Social Security disability payments exist to support individuals who are unable to work 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week on a sustained basis due to serious medical conditions and resulting symptoms. Many disabled people try to work part-time to avoid homelessness while their claims are pending, but it is critical to limit the work and earnings so as not to exceed the substantial gainful activity limits under the law.
Substantial Gainful Activity
The Social Security Administration considers your work to be substantial gainful activity if you are earning above a certain threshold. In 2018, the number is $1180 per month gross, or for individuals who are blind, $1970 per month gross. If you earn above this amount from wages, self-employment, and other resources, you will lose your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits unless you are participating in a trial work period.
Trial Work Periods
A trial work period is exactly what it sounds like: once you are found to be disabled by the Social Security Administration they offer a nine month period of time during which you are allowed to work in order to determine whether that work is feasible for you with the disabilities and limitations that you experience. A trial work period lasts nine months, during which time you are allowed to receive full SSD benefits regardless of how much you make. If your income is over $850 per month in 2018 or you are self-employed and work more than 80 hours in a month, the SSA counts that as a trial work month. After the first nine months, you are still eligible to receive SSD benefits for any month when your earnings are less than the substantial gainful activity amount. Your benefits can also be reinstated without needing to reapply if you stop work due to disability any time in the first 36 months after your trial work period ends.
Applying for SSD
In general, most people who apply for Social Security Disability Benefits are so limited by physical and/or mental symptoms that working, even part-time, is not an option. But, if working a few hours per day can keep a disabled person from losing their home and ending up in a shelter, then there are exceptions to the general rules. For advice tailored to your individual situation, consult with your disability representative.
Based in Omaha, NE, Disability Claim Consultants helps residents of Nebraska and western Iowa get the disability help they need. If your physical or mental health is preventing you from working, their experienced team will help you apply for Social Security disability assistance and navigate your case using their combined 40 years of experience in the field. To get started, call (402) 422-1000 or visit their website today.