How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
How Much Does Social Security Deduct From my Benefits if I work?
"If I Receive SSD Benefits and I Begin To Work And Earn Below the SGA Limit, How Much Does Social Security Deduct From my Benefits?"
The simple answer to this question is that Social Security never deducts any amount from an individual’s benefit for work activity. However, Social Security does look at all work activity carefully.
Even if you are earning less than the SGA limit, you may still be using your nine trial work months. The monthly earnings amount is lower than the SGA limit; any month your earnings meet or exceed the trial work amount will be counted as one of your nine trial work months. Trial work months can be earned anytime during a five-year period; they do not have to be consecutive.
You may be wondering why this might be important to someone who is earning below the monthly SGA amount. When you have used the nine trial work months, any month you earn SGA or over, you will not be entitled to your benefit for that month.
Additionally, if you have used you trial work period, the first month that you earn over the SGA limit--even if it is by a small amount--your extended period of eligibility begins.
The extended period of eligibility, or EPE, is a thirty-six month period in which an individual can earn in excess of SGA (your disability benefits will be suspended for whatever months you are working over the SGA limit) yet if they have to stop work they can contact the Social Security administration and be reinstated.
Once this thirty-six month extended period of eligibility ends, your disability benefit could be terminated if you earn over SGA.
If you have gone back to work and you are not working over the SGA limit, your disability benefits will continue to be paid each month without reduction. Staying under the SGA limit does not guarantee that you will always be entitled to disability benefits.
All disability claims have a medical diary date for a continuing disability review, or CDR. During a CDR, Social Security reviews your disability claim to determine if you have medically improved.
Continuing disability reviews are a fact of life for disability beneficiaries and they occur whether you work or not. However, work activity can be used as an indicator of medical improvement in some cases. I would advise any disability beneficiary to be careful about their work activity and to watch their gross monthly earnings, especially if they are not sure they are capable of sustaining substantial work activity.
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
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Conditions that get approved for disability
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.