Working While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

February 22nd, 2021
Working While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

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If you get Social Security disability benefits, you still may be able to work. Here are all the questions that our clients typically ask about working while receiving disability benefits and the answers we provide.

Will I lose my Social Security disability if I work?

Special rules make it possible for people to work and still receive Social Security disability benefits. In order to work, you’ll need to keep track of how much money you make each month. You will still be eligible for Social Security disability benefits as long as you are not engaged in “substantial gainful activity.”

How much can I earn while on disability?

Substantial gainful activity is work that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. In 2020, the substantial gainful activity amount was $1,260 per month. In 2021, the amount is $1,310 per month.

In 2021, as long as you continue to meet Social Security’s definition of disability, if you are earning less than $1,310 per month, you will be allowed to collect your disability benefits.

How many hours can I work?

Social Security’s rules focus on the amount of money you make a month, not the number of hours you work. As long as you make under the substantial gainful activity level, you can still receive your disability benefits.

Are there any exceptions to these rules?

There are exceptions to these rules. If your medical condition improves and you want to try to go back to work making more than $1,310 per month, you can try out a “trial work period” for a certain number of months.

A trial work period allows people to test their ability to work while they continue to receive their disability benefits, regardless of how much money they make a month. You can continue to receive your full benefit amount as long as you report your work activity to Social Security and continue to meet their rules for disability.

For 2021, any month where you earn more than $940 will be considered a “trial work month.” Your trial work period can continue until you’ve worked nine months within a 60-month timeframe. At the end of the trial work period, you can still receive disability benefits for any month that you did not make more than the substantial gainful activity amount.

Any more questions?

For more information about working while receiving social security disability benefits, consult the LaPorte Law Firm. We are here to answer any questions you have about working while receiving disability benefits or any other questions you may have about your disability claim.