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  • Can I Work While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

    social securityBy: Gabriela Raful

    We sometimes receive phone calls from clients who are currently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) asking whether they can do some type of work while receiving these benefits.

    The rules on this are very complicated and are often confused with the rules for individuals that are applying for benefits.

    When applying for benefits, a person cannot engage in what is called “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The definition of “SGA” is a certain amount calculated each year.  In 2013, “substantial” was defined as $1,040/month or $1,740/month if the individual is blind.

    When an individual is already on SSDI, the rules are somewhat different. A disabled individual can work after receiving benefits but there are certain restrictions.  These restrictions include how much you can make and for how long.  Because this is a complicated process, we encourage you to contact an experienced SSDI attorney.

    For example, if at any point while receiving benefits, the disabled individual has earnings of  more than $750/month, the recipient will be deemed to start what is called a “Work Trial” period. The “Work Trial” is a period where the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows the individual to make more than (or equal to) the $750/month but only for nine months.

    After those nine months, the individual can work for another 36 months so long as s/he does not make more than the SGA amount for that year.  If the individual makes more than the SGA amount, or works past the 36 months, the benefits will stop that month. SSA allows you to “reinstate” those benefits within five years if you stop working again because of your disability. To reinstate benefits within five years, the individual does not need to file a new application; he/she will just need to file for reinstatement.

    The following brochure from the Social Security Administration provides details on this Working While Disabled.

    Also remember that if you return to work you must advise the Social Security Administration.

    Call the Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers at Galfand Berger to Discuss Your SSDI Claim

    If you or someone you know has returned to work and now is unable to continue to work because of a disabling condition, please contact Galfand Berger today. The Philadelphia social security disability lawyers at Galfand Berger are constantly reviewing new cases including the above to make sure that you obtain all the benefits available to you. Please call toll free at 800-222-8792 or contact us online.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)