Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Can you work part-time while on Social Security Disability?

Social Security disability pays benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a qualifying disability. Workers who become disabled may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Low-income individuals who are disabled may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Under both disability programs, you may work part-time and still receive benefits under some circumstances. A Texas Social Security disability lawyer can help you determine how working part-time impacts your benefits.


Working Part-Time While Receiving SSDI Benefits?

The SSA has several work incentives that encourage individuals who can return to work to do so. A trial work period gives you the chance to test whether you can return to work. For nine months, you can receive full SSDI benefits even though you earn more than the maximum income limits. However, you must report that you are working to the SSA and continue to have a disability. A trial work month is a month in which you earn $880 or more in 2019. 

After the end of the trial work period, you have up to 36 months in which you can receive disability benefits for any month that your earnings do not exceed “substantial” earnings. For 2019, the amount of substantial earnings is $1,220 or $2,040 if you are blind. If your disability benefits end because you have substantial earnings, you have up to five years to ask for a reinstatement of benefits without filing a new application if you are unable to continue working because of your disability. 

Working Part-Time While Receiving SSI Benefits?

SSI also has work incentives that encourage people to work when they can. Your first $85 of earned income each month will not count as income or resources to reduce your SSI payments. One-half of your earnings over $85 per month is also excluded from income and resources. Therefore, your SSI benefits are only reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $85 per month. However, you may lose your benefits if your income exceeds the SSI income limits. You must report your earnings each month to the SSA to remain eligible for benefits.

As with SSDI payments, if your SSI payments stop because your earnings exceed the SSI income limits, you may ask the SSA to restart your benefits if you are unable to work because of your medical condition. You do not need to file a new disability application if the request is made within five years after the month your SSI benefits cease.

Social Security Disability Work Incentives

The SSA also has several other programs that encourage people to work if they can. The PASS or Plan to Achieve Self-Support is one of those programs. With a written, approved plan, an individual can save money to help them reach their work goals without losing SSI benefits during the plan period. Setting up a plan involves several steps. A Texas Social Security disability attorney can help you if you believe you might want to set up a plan.

Contact a Texas Social Security Disability Attorney for Help

Determining how working part-time can impact your disability benefits can be confusing. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to discuss your specific situation.

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