disabled woman working

Can You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits if You Work?

When you are unable to work due to a disability, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be life-changing. But again, these benefits are only given to those who are unable to work when applying. So what does this mean about working in the future? Are you banned from receiving SSD benefits if you have periods where you are able to work?

There are certain conditions that may improve and allow you the opportunity to work here or there. It does not mean that you can only receive benefits if you never work again. However, generally speaking, you may not receive SSD benefits if you are working when you apply. When it comes to receiving SSD benefits while you work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has certain special rules.

SSA Special Rules

Sometimes when you return to work, you may find that you are actually unable to continue working. This is why the SSA has rules in place that allow you to continue receiving SSD benefits (monetary and health) for a specific period of time even after you have started working again. 

Those who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) may receive their full benefits for up to nine months after they go back to work. However, this trial period allows you to earn up to a certain amount of money each month. Then once you earn that pre-determined amount for the month, it counts towards the nine months. Once you have worked for nine months, your benefits will end. But these months need not be consecutive. 

Easing the Transition

The trial period can last up to 60 months. In other words, you may work up to nine months and earn up to that set limit during the period of 60 months. However, since the set limit often changes, it’s best to check with the SSA for the current numbers. Those who make low enough earnings could potentially receive benefits for up to 36 months after returning to work depending upon the current earnings limit. 

Transitioning from being unable to work due to your disability and depending upon SSD benefits to get you by to going back to work can be extremely difficult. That is why the SSA attempts to make the transition easier by allowing you to continue to collect your benefits until you can reliably return to your job long-term. After all, that is the ultimate hope. 

The PA SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help

When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!