Does Social Security Let You Keep Your Disability Benefits If You Return to Work?
The U.S. Social Security Administration knows that your monthly disability benefits may not be enough for all your essential costs, including housing, insurance, and power. Etc. Therefore, they allow you to work and earn up to a specific amount while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). An overview of this topic is outlined in the SSA’s pamphlet ‘Working While Disabled: How Can We Help.”
However, there are rules and regulations you must follow carefully if you’re going to work while receiving SSDI benefits.
The SSA encourages disabled SSDI recipients to attempt to return to work (even part-time), so they allow you to make specific amounts for specific periods. So, it’s vital that if you’re going to work while receiving SSDI benefits, you must get the correct, current, and professional advice you need and become familiar with the particular rules necessary so that your benefits aren’t in jeopardy. The best way to do this is to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable San Diego SSDI lawyer.
Always remember that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit paid to you when you are entitled to participate in the program. This means that you have worked for the required time (typically ten years minimum), are disabled, and have paid into the program by paying your social security taxes.
To qualify for SSDI, you must meet the requirements for being “disabled” as defined by the SSA. A few of the requirements you must meet are:
- You cannot do your current or similar job as you did before.
- The SSA must usually determine that you can’t learn and adjust to a new field.
- Your injury or disability is extensive and long-term, meaning it will last more than one year or result in death.
Your SSDI lawyer will also explain that if you wish to still try to work, the SSA provides a “trial period” where you’re free to test your ability to work without worrying about how much you may earn.
So, you can receive benefits and work, but you must adhere to all the SSA rules and regulations that allow you to do so, or you may lose your SSDI benefits. Consulting with your professional, qualified San Diego SSDI lawyer is the best way to ensure you are going about this process correctly.
What Is This “Trial Period” and How Much Can I Work If I’m Receiving SSDI Benefits?
During your allowed “trial work period,” you can return to work without worrying about losing your SSDI benefits. Also, this holds no matter how much money you may make.
The “trial period” is commonly nine months; you can work, earn as much as you want and still receive your SSDI benefits. Also note that you may not have to work nine consecutive months, and you can spread them out over five years.
However, generally, you are only allowed one trial work period. If you have any of the nine months remaining after your five-year period, they will be lost.
Currently, the SSA will consider a “trial month” as any month where you earned more than $1,050.
If you continue to work, you must be extremely careful about how much you make and the rules involved in this calculation. It still holds that if you receive SSDI benefits and are not in your “trial period,” you can work in any “substantial gainful activity,” defined as making $1,130 per month or less.
Each case differs, so don’t risk your benefits! Consult your San Diego SSDi lawyer to ensure you stay within the SSDI guidelines.
The Most Common Reasons for Losing Your SSDI Benefits
It’s vital to note that working too much while receiving SSDI benefits is only one way to lose them, but there are other ways that non-compliance may stop your benefits.
Usually, the most common reason does relate to an increase in income of any kind.
However, there are other ways to lose your benefits that may not relate to income; the most common are:
- Information found during your continuing disability review – The court orders periodic reviews of your case on average every three years. If your disability has changed or improved, this may directly affect your benefits.
- Of course, making too much income of any kind – The legal term the SSA uses is” Substantial Gainful Activity” (aka SGA), which means you usually can’t make more than $1,350 a month for non-blind people and $2,260 for people with blindness.
- Becoming retired or over 18 – If you retire or turn 18, your eligibility will probably be reviewed and adjusted.
- If you’re arrested or imprisoned – Specific felony crimes, including defrauding the SSA, will cause your benefits to terminate for life.
How Can an SSDI Lawyer Help Me Regain of Fight For My Benefits?
Applying for and keeping your SSDI benefits is a stressful, legally challenging, and sometimes overly complex process many people find daunting. Also, most applicants are already dealing with poor health, which causes other significant issues. By working with a professional and qualified SSDI lawyer, there are numerous ways they can help
Your SSDI case is unique, and it’s mandatory that you have an SSDI lawyer that has a thorough knowledge of the entire SSA process and how every single rule and regulation will affect your case and your benefits.
For many, working is much more than a paycheck; it provides purpose, self-esteem, and much more to you and your family. If you’re receiving SSDI benefits, you need this income and are entitled to it. However, if you’re even considering working, your local experienced SSDI lawyer will carefully and thoroughly review your case and ensure that you comply with all the SSA regulations so your benefits aren’t jeopardized.
The good news is that usually, you can work and keep your SSDi benefits, but it’s mandatory that you have the most up-to-date information used by the SSA and that your continued work doesn’t conflict with any SSDI compliance; only your qualified SSDI lawyer can competently provide that assurance.
I Recently Began To Work But Can’t Lose My SSDI Benefits; What Should I Do?
It’s not legally required to hire an SSDI lawyer, but due to the SSDI applications’ complexity and issues (such as continuing to work), it’s incredibly unwise not to do so.
The Roeschke Law Firm is one of California’s premier disability advocates and has the experience, empathy, and professionalism to help you apply or keep and maintain your much-needed SSDI benefits. Call them today at (800 975-1866) for a complete case evaluation. They stand ready to fight for you and your family!