SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What are the earnings limits for those on disability benefits?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Applicants for disability benefits, and recipients of social security disability or SSI disability benefits, can engage in work activity as long as their earnings are below whatever has been established as the limit for SGA, or substantial gainful activity for that particular year.
The SGA limit is subject to change each year so individuals who are receiving benefits, or pursuing benefits should probably contact their local social security office to check the earnings limit before beginning employment.
Individuals who are already getting monthly benefits may wish to keep track of what the current SGA limit is so that A) they can avoid going over the limit and potentially endangering their benefits (as well as risking an overpayment situation) and B) to increase their earning potential (by knowing just how much they can earn and remain eligible for benefits).
If you receive disability benefits and work and your earnings do exceed the SGA limit, what happens? Fortunately, the social security administration allows disability benefit recipients the opportunity to try working without necessarily voiding their eligibility for disability benefits. This is done by allowing recipients a trial work period.
The trial work period consists of nine total months in which a person can work over the SGA earnings limits. Once the nine trial work months are exhausted, if the individual is still working and earning more than the SGA limit, their eligibility for disability benefits will end.
Note: the nine trial work period months do not have to be consecutive meaning that a person could potentially have much longer than simply nine months in which to try returning to work.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page