Can You Work While Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Jun 7, 2024 | Social Security Disability Insurance

Expert SSD Lawyers at Newlin Disability

$

Continuing the discussion of Social Security Disability eligibility, attorney TC Newlin explains Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), the Earned Income Test, and how working—or your capacity to do work—affects your claim for disability benefits.

Yes, you can work while applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, but there are specific rules and limitations you must be aware of to ensure that your work activity does not jeopardize your eligibility for disability benefits.

Can I Work While Applying for SSDI Benefits?

Key Points

When figuring out if you can work while applying for SSDI benefits, here are the key points to consider:

1. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the concept of Substantial Gainful Activity to determine if your work qualifies as substantial enough to make you ineligible for disability benefits. For 2021, the SGA limit is set at earning $1,310 per month (or $2,190 for blind individuals). Earning more than this amount could disqualify you from receiving SSDI.

2. Trial Work Period (TWP)

The SSA allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months within a rolling 60-month period. During the TWP, you can receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how high your earnings might be, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

3. Reporting Your Work

It’s crucial to report any work you perform to the Social Security Administration. This includes changes in your work activity, such as starting or stopping work, changes in duties, hours, or pay rate.

4. Effect on Application

Working while applying for SSDI can complicate your claim. If your earnings are above the SGA level, the SSA may conclude that you are not disabled according to their definition. If your earnings are below the SGA level, you may still qualify for benefits, but you must demonstrate that your work is limited due to your disability.

5. Impact on Social Security Disability Evaluation

The fact that you are working, especially if you are earning near or above the SGA level, might influence how the SSA assesses your disability. They might consider whether your current work is significantly different from your previous work and whether it can be sustained over time.

6. Consulting a Professional

Given the complexities, it’s advisable to consult with a disability attorney or advocate. They can provide guidance on how your work activity may affect your SSDI application and help you navigate the reporting requirements for Social Security disability.

Can I Work While Applying For Ssdi Benefits?

To Reiterate: Remember to Report Your Work

It’s crucial to report any work you perform to the SSA, including changes in your work activity, such as starting or stopping work, changes in duties, hours, or pay rate. Timely and accurate reporting can prevent misunderstandings that may affect your SSDI benefits and ensures the SSA has the most current information regarding your condition and work status.

Impact on Application and Disability Evaluation

Working while applying for SSDI can complicate your claim. If your earnings are above the SGA level, the SSA may conclude that you are not disabled according to their definition. Even if your earnings are below the SGA level, demonstrating that your work is limited due to your disability is essential. Furthermore, the SSA will examine whether your current work is significantly different from your previous work and if it can be sustained over time, affecting their evaluation of your disability.

Consulting a Professional If You Work While Applying for SSDI Benefits

Given the complexities involved, consulting with a disability attorney or advocate is advisable. They can offer guidance on how your work activity may affect your SSDI application and help navigate the reporting requirements. Professional advice can be invaluable, particularly when determining the best way to proceed with your work while applying for SSDI benefits.

Summary of Can You Work While Applying for SSDI Benefits?

In summary, while it is possible to work while applying for SSDI, doing so requires careful consideration of the SSA’s rules regarding earnings and disability. Accurate and timely reporting of your work activity is essential to maintain compliance with SSA regulations.

Engaging in work while seeking SSDI can complicate your application. If your income surpasses the SGA threshold, the SSA may decide that you are not considered disabled by their standards. If your income is below the SGA threshold, you could still be eligible for benefits, but you need to show that your work is constrained by your disability.

Can I Work While Applying For Ssdi?

FAQ for Can You Work While Applying for Disability?

Can I work while applying for SSDI?

Working while applying for SSDI can complicate your claim. If your earnings are above the SGA level, the SSA may conclude that you are not disabled according to their definition. If your earnings are below the SGA level, you may still qualify for benefits, but you must demonstrate that your work is limited due to your disability.

Free Case Evaluation

If you’re navigating the complexities of Social Security disability claims, Newlin Disability is here to provide expert guidance and support. Reach out to our experienced team today, and let us help you understand your options, streamline the application process, and maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.