By GNGF Design/Development on June 15th, 2022 in
What Are Social Security Disability Income Limits?
Social Security disability rules require that you must have a qualifying disability that makes it impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to work full-time. Because of this, there are Social Security disability income limits in place. In some cases, you can try to return to work after becoming eligible for Social Security disability benefits. You will have a trial period (nine months) during which you can work as many hours or make as much money as you like without losing your SSD benefits.
Following your trial period, however, you will be subject to the Social Security disability income limits. If you exceed those limits, you will no longer be eligible for SSD benefits. The SSA also has a program in place known as “Ticket to Work,” which can help you if you would like to work, providing free vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support. You will not be required to undergo medical reviews while using the free “ticket.”
How Much Can I Earn While on Social Security Disability?
As of 2022, the SSA considers any earnings over $1,350 per month to be “substantial gainful activity.” That amount is $2,260 for those who are legally blind. If you are earning more than that amount, you are considered to be engaging in substantial gainful activity, unless you are within your trial work period. If your Social Security disability benefits are stopped because of your earnings, you have five years to ask for a renewal of your benefits.
You will not be required to file a new application or wait for benefits while SSA reviews your medical condition. If you have specific work expenses, your earnings may be higher than the $1,350 before your disability benefits are adversely affected. These work expenses could include transportation to and from work, specialized work equipment, a personal attendant or job coach, and much more.
How Many Hours Can I Work While on Social Security Disability?
The number of hours you work generally only comes into play if you are self-employed or are the head of a business. When you are self-employed you may work many hours in which you receive no hourly wage. If this is the case, the SSA will look at both your monthly income and the number of hours worked. The SSA usually allows up to 45 hours of work per month if you are self-employed, or a bit more than 10 hours each week. One of the two following tests will be used to see if you are engaging in substantial gainful activity: the Countable Income Test or The Three Tests.
If you have been collecting SSD benefits for more than two years and you started freelance work or a small business the SSA will look at your countable income (what you earn, minus disability-related work costs, unpaid help from family members, and business support provided to you at no charge) along with any significant services you provide. If you have been receiving SSD benefits for less than two years, the Three Tests will be used. These include a significant services and substantial income test, a worth of work test, and a comparability test. If any of these three tests suggest you are involved in substantial gainful activity, your SSD benefits will be stopped.
How Can an Attorney Help Navigate the Changing SSD Income/Hourly Work Limits?
Social Security disability limits can be difficult to work through on your own. An experienced Worcester, Massachusetts disability attorney from Sharry & Monfette can help you navigate these changing income and hourly work limits. We strive to deliver an exceptional experience for every client with our unwavering commitment and unparalleled drive. While we may be a smaller law firm, our knowledge, experience, skills, and shared core values make us a force to be reckoned with. We hope you will give us a call or contact us via our website regarding your SSD benefits.