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.

Essential Questions

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Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

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Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

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If You Get Workers Comp, Will You Get Disability From Social Security?
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Decision on my Social Security Disability or SSI case
Why should I pay a disability lawyer?
Getting disability forms completed by a doctor
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to check the status of my Social Security Disability claim
To qualify for disability, what to prove
Preparation to win a disability hearing
Social Security Disability lawyers FAQ
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
What does Social Security Disability SSI pay, how much?
Social Security Disability Maximum back pay
Social Security Disability Claims and Medical Exams
What is qualifying for disability benefits based on?
Partial Social Security Disability SSI benefits
Filing for disability and financial help
Getting approved after a Social Security Disability Psychological exam
How long does it take to receive disability benefits after you are approved?
Does Social Security Disability Come With Medicaid Benefits?
Applying for Disability or SSI - How long does it take
Can you work if you get Social Security Disability?
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What medical disabilities, conditions qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
What mental problems qualify for disability?
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.