Can I Return to Work While Getting Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you have suffered an injury or condition that results in a disability, you have the right to seek disability benefits - which are paid in the form of a monthly benefit amount - from the Social Security Administration. These benefits can be critical in helping those who are disabled, and therefore unable to work and earn an income, maintain their quality of life and afford basic necessities.
In many cases, a person’s disability will approve with time, and sometimes to the extent where they are able to return to work at full or part-time capacity. If this is the case for you, you may be wondering: Can I return to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits? To help you clarify the answer to this question, or file for benefits or fight a cease in benefits, contact an experienced attorney. Land, Parker & Welch in South Carolina and Strickland Law Firm in North Carolina both offer free consultation.
Working While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits
The short answer is yes - you can return to work while receiving disability benefits from the SSA. However, you must abide by certain regulations. The Social Security Administration provides incentives for disabled workers, including the Ticket to Work program. According to a pamphlet published by the SSA titled, “Working While Disabled - How We Can Help,” work incentives include:
- Cash benefits while you work;
- Medicaid and Medicare benefits;
- Assistance with work training, education, and rehabilitation targeted at helping you find a new job;
- Job referrals;
- Help paying for work-related travel expenses;
- Vocational rehabilitation; and
- Employment support.
What Rules Do I Have to Follow to Work and Continue to Receive Benefits?
The first step of working while receiving disability benefits is to go through a trial work period. During the trial work period, you can earn wages up to, but not more than, $810 per month (for the year 2016). The trial work period lasts for nine months within a 60-month period.
After the trial work period, there is three-year window in which you can continue working and continuously receive benefits. However, you must not earn more than $1,130 per month in order to continue receiving your disability benefits. If you are blind, this amount is increased to $1,820. If you make more than this and your benefits stop, you can reinstate benefits within a five year period without filling out a new application if you are unable to continue working as a result of your disability.
When working while disabled and receiving benefits from the SSA, it is important that you report changes in your work (if you start or stop working) to the SSA, and that you report any changes in hours, pay, or duties. If you lose your job for whatever reason, you should report this to the SSA immediately as well.