Can You Work If You Are Drawing Disability?


Quick Answer

An individual who is applying for or receiving disability benefits is permitted to work, however, they must not earn more than the substantial gainful activity threshold, according to the Social Security Disability and SSI Research Center. Additionally, the claimant must consider that working might prompt an early medical review.

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Full Answer

In order to qualify for disability benefits, an individual must not be able to participate in substantial gainful activity, according to the Social Security Administration. The income threshold for substantial gainful activity in the year 2015 is $1,090 in monthly earnings for a non-blind person; a blind person is permitted to earn up to $1,820 per month. For non-blind claimants, the $1,090 income limit applies to earned income as well as Social Security and Supplemental Security Insurance benefits. For blind claimants, the income limit does not include SS or SSI benefits.

An individual who is receiving disability benefits can find out whether they are able to return to work under a trial work period for up to nine months out of 60, indicates the SSA. During the trial work period, the claimant may earn amounts exceeding the income threshold but still be considered disabled. As of 2015, an individual is considered to have worked if they earn more than $780 in the month. After 10 months of working, eligibility for disability benefits terminates.

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