Working While on Social Security Disability

Working While on Social Security Disability
You may be able to work while collecting Social Security disability

Social Security Disability Benefits

If you receive Social Security disability, but still want to work, there are several ways to do without having to lose your benefits.

A "trial work period" allows you to return to work for up to nine months and still receive Social Security benefits. During this time, you will have to report your earnings and medical status. To qualify for a "trial work period," you must earn at least $700 per month working for an employer or for yourself.

If you feel comfortable to continue working after the trial period has ended, you may do so and still receive Social Security disability for up to 36 months. Maximum earnings during this period may not exceed $980 per month.

If you decide to return to work and are earning more than $980 per month, your benefits will cease. As a precaution, if your disability prohibits you from maintaining steady employment, you may resume receiving Social Security disability benefits. You have up to five years to do so and you will not have to fill out a new claim.

Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Supplemental Security Income is granted to those who are blind, have a disability, or those over the age of 65 who cannot maintain steady employment due to health or other disability.

If you receive supplemental security income, but are still able to work, you may do so and still receive benefits. SSI benefits vary from state to state, so it's best to contact your local Social Security office to find out more about the maximum income you can earn while receiving benefits.

If benefits are discontinued because you earn over the maximum amount each month, you may request benefits to be reinstated. You have up to five years to make this request without having to file a new claim.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits While Working

If you're still working, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for these benefits, you must be able to prove that you have a disability that prevents you from earning enough each month to cover your expenses. Also, your monthly income should be lower than $900 per month.

After you start receiving benefits, you will have to follow the maximum income guidelines created by the Social Security Administration if you plan to continue working.

Contact your local Social Security office to set up an appointment with a benefits counselor. You will have to file a claim and participate in an interview. You may also need to show documentation outlining your disability. Documentation may include medical records, workplace incident reports, or medical bills pertaining to your disability.