In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must have a medical condition or illness that prevents you from performing basic work-related tasks and that lasts for a minimum of 12 months. Many people receiving SSDI benefits get to a point where they want to go back to work, but they are afraid of losing their benefits. Fortunately, there are ways for you to still receive benefits while working.
Generally, if you are earning less than $880 per month, you will be able to keep receiving Social Security disability benefits. Money that you spend on disability-related work expenses, such as transportation costs to get to work or medical equipment, can be deducted from your monthly income. In any case, make sure you let the Social Security Administration know your job start date, work hours, job duties, wages earned, and work expenses and keep them informed of any changes that occur.
If you are earning $880 to $1,220 per month after deducting expenses, the SSA will re-evaluate your claim on a “trial work period” basis. The trial work period encourages people to attempt their return to the workforce without the fear of losing their benefits. You will continue to be in the trial work period until you have earned $880 or more per month, for nine consecutive or non-consecutive months out of a 60-month period. Once the trial period is over, you also can receive benefits for 36 months for months where you earn less than the substantial gainful activity threshold ($1,220 per month for 2019).
After you have earned at least $880 per month for nine months, the SSA will look at your overall income record and consider your average earnings during the trial work period. If they find that you have exceeded the substantial gainful activity threshold, they will stop your benefits. However, your benefits can be reinstated within five years if your disability stops you from working once again.
Working while receiving disability benefits is possible, but can be complicated. A disability benefits attorney in Georgia can answer any questions you have about continuing your disability benefits.