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Can I work while receiving disability benefits?

If you receive Social Security disability benefits, you might have concerns that working will cause them to stop. Some people are able to work even with a disabling condition, which is beneficial financially and personally. While it depends on how much you work and how much you earn from a job, it is possible.

The Social Security Administration explains how you can work and still receive benefits. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.

Benefits during trial work period

The trial work period is designed to test your ability to hold employment. During this period, you will receive your full benefits regardless of how much money you actually make. The trial extends for nine months and counts any month during which you earned more than $940. You are required to report your earnings during each trial month to keep receiving benefits.

Benefits during extended period of eligibility

The trial period is followed by an additional 36-month extended period of eligibility. If you earn less than  $1,310, or less than $2,190 if you are blind, you will continue to receive full benefits. If you earn more than the stated limits, benefits will stop. You can deduct some work-related expenses from your monthly earnings to keep it under the limit. Eligible expenses are those necessary to perform your job with your disability, such as funds needed for special transportation.

Benefits after job loss

If you lose your job during the nine-month trial period, benefits are not affected. If job loss occurs during the extended period of eligibility, you must contact the Social Security Administration to have them reinstated. The only requirement is that you still have the same disability as you had previously.

A disability should never hold you back from doing what is right for you. Provided you remain in compliance with rules and regulations, you can pursue employment goals to improve your life.


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