Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
Yes, it is possible to work while getting disability benefits, and it is possible to work while filing a claim for disability benefits. However, an individual who does this needs to be mindful of at least two things.
The first is that though while working and getting disability benefits from the social security administration is allowed, to continue to qualify for benefits an individual cannot earn more than substantial gainful activity.
What is substantial gainful activity? Substantial gainful activity is basically a level of work activity in which a person earns a certain amount. Substantial gainful activity, or SGA, has a limit--a monetary limit for "monthly gross earned income". Individuals who earn at least this amount each month are not eligible for disability benefits under either the title II Social Security Disability program, or the title 16 SSI disability program.
To learn what the current SGA income limit is, visit this page: The substantial gainful activity earnings limit for disability benefits.
The second issue, however, is that work activity can trigger a medical review of a claimant's case prior to when a review might ordinarily have occurred. Sometimes, this can mean being reviewed years earlier than might have been the case.
Individuals who feel, of course, that their condition is improving and would possibly like to return to work should not feel discourgaged from working. However, they should be mindful of the fact that work activity and earnings implicitly carry with them the possibility of affecting one's disability benefits.
Social Security Disability beneficiaries who would like to attempt work activity at some point should be also aware of what are known as trial work months, months during which a person may work and earn as much as the SGA limit and not lose their disability benefits.
To learn how trial work months work: Working while on disability and Trial work months .
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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