Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can provide needed financial support for individuals with disabilities. However, many recipients wonder if they can still work while receiving SSDI.
The answer is yes, you can work while receiving SSDI, but you need to understand certain rules and limitations.
Substantial gainful activity
The Social Security Administration defines Substantial Gainful Activity as the level of work activity that disqualifies individuals from receiving SSDI benefits. For non-blind individuals, the SGA threshold is $1,470 per month, while for blind individuals, it is $2,460 per month in 2023. If your earnings exceed these limits, the SSA may consider you capable of performing substantial work and it can affect your SSDI benefits.
Trial Work Period
The SSA offers a Trial Work Period to encourage individuals with disabilities to test their ability to work. During the TWP, you can engage in work activities and continue to receive full benefits regardless of your earnings. The TWP lasts for nine months within a five-year period, and any month where your earnings exceed a certain threshold (in 2023, $1,050) counts as a trial work month. After completing the TWP, the Extended Period of Eligibility begins.
Extended Period of Eligibility
Following the TWP, the Extended Period of Eligibility commences and lasts for 36 months. During this period, the SSA can suspend your SSDI benefits if your earnings surpass the SGA threshold. However, if your earnings fall below the SGA limit, you may still receive benefits for that month. As long as your earnings remain below the SGA threshold throughout the EPE, your SSDI benefits will continue without interruption.
Continued medical benefits
While working and receiving SSDI, you may also be eligible for continued medical benefits under the Medicare program. If you are already entitled to SSDI benefits, the Medicare Waiting Period does not apply, allowing you to receive medical coverage during the TWP and EPE.
Reporting earnings to the SSA
You should promptly and accurately report your earnings to the SSA. Failure to report your earnings or providing false information can result in overpayments or penalties. The SSA provides resources and guidelines on reporting requirements, which you must follow to ensure compliance.
Working while receiving SSDI benefits is possible through programs such as the Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligibility. Understanding the guidelines and rules is vital to maintain eligibility and avoid potential issues.