Is there any situation that allows you to obtain a income while on disability without losing your benefit that is accepted by the SSA?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 25, 2016
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Is there any situation that allows you to obtain a income while on disability without losing your benefit that is accepted by the SSA?


Expert Answers

Yes, there are a couple of different ways to have some income and still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. First, SSDI considers you disabled only if you aren't able to perform what they call "substantial gainful activity." But that doesn't mean you can't earn anything. In 2008, you're allowed to earn up to $940 a month without SSDI considering that income as evidence of substantial gainful activity. To find out more about how this rule works, take a look at the Social Security Administration web page Overview of Our Disability Programs .

You can also work and earn an unlimited amount of money for up to nine months -- and sometimes more -- during what's called a Trial Work Period (TWP). The idea is to help people return to work if possible, without losing benefits while trying to do so. With a TWP, you'll receive your full disability benefits no matter how much you earn, as long as your disability continues and you report your income to Social Security. These nine months can be spread out over as much as five years. After you complete your TWP, there's a new three-year period, called an extended period of eligibility (EPE), during which you can receive your full disability benefits for any month you don't earn over the SGA limit. For more detailed explanations of how the TWP and EPE work, plus an introduction to other SSDI programs that help you return to work, take a look online at the SSDI web page Guide to Employment Supports .