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Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Can I supplement my disability with part-time work?




 
Hello. I work in the IT field and am planning to go on disability for a cardiovascular condition. Since I won’t be making nearly as much on disability, I was hoping I could supplement that with possibly a part time photography business. Will I lose my benefits if I do that?



Quite a few individuals work part-time and receive disability benefits. The issue is not whether you are working, but, rather, what you are earning while you are working. The limit for earned income while you either receive or apply for disability benefits is known as the SGA or substantial gainful activity limit.

If you have gross monthly earnings that are less than this amount, you should have no problem. That said, work activity that is not at the SGA level can still trigger a review of your case. When that happens, Social Security will check to see if your condition and limitations still satisfy the definition of disability used by SSA.

Essentially, they will be checking to see if you have sustained medical improvement. Medical improvement, however, is difficult for the Social Security Administration to prove because an individual would have to have continued to be seen by their medical providers who indicate, in their records, that functional improvement has occurred. This probably rarely happens because doctors rarely make mention of functional capabilities in their records which is the same reason that getting approved for disability can be difficult (i.e. the medical records).

Here is a link to what the current SGA limit is: What is SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity) and how does it affect Social Security Disability and SSI Eligibility?.

Good luck on your case.








Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions








Related pages:

Social Security’s evaluation of mental disorders
My CDR, or continuing disability review, is coming up and I have been working part-time
Will Social Security deny my disability claim if I am working?
A "proper" statement from your doctor can have a dramatic effect on your disability case
Review your medical records to see how your doctor has commented about your condition
The determination as to whether a person can go back to a former job
What makes a person eligible to qualify to receive disability benefits?



Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
How much does Social Security Disability or SSI pay?
How does the Social Security Disability Review work?
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI