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Can You Work With SSDI?


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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that provides wage supplementation benefits to help you financially when a disability impacts your ability to work. While some disabilities may certainly be severe, permanent, and cause for preventing any form work, other disabilities may still allow a person to engage in some type of employment.

Whether you are able to work while receiving SSDI benefits will depend largely on the individual facts of your case, including the nature of your disability and whether you are able to perform some type of work. This is why our Detroit Social Security disability lawyers at Goodman Acker, P.C. focus on working closely with clients, personally reviewing the facts of their case, and determining what rules, options, and protocol apply to a given situation. While we encourage you to discuss your unique disability with a member of our team, we also want to provide some general facts about working and Social Security disability.

Generally, you can work to an extent and still be potentially eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. This is provided that you are working below the substantial gainful activity level (SGA). As defined by the Social Security Administration in 2016, substantial gainful activity is working (full or part-time) and making more than $1,130 per month or $1,820.00 if you are blind.

You may also have the option of attempting to return to employment where your earnings exceeded the substantial gainful activity level in a trial work attempt, which can allow you to continue receiving disability benefits. Essentially, Social Security will allow a person nine months for a trial work attempt. For any month an individual’s monthly income exceeds the SGA levels, he or she will not be eligible to receive an SSDI payment for that particular month. If during this trial work attempt, monthly income does not exceed SGA levels, the individual is entitled to SSDI.

It is important to note that if your disability benefits are halted because you are earning above the substantial gainful activity level, you will have five years to reinstate benefits if you have to stop working due to your disability. Social Security will not require you to file a new application during this five year period and will instead initiate an expedited reinstatement.

When working while receiving Social Security disability benefits, there are important rules and requirements that must be followed. For example, recipients of SSDI and SSI must report to Social Security if and when they start or end any job, have any changes in their employment (duties, pay, hours, etc.), and whether there are any disability-related work expenses. These are work-related expenses that a person without a disability would not have, such as special transportation or counseling, and they can be deducted from your monthly income when your benefits are calculated.

Working while receiving Social Security disability benefits requires insight into the many rules and procedures that must be followed, which is why it is so important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options, and what you need to do in order to comply and not adversely affect your case and benefits.

For more information about working with SSDI, or to discuss your case with a proven lawyer from our legal team, contact Goodman Acker, P.C. for a FREE case review.