Even though many people think they cannot work at all if they are applying for – or already receiving – Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, that is simply not the case. In fact, as long as your monthly gross income is below a certain dollar amount, you may still be able to receive SSD benefits.
Specifically, in order to be eligible for SSD benefits, you simply cannot engage in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) – meaning you cannot earn more than a predetermined income level and still receive benefits. In 2016, the income caps set by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are $1,130 for disabled workers and $1,820 for blind applicants. Therefore, if your income falls below these amounts, you may be able to collect benefits.
Trial Work Period: The Basics
In some cases, you may even want to try to return to work, but are afraid to do so because of your disability. Fortunately, the SSA provides a trial work period where you can attempt to work without fear of losing your benefits.
For example, you can work for up to nine months and still receive your SSD benefits in full – regardless of how much money you make during those months. In 2016, any month you earn more than $810 is considered a trial work month. In total, your trial period lasts until you have worked nine month within a 60-month period.
However, it is important to remember that there may be exceptions and difficult-to-understand caveats to the rules discussed above, which is why it is always best to speak with an experienced SSD attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can help you seek the benefits you deserve.