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Can you return to work and still collect SSDI?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance exists to help you and others get by if you have a condition or disability that keeps you from earning a living on your own. At some point, though, you may have a desire or ability to start supporting yourself again. If you are facing this scenario, you may wonder whether you may continue to collect SSDI after returning to work.

According to AARP, you may be able to return to work while still collecting SSDI, but only under limited circumstances.

Substantial Gainful Activity

Whether you may continue to collect SSDI after returning to work depends on whether you are performing what the U.S. Social Security Administration called substantial gainful activity. Earning a specific monthly amount constitutes substantial gainful activity. However, the maximum amount you may earn while still collecting SSDI may vary from year to year.

If your income signals that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity, you may no longer collect SSDI while working unless you are participating in one of the SSA’s work incentives programs.

Work incentives programs

The SSA maintains several programs that seek to make you more self-sufficient by helping you transition back into the workforce. These include Ticket to Work, which offers job training, work experience and other benefits. If you participate in Ticket to Work, you may still collect SSDI benefits unless you find and accept a job through the program.

If you are unsure about your ability to return to work, you may return to work on a trial basis for nine months while still collecting benefits.


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