Can I Work After I Have Been Approved Social Security Disability Benefits?
Am I able to work after I have been awarded Social Security Disability benefits?
The answer to this question is more complex than you may think. There are many rules and regulations regarding work after you have been awarded disability benefits.
If your health is improving and you are considering going back to work after you have already been awarded benefits, here is what you should know.
Trial Work Periods
Once there is a favorable determination on either an SSI or SSD claim, an individual cannot earn more than $1,050.00 per month otherwise a trial work period will begin.
A trial work period is when a person earns more than $1,050.00 per month while receiving disability benefits for nine months. After the 9th month of earning more than $1,050.00, a person may lose their benefits.
Earnings while on SSI will reduce an individual’s monthly SSI amount, earnings with SSD does not change the monthly amount.
The SSA allows a total of nine trial work months in which an individual’s earnings meet or exceed trial work period earnings. If you are working and meeting at least trial work period limits for a total of nine months in a 60-month period, your benefits will be stopped. It is important to note that these 9 months do not have to be consecutive.
What is SGA?
When a person is applying for disability benefits, meaning the claim is in process but there has been no determination, you can work but earn no more than SGA.
SGA, also known as Substantial Gainful Activity, is the gross monthly amount a claimant can receive from employment for it to not affect their eligibility. Currently in 2023, the SGA amount is $1,470.00 gross per month for a non-blind individual and $2,460.00 if you are blind.
The Unsuccessful Work Attempt
The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows an additional way for an individual to test the world of work while awaiting a disability determination; the unsuccessful work attempt. This is when an individual returns to work, but the employment does not last longer than three to six months. There must be a must be a significant break in the continuity of your work before SSA will consider the period an unsuccessful work attempt. SSA considers a substantial break as a consecutive 30-day period. If an individual works less than three to six months and they stop working because of their disabilities, they can request that the SSA find that the work was an unsuccessful work attempt that will not affect their pursuit in disability benefits.
Questions About the Disability Process.
Going through the Social Security disability process can be rather complex at times due to the SSA’s strict rules. If you have questions about work after being awarded benefits, contact the SSA.
If you or someone you know have questions about obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability attorneys at Berger and Green for a free no obligation consultation.