Although part-time work is permitted for both applicants and recipients of SSDI benefits, it may not always be in your best interest. An experience social security disability lawyer can help you decide if you should work part-time while applying for or receiving SSDI benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to help individuals who cannot work due to a serious illness, injury or disability. When applying for SSDI, it is the responsibility of the applicant to prove that you cannot perform “substantial gainful activity.” In other words, due to your disability, you cannot work enough to support yourself for at least the past year.
The criteria for qualifying for disability benefits is far more complicated, of course, and often requires the assistance of a knowledgeable social security disability lawyer. If you are applying for SSDI or have been approved for disability benefits, however, you may be concerned about how much part-time work you can do and still be approved or keep your benefits. This article will explain a bit more about how part-time work a person can do when they have or are applying for SSDI.
Part-Time Work While Applying for SSDI
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be an incredibly complex process, involving numerous factors. The burden is on the applicant to prove to either the federal or state judge hearing their case that he or she does not have the ability to perform work above a certain level. Theoretically, this means that an applicant should be able to do some work and still qualify for benefits. However, many of the people tasked with deciding these claims often view any work as proof that a person is not actually disabled.
If you are currently working, even on a limited basis, the adjudicator may find that you could work more, perhaps with some accommodations or in less physically demanding job. That is why it may not be wise to pursue part-time employment while applying for SSDI. Speak with your social security disability lawyer to determine whether your part-time work could result in a claim denial.
Part-Time Work When Receiving SSDI
After you have been approved for disability benefits, you may wish to supplemental your income with part-time work. The Social Security Administration actually encourages recipients to work through incentives such as the Ticket to Work program. As long as recipients are earning less than the monthly maximum earning amount (see below), they can retain their benefits. Because the Social Security Administration may change these programs in the future and limit the amount of earnings for a person receiving disability benefits, it’s important to check in with your disability benefits attorney to ensure that your part-time work complies with current law and policies.
Monthly Earnings Cap
Whether you are applying for or already have SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration has established an income limit for “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). In 2016, that number is $1820 per month for a statutorily blind person, and $1130 per month for a non-blind individual. You can find the updated amount on the Social Security Administration’s website. As discussed above, it may be best for applicants to perform part-time work while waiting to be approved for benefits. The best course of action is to talk to a Social Security disability benefits attorney to find out how part-time work may impact your application or current benefits.
If you would like to learn more about SSDI, PLBSH is here for you. Our attorneys are experienced in the field of social security disability benefits, and can assist you with your application and benefits. Call our office today at (800) 435-7542 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.