Earning While You Collect Security Benefits

Law Blog

The main purpose of Social Security Disability (SSD) payments is to provide monetary support for those too disabled to work at their jobs. Given this reason, it may be surprising to some to learn that the Social Security Administration (SSA) understands the desire to return to work and has put in place a number of provisions to assist claimants who want or need to earn money in addition to their Social Security benefits. Read on to learn more about earning money while still collecting SSD benefits.

Substantial Gainful Activity

Normally, you can only earn a certain amount of money per month and still receive benefits. The SSA reasons that if you are able to earn more than that amount, you should not be on benefits at all. The work you do that exceeds the SSA limit is referred to as substantial gainful activity (SGA). Currently, a claimant can only earn $1,130 ($1,820 for blind claimants) per month. This amount is based on the cost of living and changes slightly from year to year.

Additionally, the nature of the work done is examined by the SSA. The medical condition that prevented you from doing key tasks at your previous job precludes you from doing those same tasks in the same or any other job for as long as you are claiming benefits for that particular condition. For example, if you are now receiving SSD benefits because you were unable to work in an office position due to neuropathy (nerve damage to your extremities), your work and earnings cannot take place in a similar field requiring the same body movements.

The Trial Work Period

The SSA has made an effort to assist claimants that want to go back to work by offering the trial work period program (TWP). For those participating in this program, the amount you can earn can be unlimited, but you can only work for a limited number of months within a certain period of time. At the present, you are allowed to participate in the TWP for 9 months per 60 month rolling period (5 years) If you are covered by the TWP, your benefits continue unaffected by your earnings during this time. Keep in mind that you must always report your earnings to the SSA, even while participating in the TWP. This program is ideal for those who are able to earn a substantial amount of money during a few months per year.

For more information, contact Drummond Law LLC-Disability Lawyers or a similar firm.


29 August 2016

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