Working while receiving social security disability insurance

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | SSDI

Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) often raises questions about the ability to work. Can a recipient continue to work while receiving benefits? The answer to this question is complex and depends on various factors.

This article will delve into the rules and regulations that govern working while receiving SSDI, providing a guide for those navigating this situation.

Understanding substantial gainful activity

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) as work that brings in a certain amount of income per month. If an SSDI recipient earns more than these amounts, they may be ineligible to receive benefits.

Exploring the trial work period

The SSA offers a Trial Work Period (TWP) that allows SSDI recipients to test their ability to work for at least nine months within a 60-month period. During the TWP, recipients can continue to receive full benefits regardless of how much they earn, as long as they report the work and continue to have a disabling impairment.

Understanding the extended period of eligibility

After the TWP, SSDI recipients enter the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). This is a 36-month period during which recipients can still receive benefits for any month their earnings fall below the SGA level.

Considering impairment-related work expenses

The SSA also takes into account Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) when calculating earnings. These are out-of-pocket expenses for items or services a person with a disability needs in order to work. These expenses can effectively reduce a recipient’s countable income, potentially keeping it below the SGA level.

While receiving SSDI, it is possible to work under certain conditions. By understanding these regulations, SSDI recipients can balance the benefits of continued work with the security of their benefits.