence that the benefits recipient is not disabled under the governments regulations. The result is a suspension of benefits. However, SSD recipients whose income rises above the monthly eligibility income limit immediately become eligible for SSD benefits again when their income returns to a level beneath the maximum income set by the Social Security Administration.

Benefits Of Receiving Both Ssi And Ssdi

SSDI and SSI benefits together can be helpful because they could get you as much money as possible through the SSA. For example, if you are already qualify for SSDI benefits, getting approved for SSI could increase your payout to the maximum of $794. Even if you started off getting SSI benefits, applying for SSDI could also raise your payments to $794.

The other benefit of getting SSDI and SSI is that you could be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid together. SSI receipts in most states are eligible for Medicaid as soon as they are for SSI. SSDI recipients are eligible for Medicare two years after their disability onset date. Medicare is generally accepted by more doctors, but Medicaid is more affordable and you dont have to wait for it.

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How Long Can You Stay On Long

The length of your long-term disability payments depends on your LTD plan. Many LTD policies payout for a limited period of time, such as 2, 5, or 10 years. Others offer disability payments through retirement age.

However, if you qualify for SSDI, you will receive disability benefits for as long as you remain unable to work due to your disability. If you have questions about SSDI or LTD benefits, reach out to a New Jersey disability benefits lawyer.

Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work

Can You Collect Social Security Disability and Workers ...

If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.

We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.

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The Extended Period Of Eligibility

Once you’ve exhausted your nine-month TWP, you enter the Extended Period of Eligibility . The EPE is a 36-month period during which you’ll continue to receive your full benefit every month as long as you remain disabled and earn less than Social Security’s substantial gainful activity threshold. In 2020, the SGA level is $1,260 for non-blind individuals and $2,110 for the blind.

If you earn over SGA in any month during the EPE, you’ll lose that month’s entire benefit, a situation sometimes referred to as the “cash cliff.” This will also cause Social Security to find that your disability has “ceased.” Once that happens, you will be paid in full for that month and an additional two-month grace period, before benefits terminate.

If you later stop working, or your earnings fall below the SGA level during the EPE, contact Social Security and your benefits will be restarted without having to file a new application. Because it’s so easy to re-start your benefits if your work attempt doesn’t work out, Social Security calls the EPE the “re-entitlement period.”

When the 36-month re-entitlement period ends, your benefits will continue as long as you are medically disabled and not earning SGA. If you earn over SGA for even one month after the 36-month period of re-entitlement, your benefits will terminate. However, if your medical condition makes you stop working again, you may be eligible for expedited reinstatement, if it’s within five years of the EPE.

Why Is There A Shortfall In The Disability Insurance Trust Fund And What Can Be Done About It

As described above, Disability Insurance is funded by a dedicated share of payroll tax contributions0.9 percent of taxable wages paid by workers and the same amount by employers. Since the mid-1990s the Social Security Administration has consistently projected that the Disability Insurance trust fund would have sufficient reserves to cover all scheduled benefits until 2016, but that after that date, additional funds would be needed to avoid a shortfall in the necessary funds to continue paying full benefits. If no action is taken to address the shortfall, the Disability Insurance trust fund will only be able to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefit levels after 2016.

Congress has addressed similar shortfallsin both the Disability Insurance trust fund and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund, which pays retirement benefitsnearly a dozen times in the past by temporarily reallocating the share of overall payroll tax revenues that is dedicated to each trust fund. In some cases, they have reallocated funds from the Disability Insurance trust fund to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund in others, they have reallocated funds from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund to the Disability Insurance trust fund.

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Working While Collecting Ssd 2022

One of the factors determining whether you meet the definition of disabled used by Social Security is the amount of income earned at a job or through self-employment. You must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death to be disabled for purposes of the SSDI program. The same definition applies to adults applying for SSI benefits as disabled.

The general guideline used to determine whether you can engage in substantial gainful activity is monthly earnings from a job or through self-employment. The substantial gainful activity amount a person could earn SSD 2021 was $1,310 a month, which increases in 2022 to $1,350. If you qualify for benefits based on being blind, the monthly income threshold of $2,190 in 2021 increases to $2,260 in 2022. However, the monthly substantial gainful activity threshold does not apply to someone submitting an application for or receiving benefits through SSI as blind.

Another change in income thresholds for 2022 applies to trial work periods for someone receiving SSDI benefits. Any money earned while working during a nine-month trial work period does not affect your eligibility for benefits even if you earn more than the substantial gainful activity threshold.

Benefits For A Disabled Child

Can I work part time and get Social Security Disability benefits?

A child under age 18 may be disabled, but we don’t need to consider the child’s disability when deciding if he or she qualifies for benefits as a dependent. The child’s benefits normally stop at age 18 unless he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or high school or is disabled.

Children who were receiving benefits as a minor child on a parents Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parents record upon reaching age 18 if they are disabled.

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What If I Dont Have Money In My Base Period Because I Was Unemployed Before I Became Disabled

There are two rules that may help you if you do not have earnings in your base period due to unemployment:

First, if you have an unexpired claim for unemployment insurance benefits when you are seeking SDI, then you may use the base period you used for your unemployment insurance claim.

Second, if you were unemployed during any quarter of your base period meaning out of work for 60 or more days and looking for work you may disregard that quarter and begin your base period three months earlier than the period set forth in the above chart. For each quarter you were unemployed, you may go back another quarter.

What Happens When Your Nine Month Trial Work Period Ends

The Trial Work Period permits nine months of above-the-limit monthly earnings while continuing to receive the full monthly SSD benefit payment. Once the nine months are all used, the Social Security Administration encourages the working SSD recipient to continue earning a higher income. SSD created the Extended Period of Eligibility of three additional months during which the SSD recipient can continue to earn more than the SSD income limit and still receive their usual monthly SSD payment.

After the three-month Extended Period of Eligibility is used, then SSD benefit payments will stop if the SSD recipient continues to work and earn more than the monthly income limit. But, for another period of 36 months, benefits will be resumed if the workers income falls beneath the monthly income limit for SSD benefits eligibility.

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